Roper: Seven Days reporter votes with his feet, heads for red state North Carolina

By Rob Roper

Vermont’s leading progressive news publication, Seven Days, reported that one of their award-winning young journalists, Taylor Dobbs, “is moving to North Carolina with his wife, Tori, after years of trying to make it financially in Vermont.” Oh, the irony here — and perhaps a teachable moment.

Rob Roper

Rob Roper is the president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

It’s safe to say Dobbs’ political proclivities incline toward the left, and he embraces the Seven Days progressive culture. The paper and its writers have done their best to advance a progressive agenda for Vermont, and credit where it’s due, have succeeded mightily. Democrats hold supermajorities in both chambers of the Legislature, all the statewide offices except governor, and Progressives rule the roost in Burlington where Seven Days is based. In fact, Dobbs and his colleagues have been so successful that young professionals like himself and his wife can no longer afford to live here and pursue a meaningful career. Good job!

But here’s the real kicker: Where is Dobbs going to flee these oppressive Progressive policies he helped advance to find greater opportunity and a sane cost of living? North Carolina. What’s so attractive about North Carolina? Here’s a summary of the Tar Heel State’s recent political and policy history over the past decade.

Republicans took control of North Carolina’s Legislature in 2010 for the first time in 140 years. Two years later, they established supermajorities in both chambers and elected a Republican Governor, Pat McCrory. These Republicans then enacted a dramatic package of tax and regulatory reform. Here’s a summary of what they passed in 2013 (Source, ATR).

Individual Income Tax

  • Flatten and lower rate from 7.75 percent, the highest in the South, to a 5.75 percent by 2015;
  • Increase standard deduction to $7,500 (for singles);
  • Allow full deductibility of charitable contributions;
  • Fully exempt Social Security income from state income tax;
  • Allow for certain itemized deductions (total of mortgage interest and property taxes paid would be capped at $20k); and
  • Retain current child credit of $100 for those earning $40k and increase credit to $125 for those earning under $40k.

Corporate Income Tax

  • Reduce rate from 6.9 percent to 5 percent by 2015;
  • If certain revenue targets are met, rate would decrease to 4 percent in 2016 and 3 percent in 2017.

Other Changes

  • Retain full sales tax refund for nonprofits;
  • Cap gasoline tax; and
  • Fully repeal estate tax

These reforms, and those that followed, have led to what has been described as an “economic miracle”.

A recent study measuring six areas of economic growth (growth in real (inflation-adjusted) GDP, employment, real GDP per capita, real personal income per capita, employment per capita, and worker productivity), showed that between 2014-17, the period after the NCGOP tax cuts and economic reforms kicked in, North Carolina’s economy outperformed the nation and the Southeast in all six categories. Vermont policy makers would do well to take note.

North Carolina is doing so well that a progressive journalist from Montpelier is moving his family there — and out of Bernie’s Vermont — for a better life. Good luck, Taylor. Don’t screw up your adopted state like you did your home state!

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Images courtesy of Flickr/Ken Lund and Rob Roper

26 thoughts on “Roper: Seven Days reporter votes with his feet, heads for red state North Carolina

  1. Rob, while he assuredly did damage, he had a lot of help from the gullible.
    Give them their due credit.

  2. NC has it’s liberal bastion….Asheville. I live an hour East in TN, and when we visited it felt like we were in Burlington. Not a good feeling. Lots of liberal bumper stickers, street people and panhandlers. Liberalism has a toe hold in Asheville just like it Does in Nashville, the disease is creeping South.

    • As stated below, the Triangle Area–Raleigh/Durham–stinks of the liberal/leftist transplants infesting the colleges there. My son left there years ago to move, of all places, to where the dogbiskit fled from.

  3. Unfortunately, this is why I have always been uncomfortable with True North. I like news that isn’t mean spirited or which “selectively” reports the news or cherry picks the facts. I’ve had my own frustrations with Taylor Dobbs, but surely he can’t be blamed singularly for Vermont’s many ailments as expressed in this opinion piece.

