I Love Most Black People

Black people have had it notoriously tough in America. Many of the ancestors of black people started as slaves in America. Meaning their lineage in America goes back further than mine. I’m an Irish/European mutt immigrant.

Now many blacks live in urban America. Vermont is a very white state. I am proud of my northern European heritage but I am fond of most black people.

Many black people are incredible athletes and for their percentage of the population they are over-represented in sports like football and the NBA.

I think every race on this earth deserves a shot at life. I believe in birth control. The population is over run as it is, but I believe every race deserves a shot at life.

Hopefully we will ultimately achieve a one-world community, where every race is celebrated and supported. You wouldn’t believe it was possible based on the world leaders of the world…how belligerent they are…but they are just puppets.

I know this is optimistic: that we can achieve a one-world community.  The more realistic way things will go down is that competition for precious resources will continue to rise with the population and conflict will follow.

It doesn’t have to be this way. If we all took a moment to visualize a sustainable world with a sustainable population…maybe all males over the age of 30 (this includes me) make a significant sacrifice for the next generation, whether it’s money or resources or aid.

Maybe we could play survival games where each nation participates in an equal playing field game and the loser nation gets sterilized for that generation. If we continue to over populate the world we risk destroying it.

Of course humans could probably continue living on planet earth if we destroyed the natural habitat but they would be in very small numbers and it wouldn’t be a fun life confined to an atmospheric bubble to protect them from the surface temperature of the earth.

I’ve been trying a lot lately to “let go and let God” but it’s awfully hard to part ways with the human experience for future generations. I want humans to survive for the next million years.

I just believe that if we made the switch to renewables and taxed the wealthy and corporations more almost everybody could live without working. Robots could take our place. And the labor that did have to be done could be split evenly among the people so there aren’t resentments.

The Koch Brothers are Fucked in the Head

After reading Jane Mayer’s book “Dark Money” I am disturbed.

The book describes the multi-billionaire Koch brothers and how sick they are.

Consider this: At my buddy’s farm these goat siblings stood up for one another against another goat. That’s just the natural order…siblings stand up for each other…you see it in rural Shoreham, VT.

Not with the Koch brothers. These sick twisted men, well Charles, he tried to blackmail a brother over homosexual relationships.  Fucked in the head.

This is what you get with a society as unhealthy as this one, where the rich are so busy and hell bent on money and power.

In another part of the book it talks about how David Koch who is worth something like $40 billion doesn’t even tip his hired help when they move all his stuff on the weekends when he and his family go out from NYC to the beach.

These people behave as though no one matters.

Fuck them. Humans have the ability to freeze someone out of the fold. I know how this works because it happened to me twice in my life: once after my car accident, and after I came out about my mental illness.  

Humans can freeze each other out of society and just fail to serve or deal with certain people. The greed. It’s just so transparent and sick. It’s twisted. Life is not about becoming a rich individual. This is selfish. The point is to rise as a society.

Those goats: brothers and sisters looking out for one another.

If society could freeze me out for having a mental illness it can certainly freeze out the Koch’s.

Society could just familiarize themselves with their picture like they would with someone on the FBI’s most wanted list and refuse to deal with them. 

When I had my mental break I said, “Hell is a cold place” out loud on Christmas day in 2012 in front of my parent’s home estranged from some of my friends and my phone took a picture in my pocket as if to capture the moment.

“Hell is a cold place” was one of many things I spoke outloud during my mental break as if I was quoting an authority impromptu and to myself. I think it means: that when humans are functioning at their best we can freeze people out who are toxic to our mission.

It happened to me twice: once was an accident and once was a disease that I had no control over.

If it can be used against me for those stupid reasons it can be used against the Koch’s for their greed.

Greedy People Run Health Care in America

Gone are the days when doctors traveled John Steinbeck’s heartland with a leather satchel tending to the poor out of the goodness of their hearts.

From hospitals to insurers to, yes, even doctors, greedy people run health care in America. Just like the greedy in the financial and energy sector. Health care providers are greedy. And greed needs to stop. We all need to take a deep breath and value what we have and who we are.

This latest article in the New York Times reports how some insurers are asking for rate increases of up to 41 percent this year.

It’s all because we have a for-profit health care system in America instead of a national health plan that covers all of our citizens.

Hospitals run up the number of procedures they perform on patients not because the outcomes are better, but rather because every procedure can be charged to that patient’s insurance.

