Jeff Danziger, in an opinion piece for the Fall River Herald News, says as a Vermonter, he knows New Hampshire doesn’t deserve the first in the nation primary. I’ve had plenty to say about the distinction. I’m not sure we deserve it either. The way it warps the party politics and puts an emphasis on national characters who strut upon our stage. But we’ve got a law to protect it.
It says our primary needs to be before everyone else’s. The End. But that’s no reason not to fisk Danzigers take. It’s all about envy.
The local television stations make a quadrennial windfall. And the local politicians get a sense of completely undeserved importance – for example, when they are asked about a candidate’s stance on trade with China. Most of them prefer Chinet.
Meanwhile, neighboring Vermont gets nothing. I don’t think most Vermonters have thought about the numbers involved. Besides, they reason, New Hampshire would simply move their date earlier, as their law provides.
Since you can’t have it, why not suggest that Vermont have a caucus? You can have all the caucuses you like before our primary. Instead, Danziger suggests having their primary the same day. Tap into all that hotel, media tourism money. Give Vermonters a chance to ask national actors local questions (and get the money). Give local politicians a sense of completely undeserved importance just like New Hampshire’s (and get the money). And did I mention the money?
From campaigns and their entourages, reporters, camp followers, and Grateful Dead-like political groupies.
But that won’t happen because as Jeff notes if some state announced a primary tomorrow New Hampshire would announce one last week. He’s right. We have a law.
Not that it matters. This is not about the primary. It’s classic liberalism. The “you didn’t build that” (certainly don’t deserve it) mentality filtered through Socialist-Democrat redistribution mechanics. Class envy applied to political primaries.
Vermont is, generally speaking, a liberal state. It used to be the most Republican state, back before Vietnam, when the hills were filled with young men hiding from the draft. It has a tradition of deep democracy, and of fairness to the minority. New Hampshire stands in contrast to this attitude. The prevailing ethic in New Hampshire is bitter envy of everything, a desiccated unwelcoming treatment of strangers unless, of course, there’s a nickel to be made. New Hampshire had the first-in-the-nation lottery and makes money by charging a toll to travelers on a section of Interstate 93, an interstate highway built with federal dollars. And along this section of highway, the state sells lottery tickets and tax-free cut-rate liquor.
Vermont didn’t even think of charging for use of the highway built with federal dollars, or any other highway. Our General Assembly in Montpelier was busy reducing electricity bills for low-income people, working on statewide health systems and guaranteeing reproductive rights. Few of these ideas got far in the New Hampshire Legislature.
Vermont used to be Republican. Now, look at it. A state that thought of a lot of liberal things. More things than he mentions. And almost all of them make New Hampshire more appealing. Put another way, we didn’t build that. Vermont did.
We share similarly low poverty and quality of life (at least for now) but Vermont has something like the 4th highest total tax burden in the country. (New Hampshire’s is 45th.) Why do these same ‘rewards’ cost less in New Hampshire?
And while I’m sure Vermont didn’t plan for that extra cost to weigh heavy on low-income people or the gender with all the reproductive rights, that’s how it works out. Reducing the electric bill is nice. We could use some of that. But backfilling bailouts or refunds by overtaxing other things doesn’t help because like all liberal experiments that “reimbursement” will eventually have to be cut to fund the cost of the government liberals think we all deserve.
I’m no fan of tolls, fines, fees, or levies, but roads don’t upkeep themselves. Nor do statewide health systems or any of the other glories of big government liberalism. Our tourism continues to rise and so far) we’ve not decided to tax our citizens into an increasingly smaller corner by design. And our health outcomes are just as good.
Vermont’s abuse is deliberate. It’s liberal. And regressive taxes hurt the poor, suppress wages, and drive out job creators. It harms the people its advocates claim to champion, every time it is tried.
It also makes Republicans more liberal. So, it never gets better.
News flash! Your quality of life and low poverty rate will be the first thing to go right after your job creators and more of those one-percenters you promise can pay for your progressive fantasies leave. Possibly for New Hampshire.
New Hampshire has a business climate that is much better than in Vermont and improving. We lowered our business taxes (and were rewarded with more tax revenue). Our workforce volume is growing larger in leaps and bounds and young people are coming back on their own. Vermont’s, not so much. Probably because, at least for the moment, we don’t envy our own residents or job creators incomes as much as Vermont does hers.
Vermont’s Sales tax affects residents and tourists alike. There’s real equity in that. It is also a matter of academic exploration. Specifically why (given other areas where we tend to appear the same such as low poverty and unemployment) New Hampshire’s economy grows faster?
Your Businesses jumped the Connecticut River to escape the, generally speaking, Liberal Green Mountain State’s growing need to plunder.
Oh, and New Hampshire residents have significantly higher average household incomes than Vermonters. Want to guess why?
Last year the Green Mountain State started offering bribes. A 10,000.00 dollar move in bonus if you brought your remote job to Bernie-Land. They also have (had?) a program to coerce tourists to stay in Vermont. Where you can check in any time you like, but you can never leave? But you can leave.
And they do. Job creators leave for New Hampshire. Jobs follow.
New Hampshire likes the bribe idea, by the way. But not to attract residents or job creators, though that’s the cover story. They like it because it gives the government more money and control. Power to ruin a good thing that gets better if you just learn to get government out of the way.
Vermont got in the way and stayed there. They’ve gone down that liberal rabbit hole and may never come out.
No Primary can fix that.
So, I like Vermont. It provides contrast to New Hampshire. And it’s a place that thinks it knows better and it’s not afraid to pick your pockets to prove it. And while New Hampshire has issues, and by 2020 it could look a lot more like Vermont thanks to liberals, we’ve not yet trapped ourselves in a place where the only solutions are higher taxes our residents can’t afford to pay to keep promises our government never intends to keep.
No primary can fix that, or stop it because Vermont’s biggest problem is, after all, Liberals. It’s New Hampshire’s biggest problem too. And Vermont would like nothing more than for the Granite State to become more like them, so they have a shot at competing again.
But if it makes you feel any better Vermonters can come and hang out with us for our primary. Just be sure to buy some liquor, lottery tickets, or cigarettes while you’re here. At least that way after you vote in our elections, we’ll still have gotten something out of it besides more liberals.