The Vermont economy is sickly, and declining fast. The situation is getting worse, not better, and the problem is not the Vermont economy — it is Vermont’s bloated state government. Taxes and regulations oppress both taxpayers and business owners: THAT is the greatest problem facing Vermont’s economy.
An aging population, weak credit ratings, fleeing workers, underfunded state pension system, overly expensive schools, and stifling business climate all exert pressure on the Vermont economy. Vermont’s economy requires that the Vermont government become more economical — fiscally disciplined, responsive to businesses, less wasteful and inefficient.
John Klar’s #1 priority is to make government serve the Vermont economy, rather than siphon off wealth and opportunity to serve a runaway bureaucracy. The greatest benefit to Vermont’s economy is not more government-“funded” programs, “incentives,” or taxes — it is for Vermonters to be liberated from such constraints to GROW THE VERMONT ECONOMY.
Government programs require taxes for funding. Taxes arise from profits and incomes, which are created only by a productive, innovative Vermont economy. The more problems government creates, the more the Vermont economy suffers — then the out-of-control bloated bureaucracy declares it will “fix” the Vermont economy it damaged.
The EB-5 fiasco damaged Vermont’s economy, especially the Northeast Kingdom. Escalating administrative expenses in healthcare, school consolidation, and government agencies have damaged the Vermont economy even further. Mismanagement of pension funds and deferred road repairs damage the Vermont economy. The situation is rapidly deteriorating: increased crime, opioid abuse, and homelessness make our state less attractive to businesses and new residents. In a vicious cycle that undermines Vermont’s economy.
If the national economic climate deteriorates, the Vermont economy — which has already been left behind — will suffer disproportionately. How will Vermont businesses improve Vermont’s economy in difficult times when they have been hampered in a time of national growth? The “bloated dome” in Montpelier is hampering the Vermont economy from being “Vermont Strong” in hard times.
John Klar has specific goals to strengthen Vermont’s economy. His strategy entails identifying the greatest problem areas of government spending, then bringing people together with special skills in those areas to craft solutions. Vermont’s economy cannot afford delay in addressing these key areas — the longer the state continues down roads of failure, the greater the drag on the Vermont economy and the more difficult it will be to change course.