Nobody wants to believe that doctors are greedy, but some of them are. Some of them are in bed with Big Pharma, over-prescribing and diagnosing patients just so that they can get them on drugs.

I spent all weekend reading about the maniacal Koch brothers. Greed has got to stop. These primitive men who beat their hands on their chests and scream, “I can do any fucking thing I want” when they don’t get their way are fucked in the head and they are running most of the corporate world in this country.

Instead let’s imagine a world where we come together around a bigger purpose. Imagine we don’t hate on each other online. Imagine we look out for each other, one neighbor looking out for another, everyone on a block knowing everyone else. Imagine a United States that, like a mother will instinctively do for her children, puts the interests of its citizens ahead of the interests of the rest of the world.

The Insatiable Desire for Money Among the Already Rich is Disturbing

Visit Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s Twitter page and you will see that he describes himself as the Uber CEO and a “serial entrepreneur.” Read serial killer. The mindset is similar in certain ways: both want domination.

Just retire. You made your fortune. Please for the sake of the rest of us. In God’s good name what do these people who have made a fortune beyond all measurement need by working to make more money on top of it? Where does it all stop?

It’s like the Koch brothers spending, with their allies, north of $800 million on this election so they can make more money. They are so rich. Why can’t the super rich just retire and enjoy their money? How much more money do they need? Moreover can’t they part ways with most of their fortune and help others in need out?

Part of what the Free Masons laugh about when they get together is that the rich could not have built this great nation. They wouldn’t know what to do with a wrench and a car problem. They wouldn’t know how to build a bridge. They know how to skirt finance laws and rip people off, but are these virtuous traits? Hell no.

This country needs less greedy money whores and more well-balanced, generous, loving, caring individuals. There should be $15,000 allocated annually to each American above the age of 18 from taxes on the super rich and corporations. In return every able bodied American out of high school should be required to spend two years in the military until they are 20.

As an aside i think the genders should be segregated between the ages of 11 and 20 to prevent rapes and sexual assault even though “seperate but equal” rings in my mind from the terrible Jim crow days. Speaking from experience I and so many of my peers were distracted in front of females in school. Talk to some of the females and they could do without the males. And my liberal upbringing cries out that this is discrimination against women,  but consider we were talking about wild animals when we were talking about men and women humans. Cuz that’s what we are. Wild. From our jails to our university campuses. We’re wild. And when you mix wild men with wild women sexual assaults spike.

I whole heartedly support mixing the various races in America. One way Americans can overcome racial differences is to go into the service together and become a team together fighting (patrolling our outposts, monitoring the oceans, etc.) for USA and good naturedly ribbing each other about their racial backgrounds. We can teach them by modeling this behavior.

Now take sex again.

What if there were roles each gender played like gender roles genders play in basically every other species on planet earth and say that we’ve grown so far away from those norms we don’t see them modeled and pass them on to the next generation any more. Monkey see, monkey do.

And further more imagine that our survival depends on getting back to our traditions as tribal members, willing to fight and die for this great nation.

Now I’m all for women in the workplace and we need more of them managing fortune 500 companies and getting elected to political office. But their job description should be different and more intuitive to them.

That’s why requiring that every able bodied American serve for at least two years in the military will help.

And in the military it SHOULD BE taught that greed is not a value that is prized. That sacrifice and courage are more honorable. The histories of the various nations that make up America would be taught in the military. And it would be taught that we are the chosen few who entered the “Promised Land”. And we must defend this homeland to the death against all foreign threats like China and Russia, who Trump is SUCKING up to. What’s up with that? I mean I’m LGBT but homo alert. For real. Why don’t you and putin just go have butt sex? Brokeback mountain style…with putin looking like he did in those “staged” shots they took of him like horse back riding shirtless. Or hang gliding or whatever he staged to get elected in that strange country. At least in Africa and other poor nations like Ireland they wear their fortunes on their sleeve…their smiles. Poor country boys but rich in their hearts.

When all the other countries of Europe picked cathedrals and art as their demands in return for God’s love, Ireland said we’ll starve for God’s love. And so they did. The potato famine starved them.

Now I’m all set people. I know this is not real. That it’s just my mental illness that’s speaking, but what if some of the stories in the bible were true?  and even suppose they’re not…they are still creations of our ancestors to help future generations out.

