John Klar: Contesting the progressives’ takeover of Vermont

By John Klar

Recently, the state of Vermont announced that pension and health benefits for state employees and teachers are underfunded to the tune of $4.5 billion (in a tiny state of just 627,180 residents). Then, in protest against Trump administration rule changes, it diverted some $750,000 from state coffers (each year, indefinitely) to fund abortion services through Planned Parenthood rather than continue to accept federal subsidies which had been proffered since 1970.

Many Vermonters, like most Americans, are struggling to pay their property taxes. I live on land passed down to me from my great-great-great-great-grandfather, in a house I built by sawing timbers on the 6.5 acre lot, on a foundation I constructed with granite block. There is no mortgage — and also no running water, no septic system, no plumbing or electric, and the driveway is impassable without four-wheel drive. But our real estate taxes are just under $2,500 annually, roughly equivalent to a $65,000, 30-year mortgage at current rates.  Yet, in 30 years that phantom tax mortgage will not be paid off — it will be massively larger.

Vermonters love their state, but most are struggling to afford to live here. Many are paying $10,000 or more annually in real estate taxes on family land, which is often in a “current use” conservation program — but still the taxes escalate. Retirees sell up and live in RVs, “going mobile” to avoid taxes. Young people seek tiny houses to shrink what the Vermont government can siphon off from their incomes. But still the government bureaucracy swells, regardless of the underlying economy.

Vermont boasts the fifth highest property tax in the nation, but the 24th lowest median income, and the 19th lowest home values. In stark contrast, neighboring New Hampshire has the second highest real estate taxes — but no sales tax, and the sixth highest median income in the nation. Meanwhile, Vermont offers the fourth largest amount of welfare benefits per capita in the nation, granting $42,350 annually in pre-tax equivalents:

Vermont offers a minimum wage higher than most of its neighboring states, so why would some choose not to work? Americans on welfare in Vermont can earn over $20 per hour based on the pre-tax wage equivalent of their assistance benefits. That equates to a $10.36 per hour difference — more than double — the earnings for residents working minimum-wage jobs in the state.

Concurrently, that $4.5 billion pension shortfall was calculated using an absurd state prediction that all future pension investments will fetch an annualized return of 7.3%. This is an ambitious (if not fraudulent) accounting gimmick. Real market returns (even without a cyclical economic contraction or stock market correction) will fall short of these rosy falsehoods, so that pension deficit is thus likely at least $8 billion. Placed in perspective, that $750,000 that Vermont gave away this year butting heads with Donald Trump (using taxpayer dollars) would amount to $8 billion in approximately 10,667 years! Or, if Vermont bolstered its pension at the rate of $750,000 daily, the funds would balance (if benefits were capped!) in about 29.2 years.

Whatever one’s position on government-funded abortions, Vermont took the money for pre-planned ideological warfare at taxpayer expense. These are elected legislators and officials, who act with utter impunity.  Vermont could never borrow $8 billion legally, so to promise and then not fund these pensions is a blank check with no voter oversight.

Government only grows bigger — whether state, federal or local. Eventually, governments become parasitic viruses that devour their host victims, which is precisely what is occurring in Vermont.  The 49th in population (only Wyoming is smaller), Vermont is an easy target for the progressives who have long targeted it for socialist subjugation experiments. Just as the Vermont Attorney General and Governor openly dip into Vermonters’ pockets to fund abortions and transgender surgeries, so have progressives long salivated at the idea of conquering this tranquil state precisely because it is tolerant. A 1972 Playboy magazine article (“Taking Over Vermont”) laid out the plan now maturing to fruition:

“The short answer to all this — revolution — is impossible when armed revolt by the citizenry at large would inevitably be put down by the military might at the disposal of those in control. We see the best way out in rededicating this nation to its heritage: reopening the frontier, where alienated or deviant members of society can go to live by their new ideas: providing a living laboratory for social experiment through radical Federalism; and tutoring effective political communication in a multimedia society . . .The goal of this takeover would be to establish a truly experimental society to which new solutions to today’s problems could be tried, an experimental state which would serve as a new frontier and encourage imaginative local innovation [and], by its example, spur change to society as a whole.”

