by Gregory Thayer
The number one issue facing Vermonters is the state of our economy. As Bill Clinton once said, “it’s the economy stupid.” I fault the democratic leadership and legislators who voted yes on the annual budget. Yes, there are items in the budget that are needed, but the overspending is out of pace with what we can afford.
It is expensive to live here in Vermont, to raise a family, to retire, or to own a business. Affordability is not synonymous to Vermont. It is the most beautiful place on God’s green earth. The majestic mountains, the rolling hills, the calms of the lakes, the soothing rivers, our clean air and water, the overall picturesque landscapes around our quaint State. As I have traveled all around Vermont, she is breathtaking! Our people are the best; hard working, dedicated, innovative, risk-takers, and full of life with positive energy and love for others and the environment that we all live, work and play in daily.
Unfortunately, the democratic leadership does not see the cost that they are accumulating against working Vermonters, they only see and want control over the people and systems, and they will do anything to achieve it. The media is in lock step with them too. They are agenda driven by their special interest groups around the country. It is time that “We The People” of Vermont stand up and take control of our beautiful State.
Vermont’s population is just north of 623,000 with a yearly population growth of 0.0% over the past five years to 2019. We rank 43rd of all 50 US states in population growth. Vermont’s gross state product (GSP) in 2019 was $30.5 billion with an annual growth of 1.3% over the same 5-years period 2014 to 2019. We have the 10th highest cost of living standard across the Nation. In 2021 the average house cost $314,562 according to MERIC index, and that is up 12% from the previous year. The median household income in Vermont is just under $48,000. annually in 2020. The cost of living in Vermont is roughly $47,397 for a single person living here in 2021. Ranking 40th highest in the U.S. but comparable to other New England states. For information on the cost to live in Vermont, visit; https://www.sofi.com/cost-of-living-in-vermont/
We need change, and new fresh ideas, and that is what I intend to bring to the Lieutenant Governor’s office. We need population growth, we need to cut regulations that have caused our housing crunch. Developers and contractors cannot build or expand housing in Vermont because the regulatory cost to to expansive or out of touch regulations. To many people are leaving Vermont because of the high cost of living and no housing and it is expansive to maintain their homes, especially the high cost of property taxes.
Without sound housing we do not have a solid workforce. We need people to fill jobs, from skilled labor to unskilled laborers. We need people moving here to Vermont and jobs, housing, and other tools to retain people here. Small business is the life blood to our economic prosperity.
I am running for the Vermont Lieutenant Governor to affect positive change. I have experience doing this hard work. We must elect people across Vermont to that want to realize this same positive outlook. The current democrat leadership under the Dome do not hold these values or thinking. Their policies over the past fifteen years are not working for the people of our State. My campaign is about; “We The People,” a common-sense approach to governing, and listening to stakeholders.
Our state budget is out of control at $8.3 billion. Every legislator that voted for it and over the years are responsible for this affordability problem. Taxes and the overburdening regulations are squeezing every Vermonter to make choices on what to pay for in their every day life. Being all things to all people attitude is increasing the cost of living issues here, making it too expensive to live, work, and play here. The current legislative leadership is responsible for this burden. We need serious people and personal responsibility to measure all State money programs.
Greg Thayer is a Rutland resident and candidate for lieutenant governor.