Jon Margolis

Jon Margolis

Jon Margolis is VTDigger's columnist. He is the author of The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964, left the Chicago Tribune early in 1995 after 23 years as Washington correspondent, sports writer, correspondent-at-large and general columnist. Margolis spent most of his Tribune years in the Washington Bureau as the newspaper’s chief national political correspondent. In 1988, he was a one of the journalists asking questions of Senators Lloyd Bentsen and Dan Quayle in their televised vice presidential debate. Before joining the Tribune in 1973, Margolis had been the Albany Bureau Chief for Newsday. He was the first reporter on the scene of the Attica prison rebellion in 1971, and spent the entire first night inside the prisoner-held “D” yard. Earlier, Margolis was a reporter for the Bergen Record in Hackensack, N.J.; the Miami Herald and the Concord Monitor (N.H.). In addition to The Last Innocent Year, published by William Morrow in 1999, he is the author of How To Fool Fish With Feathers: An Incompleat Guide to Fly Fishing (Simon and Schuster, 1991) and The Quotable Bob Dole — Witty, Wise and Otherwise, (Avon Books, 1995). He also wrote two chapters of Howard Dean: A citizens Guide to the Man Who Would be President (Steerforth, 2003). A native of New Jersey, Margolis graduated from Oberlin College in 1962. He served in the US Army.

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    Margolis: Penny-pinching part of the Scott plan

    Proposing to save a penny on every dollar is not a policy. It may be “a goal, a concept,” but it is not a plan.

    Margolis: Demonizing taxes is un-American

    When Democratic candidate for governor Sue Minter suggested that the Blue Ribbon Tax Commission’s recommendations be given another look, she might as well have proposed the spread of cholera germs — judging by the reaction of the Vermont GOP.

    Margolis: The politics of automobile welfare

    America’s vehicle transportation system is a perverse form of socialism under which everybody is taxed so the drivers and their passengers can ride around without paying the full cost of their trips.

    Margolis: Vermont party politics crosses to the silly side

    Just as one might begin to wonder what could be sillier than Vermont Democrats, along come Vermont Republicans to bail them out.

    Margolis: Drowning in a tide of arrogance

    Which came first at the Public Service Board: the police state tactics or the obstructionist zealotry?

    Margolis: Political high ground? Nope, just beach sand

    The whole conversation this year about personal wealth and public policy has been muddle-headed. And no one has muddled it more than Bernie Sanders.

    Margolis: For Republicans, Scott is the life of a small party

    The Democratic turnout this year was almost the same as in 2010, the last time that party had a contest for governor. So the Republican fall-off can’t be attributed to having moved up the primary.

    Margolis: ‘The Vermont way’ to win or lose an election

    Bruce Lisman’s money bought him little more than humiliation, losing by some 20 percentage points to Phil Scott. But a slew of TV ads in the final days before the primary explains state Sen. David Zuckerman’s apparent victory in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor.

    Margolis: Sowing doubt, but is it from GMO seed?

    Like so many political debates, this one may be as much tribal and psychological as scientific and rational.

    Margolis: If this is ‘boring,’ then let’s have more

    The governor’s race is a substantive one in which all five principal candidates are making serious public policy proposals. Second, not one of them is a fool or a scoundrel.

    Margolis: For a scandal, it takes more than the latest emails

    Perhaps Bernie Sanders, who has lost elections before, understands that while losing can be honorable, whining about it is not. Would that all his followers understood that, too.

    Margolis: Why Vermont has little to fear from Florida

    There is scant evidence that scads of wealthy Vermonters have been decamping to Florida, or anywhere else for that matter, because of taxes or any other factor.

    Margolis: For Sanders and his crowd, the end of a wild ride

    for a few weeks — after the New Hampshire primary March 1, after the Michigan primary a week later — it appeared not all that foolish to speculate that Sanders could win the nomination, meaning he could win the presidency.

    Margolis: Why ‘cure’ Vermont’s economy if it isn’t sick?

    The common theme among the Vermont economy sourpusses is that taxes are too high and regulations too stringent, discouraging business expansion.