The EAI Blog is a forum for our members and followers to post and share a variety of perspectives on topical issues. We encourage diverse, and civil debate. These opinions do not necessarily reflect the position of the Institute.

Senate Rental Registry Debate Colored by Visions of Ideal Government

Senator Michael Sirotkin’s testimony last week in favor of a rental housing registry (S.210), was quite illuminating. “I think what this really comes down to is a philosophy issue. One person thinks that government can do good, and in some cases it needs to do good. And other people feel like when there's government involvement it can't do any good. I think their lies the crux of the difference of opinion. We have a rental housing inspection system that does not work, it hasn't worked for 30 years now we have a big problem and it's time for us to step up and fix it.”

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The $48 Million Child Tax Credit Game

Last week we were treated to a self congratulatory news release from House speaker Jill Krowinski and Ways and Means chair Janet Ancel, announcing their latest venture to fight poverty: the child tax credit.  “It is critical we continue to work together to support all Vermonters as we recover from pandemic and focus on building resilient communities,” said Speaker Krowinski. “Today’s vote on a child tax credit for working families…is a key part of this plan. H.510 will provide needed relief for Vermonters to make payments on their mortgage or rent, buy food and basic essentials, pay for child care, and so much more.”

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Oops. Major Component of Climate Plan Violates US Constitution.

The unelected Climate Council put forward its Climate Action Plan (CAP) in December 2021 with two major components: 1) The Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI), which was basically a cap-and-trade-style carbon tax on motor fuels, and 2) a Clean Heat Standard (CHS), which is basically a cap-and-trade-style carbon tax on fossil based home heating fuels (oil, propane, natural gas, kerosene).

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Scott’s Contractor Bill Veto

On February 10 Gov. Scott vetoed H.157, the Small Contractor Registration Bill, on the grounds that “this bill favors larger and more established businesses at the expense of small, entry-level businesses by imposing, by law, specific contract and insurance requirements that many of the smaller businesses will not be able to meet.”  Good for him!

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Critical Race Theory & Opportunity over Equity

For those Vermonters who are concerned about the inclusion of critical race theory in our public schools , there’s some heartening news from Virginia.

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EAI Launches New Video Podcast

The Ethan Allen Institute is excited to present the preview of our new video podcast *EAI's Dialogues with Meg Hansen.* Our goal is to present thought-provoking conversations about the most consequential issues we face today with guests that are on the vanguard of their respective disciplines.

Podcast listeners have a median age of 34 years – younger than that of broadcast radio (where the median age is 47 years) and network television (57 years). The percentage of monthly podcast listeners in the 12-to-34-age category grew from 27 percent in 2017 to 49 percent in 2020. 

Indeed, these numbers will keep growing. Podcasting is booming. With this project, we aim to expand EAI's reach especially to a younger demographic. It will also strengthen our ability to promptly engage with and drive the news cycle. 

You can watch EAI"s Dialogues with Meg Hansen on YouTubeVimeo, and Facebook and listen to the episodes on Apple Podcasts and SoundCloud. The first episode drops on Monday, February 21.

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A Potentially Deadly Consequence of the Clean Heat Standard

Many of the businesses that deliver fossil-based heating fuels (oil, propane, natural gas, and kerosene) in Vermont are small, mom & pop operations. Some, as describe by Matt Cota of the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association, are just one person “with a truck and a cell phone.” These companies exist on the margins of financial viability. The Clean Heat Standard now being contemplated by the legislature as part of the Global Warming Solutions Act will drive many these fuel dealers out of business – and where will that leave their customers?

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The Inflation Tax, as Predicted by 1912 Economist

From December 2019 – December 2021, the M2 money supply (cash, checking deposits, and easily-convertible near money) increased 41%. This graph shows the close relationship in growth in the money supply and the inflation rate. We’ve had at least 5% inflation since May 2021, and up to 7% in November 2021, the latest month recorded. The inflation rate is the price of the same bundle of goods from 12 months ago to now.

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“Propane Protection Laws” Will Go Away When Propane Does

An article in VT Digger today trumpets, “Attorney general reminds Vermonters of propane protection laws as snow, cold continue.” In Vermont, propane fuel dealers are required by law to deliver to customers, even if the customer isn’t up to date with paying all their past bills. We don’t let people freeze to death – if you heat with the fossil fuel propane that is.

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Sanders, Synema and the Politics of Party

When Arizona Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema opposed Democratic efforts to change Senate rules to rush their huge social welfare and subsidy bill through the Senate, the Arizona Democratic Party, controlled by progressives, adopted a resolution of censure , denouncing her for it.

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