By Neil Johnson
It’s time for Vermonters of all stripes to come together. The fiscal self-dealing, irresponsibility, insider trading and waste is too epic to continue ignoring. We need to “Vexit” the fiscal insanity going on in our state.
The United States is having to put up walls to keep people out of country since the economic opportunities are just too great for many to ignore. Yet in Vermont, many people are fleeing the state for other areas of economic opportunity and the population is in decline.
Take Vermont’s latest scheme offering people $5,000 to move to the state — can the problem be any more glaring? Other countries are facing similar population decline, along with outward migration. While their problems exist on a grander scale, the common thread is bad policies.
Vermont does not have to be the Venezuela of New England — we do not have to be the guinea pig for every bad socialist idea on the planet. Yet people have been fleeing our state for decades because we have no economic opportunities and we make life too difficult and expensive.
Our country was formed on the idea that taxation without representation was wrong. At the Boston Tea Party, colonists were upset about high taxation. In Vermont, we have a similar situation, but we don’t even get the tea we’re taxed on. Instead, we give the tax money to the “British” to move to our state.
For one thing, we aren’t addressing underlying problems in our state. Kennedy Democrats understand this because it’s built into their DNA: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your country.”
Let’s look at the fiscal insanity in affordable housing. The waste and self-dealing of taxpayer money in Vermont is of epic proportions. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Would $200,000 for one room with kitchenette/bath seem high? It’s higher than the average house price of many homes across our state.
- Would $335,000 for a one-bedroom apartment seem high?
- Would 1,800 square feet of living space seem reasonable for $990,000?
- Does $560 per square foot seem a reasonable price to pay when most homes cost $135 per square foot? The most luxurious condominium was built and sold for $444 per square foot, with slope side access. Does this make sense?
- Would you pay $638,400 for a single wide trailer? That’s the price per square foot we’re talking about with affordable housing.
Some of these are happening right across from City Hall in Montpelier. There are inside deals that have been going on for decades. The rental trap is keeping people poor, but it’s good business — just keep the generational poverty trap and benefits cliff in place and our business will continue expanding.
Affordable housing is usually rental properties. Yet nobody builds wealth renting an apartment. Only home ownership offers the stability and equity to get out of poverty. In the world of affordable housing, nonprofit developers are given zero interest loans, huge tax credits, huge subsidies, special permit considerations, and more. And it is the perfect way to keep people in generational poverty while others get rich off of taxpayer money. In fact, everybody gets rich except the tenant, who’s trapped in generational poverty, and the taxpayer, who’s pockets are picked.
Many of us seek transparent, open, frugal dealings with our taxpayer money, yet Montpelier’s answer for affordable housing is promoting more of this.
Instead, we can produce home ownership for $600 per month, easily, without subsidies and taxpayer money. Montpelier is in the way. Politicians are the ones not allowing affordable home ownership, and creating generational poverty, while filling their pockets with taxpayer money.
Perhaps we should have our own Vexit — as in, Vexit the fiscal insanity.
Neil Johnson, of Waitsfield, is state chair of the Green Mountain Party and was a 2018 candidate for state House in the Washington 7 district.