Those “alienated and deviant members of society” are indeed imposing their new ideas on Vermonters: labeling natives racist, championing the progressive front of extremist abortions, transgender surgeries, schoolchildren activism, carbon taxes, and minimum wages.  As desired, the locals are fleeing their native lands:

….recent research from the Legislature suggests that it’s working-class and middle-class residents that Vermont is at risk of losing. By proportion, only a small number of wealthier households come to Vermont.” “Blue collar workers, those with low and moderate incomes … have decided to move away from Vermont,” Gov. Phil Scott said at a press conference Thursday…. Vermont’s wealthy new arrivals tend to be on the younger side, between 26 and 44, with incomes over $200,000 a year — including both single and joint filers.

Vermont’s progressives are deliberately heaping financial burdens on native Vermonters, even as they pile government rewards on welfare recipients, government employees, and favored progressive interests like Planned Parenthood, and “social justice” groups. Black Lives Matter and Antifa are welcome: locals are denigrated and condemned. The state is infamously offering $10,000 payments (from poor Vermonters’ pockets) to wealthy out-of-staters to relocate here.

That 1972 Playboy article was prescient:

Blumstein and Phelan acknowledge the potential explosiveness:

The first great test of the experimental program will be the safeguarding of the rights of the indigenous population…. At a widely publicized vigil in front of Calvin Coolidge’s birthplace at Plymouth, they reiterate “Jamestown Seventy’s” warning that “If the new majority becomes involved in fragmented political bickering, the traditionalists might maintain the balance of power” despite our numbers.

It has taken nearly 50 years for the hippie conquistadores to seed their Bohemian denizens in Bernieland. After a failed effort in the late 1990s to “Take Back Vermont,” the real “first great test” is brewing. The “new majority” will indeed be fragmented, then dispersed, as the indigenous Green Mountain population is woke and galvanized into a voting block of its own. Vermonters’ tolerance of these foreigners has expired. In 2020, Vermont will flip red, sharply reversing the fortunes of those who misjudged this brave little state. The natives simply can’t afford not to reclaim their heritage.

John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield, and pastor of the First Congregational Church of Westfield. Originally published at American Thinker.

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14 thoughts on “John Klar: Contesting the progressives’ takeover of Vermont

  1. How could a state witness a massive defeat, while the rest of the country experiences a wave of republican support? It’s not out of respect or even disagreement with any position, the Republican Party is much closer to the truth, so how coul they possibly lose in 2020?

    What is the message? That all Vermonters, ALL can get behind?

    Can you talk with left leaning people, explain your position in 60 seconds and not trigger them to say your an evil Republican? You must realize we are in a subverted, indoctrinated state, if you didn’t notice that with this weeks United nation, child protest put on by our school system, you do not understand the Vermont landscape in which you play. And as they are taught in marketing and warfare via sun Tzu the art of war, you will suffer great calamities.

    If people listen they can learn, or suffer.

    If you trigger people, you can’t deliver a message, they are no longer listening. Our landscape is vastly different than the entire United States, to ignore this fact is not only fool hardy, but a calamity for the state of Vermont.

  2. Due to Phil Scotts’ enjoining of self to VT Progressives – the closeted Marxist wing of the Democrat party – preferring the more normalized version of ‘socialist’…or socialist if one prefers…I feel quite comfortable calling Benedict Scott Comrade Phil.

    This Devils Handshake form of government has been identified as a “centrist freeze” aka triangulation or a form of it.

    Both parties create a fascistic alliance aka one-party rule solely to stay in power. By agreeing to the demands of the dominant party which in VT is the Progressive – aka Marxist – rather than staking policy positions which benefit the people this allows cowardly lion Comrade Phil to stay in power…but also negates any reason for a Dem/Prog challenge as its an easy business-as-usual status quo where the laundrylist of Prog pipedreams are now low-hanging fruit.

    • This is why I personally pledge no fealty to the Republican hopeful simply bc its the choice of party bosses.

      Comrade Phil has turned out to be an epic fail just as Peter-the-shnoz Shumlin was for Dems and all of us really. Someone check the Exec office water cooler on fifth foor pls.

      Voted for him once and left gov choice blank until Scott. Voted for this traitor once…then either write-in for Stern or surrogate now leaving it blank. Interestingly Stern had a good showing which should be a wakeup, Annette Smith also did far better than expected vs Shummy.

