Vermont Press Releases

Rob Roper named president of Ethan Allen Institute

NEWS For release: December 3, 2012 Contact: Rob Roper 888 5165

Rob Roper Named New President of Ethan Allen Institute

The Board of Directors of the Ethan Allen Institute is pleased to announce the election of Robert Roper, of Stowe, as its new President.

Roper, who has served on the Institute’s Board for the past year and hosted its influential Common Sense Radio weekday talk show on WDEV, will spearhead an aggressive new program to educate Vermonters on the fundamentals of a free society – individual liberty, limited government, lower taxes, competitive free enterprise, economic opportunity, fiscal responsibility, and respect for the constitution.

“The values and principles that made our country the most prosperous society the world has ever seen must be celebrated and protected,” said Roper. “We believe in and fight for the ideals laid out in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution because they work. Today, we are witnessing a systematic erosion of our rights and, sadly, the Vermont government is leading the way with a host of confiscatory taxes, unjust mandates, and ideological experiments in social engineering. Our task is to wake Vermonters up while there is still time to avert a tragedy.”

The Ethan Allen Institute will make the case for commonsense policy proposals with research and commentary on taxation, education, health care, energy and other important issues.

EAI Board Chair Jack McMullen said “I have known, worked with and respected Rob Roper for many years, and I am thrilled that he will now bring his talents to the service of free markets and economic opportunity by leading the Institute.”

Roper, a graduate of Kenyon College in Ohio, came to Vermont in 1998 after eight years as an advertising writer and marketing strategist with three international advertising companies. His accounts included such firms as Unilever, Kraft, Bronx Zoo, Colgate Palmolive, and the U.S. Postal Service.

In Vermont, Rob has provided marketing services for a number of local businesses and organizations. In public life, he has worked in several political campaigns and served for three years (Jan. 2007 – Nov. 2009) as chairman of the Vermont Republican State Committee.

Rob and his wife Hilary live in Stowe with their two children. He succeeds interim President Bruce Shields of Eden, who will return to the Institute’s 18-member Advisory Council.

The nonprofit, nonpartisan member-supported Ethan Allen Institute has long been a leading and well informed voice for limited government and greater prosperity for Vermonters. Its website is, and it will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2013.

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  • Howard Ires

    Ethan Allen has been spinning in his grave long enough. Can you please change the name of the organization to something more descriptive, like the “Association of Wealthy Tax Complainers.”

  • Cynthia Beaudette

    What do you bet that you’re the guy who goes out to dinner with the group, agrees to split the bill and then orders Chateaubriand and a $70 bottle of wine when everyone else orders chicken fingers and a beer?

    What don’t you get about the fact that we are on the road to Serfdom, the successful people in this state are quickly becoming slaves of the state? 30% of the taxpayers are now paying 70% of the bill. You know that things are pretty bad when Putin is lecturing this country about the woes of communism, our Progressive stupidity, and Pravda reports that the USA is now more communistic than they?

    • Glenn Chase

      Wow. If the wealthy in this country are slaves, sign me up! That’s the kind of slave that I want to be!

  • Linda Bosco

    To Glenn and Howard, the top 1% of income earners pay 37% of all federal income taxes. I am just curious as to what percentage do you think they should pay? What would be a fair amount?

    I am also wondering whether you both think that they should be taxed on income or wealth?

    • Glenn Chase

      The Buffet Rule is fair.

      Super rich people shouldn’t be able to pay a lower rate than working stiffs.

  • Karl Riemer

    On behalf of the people of Vermont, I want to thank the institute for educating us on the error of our ways and for shining a beacon of light down the path we should be taking. Our understanding of our rights and responsibilities as citizens is clearly deficient, we are clearly too stupid to know what’s best for us, so it is with gratitude that I beseech the institute to pursue our reeducation with zeal and alacrity.

    Incidentally, Ethan Allen having been a self-aggrandizing thug and avaricious charlatan, I’m not so sure the name isn’t apt. Heck of a drinking buddy, though, by all accounts.

  • Cynthia Beaudette

    Karl Riemer: ” We are clearly too stupid to know what’s best for us…”
    You got that right Karl, good for you! You’re so smart!