I have accepted the need for medication and I know that like my now deceased brother who suffered from a similar mental illness I am prone to believe things that aren’t true.

Imagine there really was a God…or were multiple gods…how do we not know? We don’t know what is beyond our reality.

We should just resolve to retire after we’ve hit $10 million.  Collectively. I just think we should all agree that that’s the amount you need to live comfortably but modestly for the rest of your life. Maybe even $2 million. I don’t know. I just know that the mindless pursuit of ever more money (serial entrepreneur) is futile. It’s so much more about the interactions with our children that matters.

While the Hunters Hunt

It’s difficult to climb a mountain or read a book when the hunters hunt.

When the Koch brothers raise over $800 million to get their candidates elected.

This is war.

This is veterans committing suicide and dying on waiting lines because we underfund their health care,  yet the billionaire hunters hunt for more money.

It used to be tribal…tribes of humans looking after one another.

Now the hunters hunt and cars whiz a million different directions and pollution gets worse and it feels like we’re in our dying Era of human activity and still the hunters hunt.

They can’t get enough money… $10 billion it’s not enough… $20 billion, it’s not enough… $30 billion it’s still not enough…they hunt for more money.

If we could only hospitalize the greedy the way we can hospitalize mental patients and get them away from their tools of warfare against their fellow citizens but alas we can’t…not yet anyway.

When thousands upon tens of thousands of men and women operate for the hunters it takes a sustained resistance…people like Bernie standing up to them.

Taking the time to get educated about the issues and motivate others.

We’re still a community.

I still love my class mates from Middlebury because they were stimulating to be around and we shared a time and a place together.

It’s time we be monkeys.

Monkeys getting territorial about a food source.

They fight you know. I’ve seen video of it.

Monkeys going to war.

The hunters will hunt. There can never be too many suicides or mass shootings or extinction events to stop them from their singleness of purpose to make more money. Yes brothers and sisters they have blood on their hands and still they hunt for more money.

But the monkeys can fight back together.

If you ever loved anyone or anything more than yourself…realize that we are a tribe.

It’s in our DNA to link arms and march into the gunsmoke…they can’t kill us all if we stand together and march on them.

It’s very simple. The hunters want more money… we want more free time, more family time, more community, more learning, more athleticism.

Will you go to war with your brothers and sisters, not a conventional war but a war nonetheless? Primal instincts are in play.  Will you fight for what is right? What is just?

We don’t need another former soldier dead to realize that we need to do more in our short lives than be entertained and pick up a check every Friday.

We must go door to door in our neighborhoods which is a constitutional right and introduce ourselves. We must have our neighbors over for meals… and the rich and famous? Anyone can be famous in a neighborhood or a small town or a city. Let’s love those who have the capability and the interest in loving us back. We give so much attention and money and time to celebrities like Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift…they don’t pick our children up from school when we’re busy…we’re investing our money and energy into the wrong people.

No celebrities get interested in themselves and the illuminati and all the gimmicks and slights and arrogance that goes with being a celebrity. Then celebrities and billionaires like the Koch brothers work together to hunt us for more money.

Each day the means of making that money get trickier and trickier.

What is the point of living in a community when your neighbors lie and cheat and steal from you? When everyone is only interested in themselves? There is no point.

We can do better. We have to do better. It starts with how we raise our children. We really must not corrupt them. We really must show them love and give them an early role to play in the survival of the family: chores etc.

The hunters will hunt because there is nothing in their cold calculating hearts except dollar signs and profit margins, but we can choose to see a beautiful world where every minute of life is precious.

A life where one can hike a mountain, swim in a lake or read a book and not worry that while they are playing people like the Kochs are hunting them.

Let’s resolve right now that we’re here for the right reasons, the pure reasons, the natural reasons. That we are monkeys being hunted.

That we will not die passively…telling ourselves sweet nothings to make all the warning signs go away like the passengers on three of the four airliners that crashed on 9/11. That we will say “let’s role” and rush the attackers and fight to the death…not physically attacking the Kochs but holding sustained political pressure on our representatives until change is hard won and passed.

Matt Dunne Releases Renewable Energy Siting Policy

White River Junction — Matt Dunne, Democratic candidate for Governor, today released his renewable energy siting policy. Renewable energy siting has been an issue of deep concern throughout this campaign. It consistently comes up at forums, in interviews and on the campaign trail across the state.

