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From Vermont: The People's Budget

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James Haslam of the Vermont Workers’ Center

It is hard to tell a legislator that he or she is failing — particularly a hard-working member of one of the appropriations committees. But let’s face it: when it comes to human needs — food, housing, education, employment, social security and, of course, health care — things have not been getting better for the people of Vermont, and those who have been suffering the most have been slipping behind the fastest.

If you really believe in democracy, then you have to want government not just of and by the people but also — and most importantly — for the people. So when members of the People’s Budget campaign met with legislators to explain our ideas about state budget and revenue policy based on human needs, this was the first thing we asked for — a statement in law that the purpose of the state budget was to meet the human needs of the people of Vermont.

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