    and to Glenn Chase,

    Warren Buffet pays taxes on his INCOME exactly as do all millionaires and exactly the same as the working stiff. Smart people know the trick in life is not to work for money, but to save money and then let it work for you.If Warren saves his income, that he paid taxes on just like you but likely at a much higher rate, and then he INVESTS the money he already paid taxes on, THEN! he then gets to pay another tax, Capital Gains Tax on the money he invested and made money by doing so. This is at a different rate than INCOME TAX.
    At present 50% of all people in this country are paying -0- Income Tax. Not only that, a large percentage of the people are getting an Earned Income Credit….money back.The whole load of the country is on the backs of the top 50%. The top 30% of earners, those reaching or arriving at The American Dream, must work four to seven months of their year to satisfy the growing demand of the Federal and State government in taxes. We are right back to the Kings and Queens and Lords of old taking the crop and leaving,arbitrarily, depending on their nature, crumbs or barely enough to get by. People in this group have lost life (6 months every year) and liberty and Progressives want still more…..from YOU. Socialism is for the masses; not the Socialist. Barack Obama’s kids will never experience Obama Care.
    We are too stupid to realize that we do not have a Tax problem in this country, we have a spending problem.
    If you think the Rich are greedy by not wanting to work six months of every year for the government to redistribute, ask yourself this. Who is more greedy. People who want to work and keep what they earn or, people who don’t want to work and take from those who do?

    • Glenn Chase

      Warren Buffet is no socialist. He’s actually one of the most successful capitalists ever. His view (and mine) is that it’s fair for wealthy people to pay the same tax rate as the middle class.

      Yes, we need to cut spending too. No doubt.

  • Cynthia Beaudette

    “Super Rich should not be able to pay a different rate”

    They don’t. The rich know you can work for money for the rest of your life OR you can save it, invest it, and then have your money work for you. Takes sacrifice,planning,diligence. Warren Buffet paid INCOME TAXES just as his secretary does. His tax rate (bracket) went up as did his salary. When he saved enough, he invested wisely. The income from these investments are taxed again, not as INCOME but as Capital Gain. So the government gains from Warrens expertise at investing and his sacrifice by collecting the outcome of his already taxed income. If Warren lost money on his investments, too bad for him.

    • Neil Gerdes

      How is it double taxation, if he is making money on his investments? He is taxed on his profit, not his investment, yes?

      If I bank my money into savings, i pay taxes on the interest, at the same rate as my income. I’m not being double taxed, but I am paying a higher rate than the ‘investor’ paying capital gains taxes. I am sick to death of hearing about the poor rich people. It’s BS.

      And to get back on topic, I hope Rob Roeper does as well at the Ethan Allen Institute (nonpartisan? are you kidding me?), as he did on the radio, where he and his sugar mama Lenore Broughton helped the Democrats remain in power, stronger than ever.

  • Karen McCauliffe

    There seems to be some interesting comments about Warren Buffett particularly…”His view (and mine) is that it’s fair for wealthy people to pay the same tax rate as the middle class”. First, off Buffett takes only a salary of $100,000 per year and has done so for over 30 years. So that way, he has not paid the FICA (Medicare, Social Security) taxes on any amount above his $100,000 salary for over 30 years! Considering Buffett’s assets this is an extremely low salary to take and it has remained constant over 30 years!

    The small business owner is often set up as a S-Corp and their taxes are paid like individual income taxes. The small business owner if making over $100,000 pays more FICA taxes etc than Buffett. Perhaps if Buffett wants to have more equal taxation, then he should set up as a small business, an S-Corp would work quite well to bring more tax dollars in (I am not suggesting that corporations should do this, but since Buffet wants to pay more taxes)….or at least increase his salary of $100,000 that he has taken for over the last 30 years.

    I am not against the increased taxation and/or doing away with some of the tax breaks for people making over $200,000 individuals, $250,000 families at the same time doing some spending cuts, but I just wanted to point out how much salary Warren Buffett has taken each year for the past 30 plus years.

    Here is one source, although you can find numerous sources..

    “Moreover, since Buffett pays himself a salary of just $100,000 a year, most of his income comes from investments—long term capital gains and dividends–taxed at a special top rate of 15%. By contrast, some of the highest income taxpayers operate their businesses as privately held S corporations, which means that the businesses themselves pay no taxes, but pass through all their profits to their owners’ 1040s, where it is taxed at the ordinary top rate of 35%.”

  • Cynthia Beaudette

    Warren talks a good game but the reality is his taxes have been in dispute with the IRS for years, his not wanting to pay his fair share and all, costing the tax payer million in legal fees.

    If people could get past their jealousy of the RICH, they would see this reality. Some people are constantly striving to be rich. Anything is possible in the USA and that is the American Dream. The American Dream does not sit well with Progressive. Everyone (except them ) must be equally poor. $250,000 seems to be the cut off point established by this administration as being RICH, for now, (it will be lowered by necessity) even though, the Dems who voted for this are way wealthier. Just about every new tax coming down the pike is an earmarked restraint on any newcomer from becoming a millionaire/billionaire which is a government planned elimination of the rich. It is the end of the American Dream. It is a progressive’s just punishment of success. It will be impossible to overcome the tax burden placed on this segregated group for them to jump the hurdle from Upper Middle Class to Upper Class. Progressives are happy, for now, to shoot down upwardly mobile upper middle class…….but consider this: you are next!