Dear friend of EAI,
2014 marked a turning point in Vermont. The voters crippled Peter Shumlin politically and rejected his big-government, statist agenda. Folks are catching on!
People are coming to realize that single payer healthcare is not a utopian savior. It’s an expensive, bureaucratic, inefficient nightmare. They are coming to realize that our education system and the property tax system that finances it are unsustainable and painfully unaffordable. They see that governor Shumlin’s “green” energy subsidization policy is really just cronyism rapidly emptying our pockets and, adding injury on top of injury, destroying out ridgelines and pastures at the same time.
The Ethan Allen Institute has played a critical role in educating the public on these and other key issues.
Since I took over as president of EAI in January 2013, we have expanded our ability to reach more and more people with a powerful and principled free market message. Our Facebook page now has over 1300 followers – we need more.
We have nearly doubled the size of our email list – we need more. With Bill Sayre as host, our WDEV Common Sense Radio program has hit number one with listeners over thirty-four in its time slot. We beat out VPR in market dominated by Montpelier and Waterbury. Not bad!
We gave Vermonters some powerful new tools. Our accurate Roll Call Vote Profiles and real-time Roll Call Reports awakened voters all over the state to the true nature of their representation. These were put to good use.
Perhaps our most significant new development: in the last week of October the Ethan Allen Institute was able for the first time to buy advertising time on five radio stations throughout the state. We ran a 60 second radio spot that alerted Vermonters to the fact that Act 48, Vermont’s single payer healthcare law, contains a Strategic Plan directing the state to “assume responsibility” for the administration of Medicare in Vermont.
This small media buy had a big impact. It drove the debate, and forced the media to cover the story. We need to do this many times more, on many different issues.
Today, I’m asking for your help so that together we can keep up this momentum and build on this success.
If everyone who receives this letter donates $100, EAI will be able to cover our basic operating expenses for 2015 before the new year even begins. All of our efforts after that can be concentrated on member outreach, monitoring the new legislature, and special projects like our radio campaign.
I know not everyone can afford $100. I know some can afford much more. What I am asking is that everyone do as much as you can for the cause of Liberty in Vermont with the spirit of knowing 2014 marked a strong beginning, not a happy ending.
The 2015-16 legislative session will be the most critical in modern memory. Gov. Shumlin will (finally!) ask the legislature to pass a $2 billon plus tax plan to fund his government-run, single payer healthcare scheme. At the same time, legislative leaders say they will “reform” our $1.6 billion education financing system. And they will do all this while struggling to cover an expected $100 million General Fund deficit.
The temptation to raise new taxes will be staggering. Beyond the likely payroll tax hikes for Green Mountain Care and income tax hikes to pay for the bloated public school system, legislators are already calling for a 2¢ per ounce sugar sweetened beverage tax. And, hold on to your hats….
Two weeks ago VPIRG held a news conference to announce that it and its liberal coalition will pull out all the stops to get legislators to raise a “carbon tax” that would, among other things, raise the price of gasoline by 45¢ per gallon.
It’s not just taxes. Our basic freedoms are at stake. Speaker of the House Shap Smith recently argued for passing a mandatory voting law. Vote, pay a fine or do forced community service. The Burlington gun control ordinances that would destroy Vermont’s Sportsmen’s Bill of Rights will be up for legislative ratification.
Now more than ever, Vermont needs a strong, active and empowered voice that can show Vermonters how lower taxes, freer markets, and more liberty will produce more prosperity and opportunity for all of us. We’re only as strong as you make us.
Please help us keep up the fight for liberty, prosperity, smaller government and greater opportunity in Vermont by using the enclosed envelope to make your 2015 Ethan Allen Institute membership donation today, and please be as generous as you can be.
Thank you, as always, for your continued support.
P.S. EAI is a 501c(3) nonprofit, educational organization that neither solicits nor accepts government funding. Contributions are TAX DEDUCTIBLE for businesses and individuals. Levels of membership include — Member: $50 – $99, Supporter: $100-$499, Sustaining: $500-$999, Sponsor: $1000 and above.