“As I travel across Vermont, I’ve heard concerns about the siting of renewable energy projects. Many times, these projects have created unfortunate division within our state,” said Matt Dunne, Democratic Candidate for Governor. “We must battle climate change and continue down the path to 90% renewable energy by 2050. We need to do our part to show the country what is possible. But we must do this in a Vermont way.”

As governor, Matt’s policy on energy siting will be:

  • Large-scale ridgeline wind projects should only take place with the approval of the towns where the projects are located. As governor, I will ensure that no means no. Towns should be voting by Australian ballot, and if a town says no to a large industrial wind project I would use all the power of the Governor’s office to ensure that is the end of the project.
  • Vermont’s renewable energy future is largely in solar and small-scale hydro. Solar does not have the adverse environmental impact of wind and it can be sited in a way that accommodates community concerns.
  • We should create incentives for microgrid development and renewable energy projects that are placed within a microgrid territory. This will allow for much more efficient distribution and help for local consumption of local energy.

“Matt Dunne has consistently shown that he listens to Vermonters,” said Peter Galbraith, Democratic candidate for Governor. “Matt understands the anguish that large-scale wind projects cause many Vermont communities. His statement today is a big step in the direction of a renewable energy policies that serve the interests of Vermonters, and not the corporations.”

“While I won’t close the door to new wind projects, large-scale wind projects are not right for all parts of the state. Unless supported by the local community, it is difficult to justify the divisions and controversy they create,” said Dunne. “We also all have to recognize that large-scale wind projects do have impacts on the ecology of places where they are built, something we must weigh when considering development.”

For more information about Matt’s proposals for protecting our environment and securing our energy future, please visit:  http://www.mattdunne.com/energy-environment/

War in America

They move through chaos with their guns drawn and their bodies tensed alertly
One moves with his arm on the back of another followed by yet another with his arm on the back of the one he follows
A team moving through the bullets looking out for one another
These are our soldiers getting shot at in our streets
I noticed it when I got back from Italy last winter:
The relaxed feeling in Italy was gone as soon as we got to customs
A man with a black crew cut questioned me about my bags. He was highly alert and a product of our military.
This is America where the military produces one homogenous style of watch dog and protector
This American military makes itself present in our police force
Tightly knit from sea to sea.
Respecting the flag. Respecting duty.
Yes a little too proud at times. Cocky even but that’s what shit kicking in the name of America brings out.
Too deadly with blacks yes but they keep law and order on our streets. Corrupt sometimes but not all the time.
Some struggle with mental illness.
These military brutes with their short hair and their jacked appearance make America safe and love or hate them this is who they are.
They operate on common sense and facts. They interrogate.
Sometimes justice is served. Sometimes injustice prevails.
This is our police force. Children look up to them…that childlike belief that all is safe and friendly with these men looking after us. And usually it is. But something deadly is at work in our nation. Chaos is coming.
Can we keep that childlike belief alive and well?
Can we live in a wholesome nation again where all people are productive and drug free and the police don’t really have to work because the people keep the streets safe?
Where blacks aren’t hated and killed?
Must we always have selfish needs and raise selfish ungrateful children?
Can we accept responsibility for our society and come together to make it great?
Can we stop idolizing people who don’t give a damn about us who live in Hollywood but only care about themselves and instead invest our love and energy into our neighbors?
Knock on doors? Introduce ourselves?
Make new friends?
Learn to forgive? Feel joy? Let go of anger?
The military police will be the military police.
.Let’s give these heroes a break from gun fire and war on our very own shores.
Let’s love blacks and Hispanics as our fellow countrymen and band together as Americans.
The fundamental question is: will we survive for another hundred thousand years or will we perish and do we care?
Our ancestors got us this far. They sacrificed everything for us.
If I could save this great nation by running into bullets to take out an enemy bent on destroying us I would.
I would give it all up for children, the purist expression of humanity around, with fresh instincts, honesty and concern for the well being of the world.
I would run into those bullets, gun drawn, blasting away just like our ancestors did in two world wars before us.
If only we would cherish this gift of life and cherish each other and cherish our children and all they represent.
We will not out live time in these our bodies in the only existence we may ever know but a piece of us can live on in our children and in that way we can be immortal.
We stand at a crossroads: will we give in to our worst impulses and fight and have drama and escape reality through drug use or will we face the music and rise to the occasion?
What will humanity look like for the next hundred thousand years?
Will we continue to destroy a planet that we need to survive? Will we stand up to billionaires whose gospel is “make that money” to the extent that nothing else matters?
Who do we want to be as an animal?
If we don’t enforce birth control around the world we will continue to compete for resources and grow poorer and more polluted and some will starve, one of the most heinous ways to die, and wars will need to be fought.
Can we pause for a minute and say enough is enough? This doesn’t feel good…I’m not proud of who I am and what I represent…
Can we pause and set up a regimen for living that takes us into the future sustainably?
The answer is yes!
We can put people on the moon. We can survive another hundred thousand years without war and hate.
When your life is interrupted like mine was and you sit in one place for a month like I did in the hospital, you realize that Sometimes you get so busy from childhood on that you never really pause. You never have the chance to change your political party or your hobbies or your friends or your career.
Your just on an inevitable ride to the end on autopilot.
We can stop this train!
We can look around this beautiful planet, the only thing like it in the vast depths of the universe that we know of like it, and we can preserve it. For our children. If only for those first ten years of pure joy and uninhibited instinct. Child like belief in the goodness of police and authority figures. The first sensations of sunrise and thunder storms and snow. How magical it all seems when you are first a child.
We must preserve that. That first ten years.
How selfish it is that we want to live to be 100 at the expense of the next generation. Our ancestors died at 18 for us. They lived the good life. They got that first ten years and then they passed it on to us. If you got your ten years you got it baby! You got the magic of life! Now is time to sacrifice so the next generation can get ten good years. And so on and so forth for the next hundred thousand years.
If I could save the world by running headlong into bullets I would but the military won’t take me and I’m not sure that would be my most useful purpose. I’m a writer not a warrior.
It takes a whole country to have the same willingness to give it all up for those first ten years of the next generation.
Wake up America!
I’m here to tell you that life is a magical gift from the gods those first ten years and if you’ve lived it you’ve experienced the purpose of being born. Pass it on!

