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: We need both good behavior and ‘bad government’

    The debate over an ethics commission rightly comes down to appearances.

    Margolis: Why is Vermont so down on itself?

    The state does comparatively well on measures such as health, life expectancy and affluence. But the gloom and doom caucus looks at demographic trends and sees only evidence of something wrong.

    Margolis: Scott stuck in an unenviable middle

    Scott’s plans are likely to be complicated by the decisions of President Trump, the Republican Congress and by two new leaders in the Legislature, Sen. Pro Tem Tim Ashe and House Speaker Mitzi Johnson.

    Margolis: Fake news, is it for real?

    Maybe Trump and his followers, with their blatant indifference to fact, have the better grasp of the future.

    Margolis: Trump’s fact-free assertions create gulf in civic debate

    Vermonters should ponder the possibility that Trump and his allies are the wave of the future.

    Vermonters after Trump win: ‘Strangers in a foreign land’

    Vermont had the lowest support for Trump of any state at 29.7 percent of the vote. Hawaii, at 30.1 percent, was second and California was third with 31.8 percent.

    Margolis: Health insurance in a post-Obamacare world

    Gov.-elect Phil Scott says he’s confident President-elect Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress will not leave thousands of Vermonters without health insurance. If he’s wrong, it could cost millions.

    Margolis: Trump’s election doesn’t mean what you think

    The “America is a rotten country” interpretation can be rejected. Millions of decent people who had voted for Barack Obama four years ago switched to Trump for reasons other than bigotry.

    Margolis: The inevitable Phil Scott

    In the end, nothing mattered. Not Donald Trump, not campaign tactics, not momentum, not the newspapers. Phil Scott was just going to be Vermont’s next governor. Vermonters were ready for something different.

    Margolis: Vermonters need to smoke more

    Well, OK, maybe encouraging more smoking is not the wisest policy. But the slow growth in those revenue sources helps illustrate a little-noticed reality about the state’s fiscal dilemma.

    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.