If you had to predict which state’s businesses were most likely to rebound post-Covid, you would be hard pressed to bet on Vermont. Vermont business owners (especially a certain 6,067 of them) are burdened with a state government that has been exceedingly more cautious than other states in allowing businesses to operate.
2020 was an unprecedented year. From Covid-19 outbreaks, to entire swaths of the economy shut down, to peaceful/violent protests, we saw a little bit of everything. And while their may seem to be more bad news than good this year, the tail end of 2020 has brought hope with a Covid-19 vaccine. As we yearn to turn the calendar to January, it may help us to reflect on the most meaningful cultural and political events of 2020, to make us wiser for the future decisions we will make in 2021.
Here are the top 10 posts of 2020 from the EAI Blog. We look forward to connecting with you on the Blog in 2021!
The climate change warriors in California, led by the Sierra Club, have a wonderful new idea to make Californians suffer. It’s similar to the “impact charge” (tax) that the Burlington City Council wants to impose on natural gas appliance and hearing users.
Responding to an email inquiry from a concerned citizen about the real impact – and cost -- of the Global Warming Solutions Act, passed last spring over the veto of Governor Phil Scott (R), Representative Scott Campbell (D-St. Johnsbury) admitted, “Let me start by repeating that no one, least of all me, believes Vermont can stop climate change — or even affect climate change. It’s tempting to focus on that narrow issue because of the specific metrics in the law, namely the required greenhouse gas reduction thresholds (leaving aside the unfortunate name of the Act),” and, “GWSA will not ‘mitigate’ climate change…”
12 years before Vermont passed the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) in 2020, Massachusetts passed their own GWSA in 2008. The two policies mirror each other closely. Perhaps irrelevant, if you discounted VT and MA politicians' need to one-up each other.
Advocates for the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) released regional poll of New England and Mid-Atlantic states that, they say, shows overwhelming support for the de facto carbon tax on gasoline and diesel fuels. The poll consisted of an astonishing sixty – SIXTY! – questions. And, here’s how you know the whole thing is utterly worthless: not one of those sixty questions made reference to the respondents’ willingness to pay an estimated 5 to 17 cents per gallon (cpg) more at the pump.
Truth in Accounting ranked Vermont 48th out of 50 states in terms of a Financial Transparency Score. While EAI often discusses what programs should or shouldn't be in state budgets, the results of those budgets are found in a government’s comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). A CAFR is produced annually by governments and is audited by certified public accountants. The ranking is a composite score based on 8 criteria of different weights.
President elect Biden has named former Secretary of State John Kerry, whose greatest accomplishment was the Paris Climate Accord, as his White House Climate Czar. He will lead Biden’s campaign to stamp out the carbon dioxide emissions that he believes are causing climate change with all its terrors.
The Covid economic shutdowns have placed an enormous burden on small businesses. Even if the projections for an effective vaccine coming out sometime this spring are accurate and that some sense of normalcy might return by next fall, the hole these employers need to dig out of, especially in the hospitality industries, is daunting. Will the Vermont state government be part of the solution, or part of the problem?
According to stories in the New Hampshire media, Governor Chris Sununu (R) wants to cut their state rooms and meals tax, which now stands at 9%, the same as Vermont.