Dozens of Former State Legislators Endorse Matt Dunne for Governor

Burlington, VT – Matt Dunne, Democratic candidate for Governor, today received endorsements from more than three dozen former state legislators, including dozens of people Matt served with during the eleven years he spent in the House and Senate. Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of endorsements Matt is receiving as more and more Vermonters join in support of his candidacy for Governor. It is the first of three endorsement announcements that will be made this week, including from additional past and sitting state legislators.
“I’m honored to have the support of such a respected, experienced group of Vermonters” said Matt Dunne, Democratic candidate for Governor. “Serving alongside these individuals was one of the most valuable experiences of my life. Those 11 years inform my worldview and my campaign, and give me confidence that our progressive vision is not only a possibility, but also exactly the kind of policy Vermont needs. Together, with the backing of this esteemed group of Vermonters, we’re running a campaign to make the economy work for everyone.”
Today, Matt was endorsed by:
Former Senators:  Mary Ann Carlson from Bennington County, Matt Choate from Caledonia County, Don Collins from Franklin County, Hinda Miller from Chittenden County, and Cheryl Rivers from Windsor County.
And by Former Representatives: Sandy Baird from Burlington, Joyce Barbieri from Wallingford, Chuck Bohi from Hartford, Carol Buchdahl from Georgia, Jack Candon from Norwich, Diane Carmolli from Rutland City, Andrew Christiansen from East Montpelier, Wendell Coleman from Londonderry, Michel Consejo from Swanton, Thomas Costello from Brattleboro, Barbara Grimes from Burlington, Christopher Healy from Norwich, Steve Hingtgen from Burlington, Cheryl Hooker from Rutland City, Margaret Hummel from Underhill, Michael Klopchin from Clarendon, Alysia Krasnow Butler from Charlotte, Jerry Kreitzer from Rutland City, Doris Lingelbach from Thetford, Mary Mazzariello from Rutland City, Michael McCarthy from St. Albans, Donny Osman from Plainfield,  Mary-Ann Parizo from Essex, Kathy Pellett from Chester, Daryl Pillsbury from Brattleboro, Dexter Randall from Newport, Ann Seibert from Norwich, Ernest Shand from Weathersfield, Andrew Snyder from Pittsford, Bob Stannard from Manchester, Perry Waite from Pawlett, Linda Waite-Simpson from Essex, and Jeff Young from St. Albans.
“Matt and I co-sponsored universal healthcare legislation in the early 1990s, because we share the belief that healthcare is a human right,” said Andrew Christiansen, a former State Representative from East Montpelier. “That policy priority is as relevant today as it was back then, maybe even more so. Matt has the experience and the leadership skills to make universal healthcare a reality in Vermont, which is why I’m proud to back him for Governor.”
Mike Klopchin, a former State Representative from Clarendon, said: “I am supporting Matt because I appreciate the open and honest conversations he had with fellow legislative members in committees and on the house floor. Many of those conversations were joining me and others in fighting to support veterans when they return home from war. As a veteran myself, I appreciate his support of the vets.”
“I am thrilled to throw my support behind Matt Dunne in his campaign for Governor of Vermont. I served with Matt in the Vermont State House from 1999-2000, and was impressed from day one by his grasp of the issues and his ability to work with all the differing viewpoints and personalities in the building,” said Alysia Krasnow Butler, a former State Representative from Charlotte. “I’ve watched his career from afar and continue to be impressed by his commitment to Vermonters and the issues that are most important to them, while looking to the future for his children’s generation. I have told all of my Vermont relatives and friends to support Matt in this election. He truly is the best person to lead Vermont forward”
Charles Bohi, a former State Representative from Hartford said: “I urge Vermont voters to support Matt Dunne for governor in the Democratic primary on August 9. One of the biggest problems facing Vermont is the need for robust economic development to create jobs that will allow our young people to stay here. Because of his long years working for Google, Matt Dunne has had unique exposure to this new form of communication. He also has been ‘present at the creation’ of many technical innovations that are essential for Vermont’s continued economic growth. For that reason, I hope that Vermont voters will nominate and elect Matt Dunne to the governor’s office.”
Last month, Matt was endorsed by the Executive Committee of the AFL-CIO, the Vermont State Employees Association (VSEA), a majority of the Burlington City Council, Rights & Democracy and the Upper Valley Young Liberals.
To learn more about Matt and his progressive vision for Vermont, please visitwww.MattDunne.com

