Best Moment of the 2019 Legislative Session

May 22, 2019

by Rob Roper

During the debate over the plastic bag ban, Rep. Jim McCullough (D-Williston) explained the need for the legislation because, among other things, “the pounds of plastic in the oceans would soon outweigh the pounds of fish in the ocean.” Wow! Serious stuff.

During interrogation on the floor, Rep. Bob Helm (R-Castleton) actually

Rep. Bob Helm

confronted McCullough about this “fact,” asking for confirmation of how many pounds of fish there actually are in the ocean. McCullough had to admit he didn’t know. Then Helm asked how many pounds of plastic there were in the oceans and where that number could be verified. Again, McCullough had to admit he had no idea, and couldn’t verify anything.

It was the single best moment of the legislative session.

Helm’s point, humorously illustrated, was that many of the bills the legislature puts forward are based on false findings, incorrect assumptions, and “factoids” that really aren’t based in reality. Too often, nobody challenges those assumptions. This is how we get bad legislation that becomes bad law. And, in order to do justice to the issues and their constituents, the legislature should do a better job of vetting these foundational arguments for interfering in our lives.

Good lesson. Good laugh!

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert May 23, 2019 at 12:10 am

Where facts are few, experts are many. The far-far-far-left VT legislative majority consists of experts in unsubstantiated “facts.” It operates under the delusion that if it thinks it, it’s true.

Reply

Thaddeus Cline May 28, 2019 at 9:37 pm

The facts are that when plastic breaks down from plastic bags it harm us and it harms the environment. That’s established Science anyone can look up . So apparently you have not .
When I go fishing on the black river I see it . And by the way the person who used a shot gun to shoot a stop sign there . Your stupid and you hurt your state by doing so . And At a covered bridge no less .
You will loose the very rich fly fisher man and woman who come to this state and could keep your tax low, when you leave your plastic bags there . You will certainly loose me buying at the local mom and pop store cause you ruined my day of fishing . Now let’s get down to the bottom of this . You simply don’t want businesses to be responsible . You don’t like regulation even if it helps this state because it’s the camels nose in the tent . Once the nose is in it will just keep walking .
You can’t hear the adults talking in the room or in this case the state house . Because you have cognitive dissidents You have been or are doing “gaslighting . “
And you’re appealing to people with the pedagogy of the oppressed . As cults do .
I remember an advertisement for tricks cereal Yes the one with Processed grain and more sugar then is safe for a week . A great way to type two diabetes and sold to kids . That is if you follow science. The tag line was sorry tricks are for kids . So your either the kids or your the one tricking them . Either way it’s not moral or ethical.
And now comes a study . One most of us in this state could have told you was true without one , but they did it anyway . Evangelicals or super religious people, are in Laymans terms Nuts . And your manipulating them , to vote for what hurts them . Why time after time do you look so obvious, you could try and hide it better , but you do it right in front of all of us. Silly tiger tricks are for kids . How the hell do you sleep at night ???
Now look up what your plastic bags really do if you dare . In the mean time read Below.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28392301

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