      Not willing to continue business as usual or we will continue with status quo usualness with R hopefuls taking agreed upon turns for top office just as it was Bush or Clinton flavored globalism in dynastic succession until DJT came in like a wrecking ball to set us free from corporatized complacency.

      We need someone who will go big and take on the Communists of the VSSR and use vetopen exec power to reject what leftist legislature coughs up during session, shakeup the VT Employees Union, close agencies where possible, issue school vouchers and open magnet schools and truely take back our state. Go big or go home.

  3. Like every state that WAS Free and unencumbered by overbearing government VT fell off the cliff during the 60’s-70’s when the fascist leftocrats and regressive’s started getting voted in by the flatlanders flooding the farmlands. I don’t see it changing anymore then any state flipped blue from red, the number of thinking voters gets smaller every year..When your government is one of the biggest employers your $crewed…

    • I hope the free thinking Vermonters will step up and vote some if not most of these liberal/ socialist people out of office. This state has become to expensive to live in, especially for retired people.

    • You can’t continue to blame ‘the flatlanders’. Try blaming the public schools that no longer educate; rather, they indoctrinate. It’s been a success these past years since Phil Hoff was governor. Before Phil, Vermont was conservative. No longer. Those voters you talk about are Vermonters.

      • Yes indeed. The public schools have been indoctrinating Vermont’s youth for over 50 years and we are now seeing the results as children are marching in the streets in order to “teach” their parents about the weather!!!

      • Public schools are unfortunately held back by the abundance of educational requirements. Teachers are not doing that, rather, the state government that sets the standards for education are the focus here. Again… Not the teachers but the politicians that regulate what is to be taught.
        For your information, I was educated in Vermont K-12 and I have a conservative viewpoint. I do not feel that I was “indoctrinated” to think any specific way. I am concerned however about indoctrination at the collegiate levels.
        If you look at the political history of the state, you will indeed see that there was a significant change in the political leaning of the state around the 1960’s that coincides with an increase of residents relocating to Vermont from other states. Thus, Flatlanders have most certainly impacted our beautiful little state and not for the better clearly.

  4. A long, long, time ago in a county far, far away (from Montpelier), I coined the term, “Welfarians”, in reference to welfare recipients (often generational) who work harder at not working. Let me be clear about this, I would never want to see someone or a family in real need, be denied temporary assistance. Those who sit back on their laurels and collect up to $42K per year are a blight on Old Time Vermont values as well are those who provide it. There is nothing wrong in helping those who need it. “Give a man a fish (who is fully capable of fishing for himself) and you have created a Welfarian. Here’s an idea. Take $12 of the $20/hr that a Welfarian receives and leave him with $8/hr. Take the $12/hr and divide it up amongst those who make minimum wages. Call it a gov’t subsidy for those who struggle to provide for themselves. They should be rewarded, not the Welfarians. It would be an incentive for the Welfarians to get themselves into a higher income. Eventually, the gold mine will go bust, and what will Welfarians do then?
    Now, I know that this is definitely a fantasy, but it’s mine and I’m sticking to it. I hope this gets posted here because it would never get posted on VTDigger.

  5. Vermont, Lets see underfunded to the tune of $4.5 billion, fifth highest property tax in the nation
    the fourth largest amount of welfare benefits……..Outstanding !!!

    And then the Governor and the astute running Montpelier, can figure out ” Why ” people are
    leaving the state, It’s called Liberal Politics, how do you like them now !!

  6. Given these generous state welfare benefits, it’s no wonder there all these “help wanted” signs out there. If an individual is just plain lazy, why work? The state offers a better deal. As for the $750,000 set aside for “Plarenthood” nee abortion factories, ’tis another example of fiscal malpractice. If these idiots ran there personal finances the way they spend other people’s money, they would go belly up.

  7. I’m in agreement with your take on Vermont’s take over by the Bernie Borgs or the Marxists from N.Y. Can the real people of Vermont take back government? Not too sure that can happen unless all the live and let live Vermonters come out of the woods and vote the legislative criminals out of office. I don’t see too many inroads into the government. The Liberal Marxists have way too much money behind them from the Bloomberg/Soros globalists, and from their own deep pockets. I’m getting ready to leave Vermont and head to Idaho..the house is sold and I’m planning our trip as I write this comment. Thanks for your effort.

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