    • But the print and online leftist publications savaging of anyone remotely resembling a conservative, mob-rule tactics and the nonstop venom is a-ok…good to know! I certainly don’t hate the man, not gonna throw rocks until he leaves but it is a valid story…he may very well continue profession there…plenty of liberal areas.

    • No hate no vitriol Mr. Dobbs and his ilk have created this situation in Vermont and now to further his future he has made the choice to leave . Like so many other native Vermonters have economically been forced to do,the blame for this situation lies at the feet of the people who elected the leftist’s in control of the state in Montpelier as Mr. Dobbs story has proven.

  4. There is no greater fool than he who votes economic chains upon himself and thereby surrenders his freedom.

  5. Great piece Rob. Like most liberals, I’m sure Taylor’s main objectives have been met, to feel smart and morally superior. No need for him to think through the consequences of his looney ideology.

  6. Another Liberal that has seen the light, good for you and don’t forget to write all your
    liberal friends and tell them how great life is in a state that cares for it Citizens tax
    concerns………………..

    Progressives are ruining our State, with foolish feelgood legislation !!

    • But has he actually learned that his ideology is the problem or is he just running away and going to take his foolish beliefs with him to NC and try to change there?

  7. Now I’ll be nice and close to the headquarters of EAI in D.C. I’ll miss you too Rob.

    • Yes, he’s gotta move to a red state to find affordability and growth. Hopefully the good folks of NC will kick him to CA or back north. We have no room for his progressive garbage down here. Nothing that folks down here disdain more then Yankee democrats and progressives.

      He’s going to gasp at the site of a God loving church around every corner.

      Please go back noth or to the LEFT coast.

    • Godspeed…hope things work out for you and fam. Lots of young professionals in Charlotte I’ve heard and other areas of NC. Incidentally its my dream to move to NH…or Maine…its not as easy for those of few means to leave. Tho they’re currently becoming despoiled by the lefties NNE is my home…VSSR not so much.

    • As much as I disagree with how the state is being run and the direction it is going, I do not believe with attacking someone personally. I know this person to be a good man and husband. Disagree with their policies and keep out the personal attacks

  8. Too bad he will take his Marxist views with him and try to force his views upon the people of North Carolina,perhaps not at first but the next thing the state will realize that their legislature is comprised of like minded Marxists,much like a disease.

    • Large population of liberal/leftist transplants in the Triangle area, so there he;ll be preaching to the choir.

  9. Bye, Bye Taylor.. Make sure you tell all your progressive friends how great North Carolina is and maybe they’ll move too..

  10. It’s time to work on educating the uninformed about the realities of the progressive damage to Vermont.

    • Keith, I agree with you, unfortunately the big public education monopoly indoctrinates VT children at a very young age. Between the public school factories and CNN, these children are brainwashed pretty early on.

    • Better hurry up…looks like most of them are gone or leaving soon or in planning stage…it’s my plan also…anything that is Vermontesque I strictly avoid if at all possible – VPR, WCAX and all VT newspapers. State I once loved and proud to be from is a total disgrace…don’t need any reminders.

  11. So he’s gone off to ruin North Carolina – couldn’t he at least take a few friends with him?

    • Seth

      It would be wonderful if he would take all his fellow travelers in the legislature and perhaps even Mr Guvenator with him,for the Guvenator N. Carolina would be a car racing hot spot and honest working Vermonter’s wouldn’t miss any of them.

  12. I was once a democrat. Now I’m getting ready to move to Georgia where my disposable retirement income increases by $12,000 a year due to lower taxes, fess and costs of living. — And I grew up here.

    That $12,000 if multiplied by the number of years the IRS distribution tables say I will live is almost $300,000 that I get nothing for in Vermont. its not rocket science.

    • Amen, Ed. You will love the mountains of Georgia.

      Simple Math, what democrats and progressives hate the most. I save ~$84,000 over ten years JUST in property taxes alone down here. All that nicely funding my kids 429 collage accounts.

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