Seven Days recently ran an article asking, “Has Phil Scott Made Vermont More Affordable.” The story cites the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy which notes that Vermont has “one of the most progressive, or equitable, tax systems in the country.”
The Cato Institute gives Governor Phil Scott high marks for his fiscal stewardship. It recently published the “Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors 2020” which uses publicly available data to assess the fiscal performance of the governors and how they restrained or grew the size of their state’s government from January 2018 to August 2020.
By Maxford Nelsen
The legislative process can be quite effective at screening out bad ideas, but sometimes, by accident or design, flawed policies still make it through.
As the Vermont legislature shepherded the Global Warming Solutions Act into law, we at the Ethan Allen Institute pointed out some of the many possible places the law could lead: the banning of ATVs, snow machines, and other fossil fuel burning recreational vehicles, the banning of gas powered lawnmowers and lawn maintenance equipment, fireplaces and barbeques, etc. One of the red flags we raised concerned oil and gas heating systems and the possibility that they could be banned from new construction, renovation, or with the sale of a property. Well, on that front Burlington has fired the first shot.
For the past two years, how many times have we had to hear from Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) advocates that Vermont’s 2005 goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions “lack teeth,” and this dentally challenged nature of our policies is why Vermont has consistently failed to meet those goals. We need big, sharp, serious teeth! And those teeth were going to be the citizen lawsuit provision of the GWSA. This allows that if Vermont isn’t on track to meet the targets in the law, “any person” can sue the state at taxpayers’ expense.
Here’s just a sampling of the bicuspid obsession from the last biennium…
In this era of racial turmoil and violent protests, it’s good to see something constructive emerging. My leading example is the 1776 Project. It was launched by a longtime friend of mine for forty years, Robert Woodson Sr., to counter the 1619 Project that the New York Times launched last year to explain that America is forever defined by slavery, and that all white people are guilty of incorrigible racism.
Two weeks ago, when Gov. Scott was about to veto the Global Warming Solutions Act, the media was quick to interview activists strongly opposed to the veto – but of course at least to my knowledge the media didn’t bother to interview anyone outside the Scott administration who had said for nine months that this bill was really bad for Vermont.
Kudos to True North Reports for doing what the Secretary of State’s office and/or the Attorney General’s office refuse to do in Jim Condos’ unprecedented, Wild West, mail-everybody-a-ballot election, and that is create an online portal to report suspicious election activity.