Matt Dunne Receives Major Endorsement from Rights & Democracy

Upper Valley Young Liberals also Endorses Matt’s Candidacy

Burlington, VT – Rights & Democracy, a grassroots organization working for progressive policies, has endorsed Matt Dunne for Governor, citing his proposals to raise the minimum wage to a living wage of $15 an hour, implement universal healthcare for all Vermonters and create jobs while also addressing climate change.

“I’m honored to receive the endorsement of Rights & Democracy, an inspirational grassroots organization fighting for the same progressive policies our campaign is about: a $15 minimum wage, universal healthcare and addressing the serious problem of climate change” said Matt Dunne, Democratic candidate for Governor. “Together, we can make this shared vision a reality.”

“Matt is fighting to continue Bernie Sanders’ people-powered movement here in Vermont. Rights & Democracy is dedicated to bringing Vermonters together to make real change, and we believe that Matt Dunne is the candidate who will work to ensure our state and economy works for all of us, not just a wealthy few and big corporations,” said James Haslam, Executive Director of Rights & Democracy.

Rights & Democracy is a grassroots organization in Vermont and New Hampshire building a movement for workers’ rights, including a living wage, access to quality healthcare, education, affordable housing and social supports paid for with a progressive and fair tax system, as well as an economy that creates good jobs while taking bold action to protect the environment and address climate change. Rights & Democracy is building on Bernie Sanders’ political revolution, which mobilized voters in a way never seen before and galvanized support for progressive policies while bringing people into the process who had previously felt left out. The organization boasts a well-organized door-to-door canvass operation and thousands of members and supporters throughout Vermont.

Matt also received the endorsement of the Upper Valley Young Liberals, a new group made up of young activists in the area, most of whom met while working on Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. The group is dedicated to fostering political involvement and cultural responsibility. A core goal of the organization is to bring more young people and youthful energy into the political process and into elective office.

Earlier this month, Matt was endorsed by the Executive Committee of the AFL-CIO, the Vermont State Employees Association (VSEA) and a majority of the Burlington City Council.

