Saying it’s time for farmers to ‘make farmers politicians again,’ guv candidate issues economic plan, publishes slate of 10 candidates
April 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ –In the midst of a crisis for Vermont’s dairy farms and artisan cheesemakers, an insurgent farmer proposes a radical restructuring of Vermont. John Klar announced his GOP challenge to incumbent Republican Governor Phil Scott last October: now he throws down an ambitious gauntlet — an economic plan to support farmers by drastically cutting state regulations and spending. He has others running with him: at least ten candidates.
The COVID-19 crisis has caused milk prices and specialty cheese sales to plummet, and Vermont’s economy and agriculture are taking a brutal blow. Klar has joined that fray with bold proposals to grant food producers up to $25,000 in property tax and income tax credits. He proposes to slash administrative expenses to fund the farmers, including aggressive policing of welfare fraud, shortening the legislative session, and taking on the teacher’s union. His motto is “Farms Close, Bureaucracy Grows!” His loud complaint is gaining Green Mountain traction.
Klar is a sheep and beef farmer, but he is also a former PriceWaterhouseCoopers tax attorney. He has melded these incongruous professions into a profession of rebellion, declaring “For most of a century the Vermont farms have suffered at the parasitic hands of urbanites and bureaucrats who have whittled away their livelihoods and way of life. Vermont has been converted from a strong conservative state to a progressive playground, and the farmers have been bullied, sullied and impoverished. Farms must be central for growth, not devoured to feed government bloat. This is the “2020 Vermont Farming Manifesto.”
Klar’s detailed “Manifesto” (and video) assert the importance of local farming for the Vermont economy, its culture, its food security, and citizen health. But it is equally a condemnation of grand progressive plans to “save the planet” by taxing citizens to fund Electric Vehicles and solar panels manufactured abroad. Klar argues these will throttle a state economy burdened by grossly underfunded state pensions, and that nationally Vermont boasts the second-highest school costs, fourth-highest healthcare costs and fourth-highest welfare benefits.
This attorney-farmer argues these “climate change salvation” plans also pollute more than they save the environment, and that growing local food is the better answer. “Vermonters import most of their food from thousands of miles away, from California or even China — this is not ‘Green,’ ” Klar says. “Nor is it fresh, sustainable, or planet-saving. Vermont once fed New England, and now looks more like a Martha’s Vineyard wannabee, replete with importation of everything but maple syrup and milk. The gentrification of Vermont must cease, and our state’s values of frugality and self-reliance must be reclaimed.” That would be quite a harvest. Klar2020.com