Budgets are a moral statement

WARDSBORO — A 90-year-old Florida man risks 60 days in jail and a $500 fine for feeding the homeless.

“Drop that plate right now,” the arresting police officer orders Arnold Abbott of Love Thy Neighbor as he hands food to a hungry person.

“Wherever this flag is flown,” sings Bruce Springsteen, “we take care of our own.”

The purpose of government, whether state or national, is to protect and empower.

In Vermont, we protect and empower through our motto, “Freedom and Unity.”

For freedom from insecurity, we protect with police and fire departments, environmental and fiscal regulations, and monetary safety nets.

For freedom to prosper, we empower with infrastructure, economic and workforce development, and cultural activities.

Through unity in our budget, we must determine the needs of all Vermonters, and then, equitably, raise necessary revenues.

Our budget is a moral document. It states who we are.

Instead of arresting a 90-year-old for feeding the homeless, we take care of our own.

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