To learn more about Matt’s candidacy, please visit www.MattDunne.com

Dem Gov. Candidate Matt Dunne Releases Plan to End State Tax on Social Security Income for Middle Class Vermonters

Tax Cut is Key Component of Dunne’s Comprehensive Policy Agenda on Aging in Vermont

White River Junction, VT: – Matt Dunne, Democratic candidate for governor, today unveiled a comprehensive senior citizen policy platform including a proposal to exempt middle class Vermonters’ Social Security income from all state tax and benefit calculations. Matt made the announcement following a visit to the Bugbee Senior Center in White River Junction.
“The tax on Social Security income is regressive, and hits seniors living on fixed incomes when they can least afford it,” said Matt Dunne, Democratic candidate for governor. “As governor, I will put an end to taxing our middle class seniors’ hard earned Social Security income at the state level, because we shouldn’t be funding government on the backs of those who can afford it the least.”
Currently, Social Security income that is taxable at the federal level is also counted as part of Vermont taxable income. In addition, all Social Security income is included in the definition of Vermont household income, which is used to calculate benefits such as property tax adjustments and renter rebates.
Moreover, it is often considered a double tax because earned income tax is calculated before Social Security contributions are withheld. This means that wages are taxed before an income earner pays into the Social Security system, and then, if the federal income threshold is met, Social Security benefits are taxed at the time they are received.
Dunne’s plan would make Social Security income exempt from Vermont state tax for middle class households earning 150% of VT median household income. Currently, joint filers with more than $32,000 in income and single filers with more than $25,000 in income pay Federal and Vermont state taxes on their Social Security income.
In addition to the middle class tax cut, Dunne also unveiled his comprehensive policy platform addressing the challenges currently confronting Vermont’s seniors.
“I am proud to have been fighting for Vermont’s seniors from my first days as a state legislator,” said Dunne. “I co-sponsored a plan to allow Medicare reimbursements for home care, so seniors could choose to age in place, and I teamed up with Peter Welch to fight a large Vermont employer that had summarily canceled retiree benefits. At Google, I funded a successful internet training program for seniors to help protect them from online scams. But there is much more to do to improve the quality of life for seniors in our state.”
As Governor, Matt will:
  • Support services that keep our seniors active, connected, and healthy by supporting senior centers so that aging Vermonters have a vibrant community hub, which is essential for well-being. Additionally, he will enhance the Meals on Wheels program and expand the SeniorCorps programs, which provide great value to both seniors and their communities.
  • Change the way property taxes are levied to reflect seniors’ ability to pay, revising the tax code to recognize that many seniors live on fixed incomes and do not have increased ability to pay rising property taxes even when their property increases in value. No senior should be forced from their home by skyrocketing property taxes.
  • Establish a public retirement plan, setting up retirement savings accounts for Vermonters whose employers don’t offer them, and make it easy to contribute through voluntary payroll deductions. This will help Vermonters retire with dignity and save the state millions of dollars by reducing reliance on state supports.
  • Get prescription drug prices under control by pursuing creative options, including bulk purchasing or re-importation from Canada, to make sure seniors on fixed incomes have access to life extending medicines.
  • Encourage video-conferencing for health check-ins and other needs to improve information access and quality of life for seniors living in isolation. Whether seniors need to talk to a medical professional, or simply connect to friends and family, this easy to use, intuitive technology can make a profound difference in seniors’ lives.
  • Get caught up on affordable housing by making investments in housing in walkable downtowns, where aging Vermonters can walk to grocery stores, libraries and other amenities.
  • Enhance our utility rate-payer advocacy group. Moving the rate-payer advocacy group out of the commissioner’s office and into the Attorney General’s office will ensure its work is clearly aligned with the best interest of our citizens, including seniors who are often disproportionately hit by misleading utility contracts.
  • Unleash the power of our retired professionals to help get more Vermonters to college through a new Seniors to Seniors Program, which will match high school students with retired professionals who can help them prepare for standardized tests, make them aware of the many higher education options available, including online and distance learning, and can help work through the maze of paperwork required for financial aid and scholarships.
  • Provide scam education and protection by increasing our commitment to protecting and educating our citizens about scams of all types, from phone solicitations to knocks at the door, as well as provide a help-line for anyone to ask about suspicious activity.
  • Introduce ride-sharing programs where public transportation isn’t available. Ride-sharing programs that allow seniors to request a ride when they need it, at a lower cost than traditional taxi services, can be an easy and cost-effective solution for aging Vermonters facing decreased mobility in our rural state.
To learn more about Matt’s policy proposals, visit www.MattDunne.com