|The only Positive Change Vermonters will see -
|a Handful of Coins in their Pocket if they are Lucky!
socialists chant: We Need Change! Change! Change! and they have given us the “change.” Most frequently the change
was merely for the sake of change – not for the improvement of our condition. Out of Control Healthcare! Soon-to-be
centralized, standardized indoctrination posing as Education! Counter-productive Green Energy experiments! Ever changing zoning,
permitting and regulation! Haphazard funding of economic development! And of course, Endless Taxes required to fund a cornucopia
of pet projects and schemes from a legislature and governor seem to lurch and stumble in one direction and then another
attempting to find a way to demonstrate their worth.
A recently published study on financial literacy (conducted by Champlain College) graded Vermont student’s
proficiency as a “D’. I suspect that if the state’s legislators and chief executive were given the same
test, they would fair no better. A vast majority of Vermont politicians seem oblivious as to the “cause
and effect” relationship between expanding government largess and it’s demand for increased revenue (read taxes)
AND their detrimental economic repercussions. The same study found: forty one percent of adults self-graded their financial
aptitude at C, D or F; only thirty-eight percent of Vermonters had monies set aside for emergencies and forty-six percent
of Vermonters have sub-prime credit scores. Qualities reminiscent of the financial situation our legislators have placed upon
The liberal press recites
their favorite politico’s mantra that businesspersons and wealthy are more than willing to be subjected to disproportionate
taxes in return for remaining in Vermont – an absurd hypothesis, unsupported by antidotes or facts. The truth is that
the state is losing both premier employers and the maligned wealthy at an ever increasing rate. Sure, many of the wealthy
still reside in Vermont for nearly half the year – carefully documenting their residency in low tax states to avail
themselves of their preferred tax rates at their primary domiciles.
The chairman of the Vermont Financial Literacy Task Force (who knew!) stated: “we believe our work
[teaching financial sophistication among secondary school students, college students and adults] is critical to Vermont’s
continued prosperity.” I am always amazed at the praise given to “masters of the obvious” as if their prognostications
were biblical revelations. Teaching our citizens to handle money and their personal affairs should begin in elementary school
and continue throughout their education, in the past both parents and schools routinely taught our young folks economics and
personal finance – apparently no longer.
priorities have been shifted to “touchy feely” objectives including: building personal esteem, diversity, orientation,
“reinvented” history and the religion of global warming (cooling, climate change, whatever). With the introduction
of the federally-mandated “Common Core”, educational outcomes will significantly worsen as social and political
indoctrination replaces education and conformity replaces creativity and critical thinking. Gone are the time-tested curricula
of History (Vermont, American, World), Literature, Music, Social Studies, Science (biology, chemistry,
geology, physics), mathematics (algebra, geometry, calculus), practical studies (metalworking, woodworking, electrical and
automotive shop, mechanical drawing - drafting, culinary arts, home economics) and physical education (gymnastics, personal
health, team sports) which prepared students for a responsible, productive and rewarding life. Today, our students complete
their secondary education unprepared for work or life.
Our educators have abdicated their responsibility to prepare their students, our children, to be productive
citizens. Their defense is that society expects high school graduates to continue on to higher education – in fact it
is essential for them to do so, since the value and level of achievement indicated by obtaining a high school diploma has
been discounted to the equivalence of a tenth grade education just thirty years ago
.I will leave the discussion of Healthcare, Economic Development,
Green Energy and the rest for another day.Until our students and politicians are properly prepared for life – our state and our nation are in peril. Wildly
throwing “other people’s money” at every real and imagined problem or necessity can only lead to disaster.
The news media tells us that Vermont’s budget
for the next year is $5 billion, with 1.5 billion to be raised from taxes. The figures seem unimaginable in at least two ways:
first simple mathematics reveals that the figures represent an expenditure of nearly $10,000 for every man, woman and child
in Vermont – how is this possible! Secondly, if we are raising $1.5 billion in taxes and spending is $5 billion, where
is the other $3.5 billion coming from?
Unless the legislature is selling off a lot of state
assets or the Attorney General is doing a “bang up job” shaking down businesses for legal settlements - the balance
must be coming from the “sugar daddies” in Washington. Uncle Sam’s finances are on the ropes with the national
debit growing at the outrageous rate of over $2 trillion annually –this will come to and end shortly OR our entire national
will surely collapse. In either case, Vermont will soon find itself in the untenable position of attempting to raise most
of the $5 billion from Vermonters in a depressed economy – an impossible task.
Paige, a writer and historian, is a frequent contributor to The WORLD; however his opinions do not necessarily represent those
of the publishers. Brooke invites comments and criticism at: P.O. Box #41, Washington, Vermont 05675 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org.