By Guy Page
The Trump/Pence 2020 presidential campaign is taking RSVPs now for an Aug. 15 evening rally at a Manchester, New Hampshire arena with seating for 11,000 people.
The campaign’s RSVP webpage does not say who will be speaking. However, Steve MacDonald of the New Hampshire conservative news website Granite Grok says the speaker will be President Donald Trump: “We were expecting President Trump to visit New Hampshire over the summer. It had been rumored and promised for months. Well, we have a date. August 15th, the President will be speaking at the SNHU Arena, 555 Elm Street, in Manchester, New Hampshire. The event starts at 7 PM ET.”
An internet search shows that the SNHU Arena is the only indoor venue in New Hampshire with more than 10,000 seats. The large venue suggests a “headliner” speaker such as the president. Headliners has messaged Granite Grok to learn more about the event. Manchester is about a two-hour drive from central Vermont and some Vermonters have already registered, according to the Vermonters for Trump Facebook page.
Scott praises Trump 2X – Lately, it’s okay to say nice things about Donald Trump. Even if you are the governor of Deep Blue state Vermont.
That seems to be the takeaway from a pair of announcements from the office of Gov. Phil Scott.
On July 29, Gov. Scott praised President Trump’s USMCA trade agreement with Mexico and Canada and urged Congress “not politicize its ratification.” He called USMCA “a new, and better trade agreement” than Clinton-era NAFTA deal. “Every day that passes before the agreement is ratified in Congress is another day employers, workers and families are not benefiting from the new opportunities it makes possible and the higher standards it sets,” Scott said.
On July 31, Scott welcomed Trump’s plan to import cheaper prescription drugs: “Vermont was the first state in the nation to pass a prescription drug importation law, recognizing health care and pharmacy costs are too high for too many. For our policy to be viable, we knew we would need federal collaboration and approval and this announcement indicates we have both. It’s important to give credit where credit’s due: The Trump Administration has taken an important step toward making prescription drugs more affordable for Americans, and they should be acknowledged for doing so.”
In both cases, Scott is recognizing Trump for doing what he himself has sought to do, with some success: deliver on campaign promises of economic assistance for struggling Vermont families. Both Scott and Trump promised on the 2016 campaign trail to promote policies to lower healthcare costs and improve employment. The better trade deal and reduced prescription drug prices both represent “promises kept,” to coin the president’s phrase.
Scott and other “standard of living” candidates also can thank Trump for the 2017 federal tax reform, which led to:
- A two-year rate rebate in 2017-18 for most Vermont energy consumers, because GMP, Vermont Gas and other utilities were required to return profits to ratepayers.
- Much of this year’s $60 million revenue surplus. The same reform that returned federal tax money to Vermonters’ pockets also boosted revenue thanks to closure of some personal and corporate income tax loopholes. The surplus made it easier for Gov. Scott to insist the Legislature hold tax increases to rate of growth of Vermont’s economy.
- Badly needed investment in Vermont’s economically-depressed areas. The 2017 tax reform authorized private-sector tax credits for Vermont’s 17 “opportunity zones.” – cities like Barre, Bennington, Springfield, Rutland etc. The state-run program has already led to $8 million of private investment in the Putnam Block renovation in Bennington, and to private investment in several Barre projects. The State Agency of Community and Economic Development will hold a September workshop to help finalize other investors’ plans.
Scott and Trump still differ on abortion, illegal immigration, allegedly systematic racism, and other litmus tests of acceptability for Vermont’s left. But for the great silent majority of Vermonters who just want a better life for themselves and their families, the unity of state and federal chief executives on their behalf is a welcome sign.
Statehouse Headliners is intended primarily to educate, not advocate. It is e-mailed to an ever-growing list of interested Vermonters, public officials and media. Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership; the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare; and Physicians, Families and Friends for a Better Vermont.