By Guy Page
This morning I was the designated pro-Trumper on the Dave Gram Show on WDEV, discussing Washington’s Impeachment Case Du Jour: our president asking his Ukrainian counterpart to re-investigate the alleged misdeeds of a private citizen who got rich as a board member of the state energy company — a private citizen who by amazing coincidence is the son of the U.S. official driving U.S.-Ukrainian policy at the time, Vice-President Joe Biden.
To his credit, host Dave Gram asked me to kick things off at 9:05 by talking about how Sen. Pat Leahy also asked a senior Ukrainian official to re-investigate the alleged misdeeds of a private U.S. citizen, with direct impact on the 2020 election. In response, both host Gram and anti-Trump guest John Walters (formerly of Seven Days) opined that Leahy’s letter was nothing like Trump’s perfidious phone call. Then a couple of pro-Trump Vermonters called, we nattered on for a few more minutes, the 9:30 a.m. commercial break arrived, and that was that.
Had I had the time, after addressing Impeachment Mania, I also would have said Trump’s enemies are missing the big picture. They fail to see — perhaps don’t want to see — the benefits of Trump administration policies for American citizens in general, and for Vermont in particular:
Best-ever employment rate among minority Americans. Unemployment has been a chronic toothache in the minority community since the government started collecting employment data. The longtime backers of the Great Society should be cheering madly that minorities are approaching employment equality. Poverty equals violence. Employment equals opportunity. Most Americans just want good jobs and to be left alone.
Elimination of the need for oil wars. The first Gulf War, 9/11, the second Gulf war and Afghanistan likely would never have happened if the U.S. had not been addicted to foreign oil. Thanks to hydro-fracking technology and Trump’s support for it, Americans can just shrug when Iran or some other bad actor threatens the flow of oil. We mine and refine our own. Attacks on tankers and Saudi refineries have barely budged the cost of gasoline. Furthermore, President Trump recently fired the hawkish John Bolton as his national security adviser, making ridiculous Rep. Peter Welch’s warning that Trump listens to pro-war advisers. For both economic and ideological reasons, it is unlikely in the extreme that during the presidency of Donald Trump Vermont will ever participate in a new oil war. Thank God! Vermont has lost hundreds of soldiers on the battlefield and to suicide and drug abuse. Good riddance to oil wars.
Lower Vermont state personal income taxes. The 2017 federal reform led by Trump gave big corporations a tax cut but also insisted they pay them to the United States, not to some tax-sheltered island country oasis. As a result, Vermont’s corporate tax receipts have grown considerably, in turn making it easier for Gov. Phil Scott and the Legislature to keep personal income taxes low.
More peace-of-mind for Vermont state, municipal and school pensioners. Simply put, the state’s pension fund has been an underfunded mess for years. The only recent silver lining has been the strong performance of pension fund investments, which increase fund value and are direct result of the ongoing stock market revival that began the day after Trump was elected.
Less actual carbon emissions and smog. New technology and positive government-industry relationships have created hydrofracking and ultra-clean heating oil. As a result, our actual carbon footprint is going down and our air is cleaner. The Trump administration has rejected the Green New Deal hatred of incremental improvement. The GND would cut low-carbon nuclear and hydrofracking off at the knees, leaving us supposedly reliant on slowly-developing, extremely expensive, intrusive renewable power, but in reality on the last-ditch standbys of oil and coal. No thanks!
More Jobs. No new “Blood for Oil” wars. Lower taxes, both state and federal. Cleaner air. Safer pensions. That’s what Vermonters and all Americans have seen during the Trump administration, and the president deserves at least some of the credit. So why is Washington desperate to impeach him? Why would they even want to?
Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership; the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare; and Physicians, Families and Friends for a Better Vermont.