Commentary

Guest Commentary: Guess What? Vermont Has a Negative Net Worth!

by David Coates Just recently the State’s financial statements were published for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018. For perhaps the first time in history, the state’s Balance Sheet shows a negative net worth of $200 million. In other words, our liabilities exceed our assets. By contrast, the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017, […]

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Commentary: Progressive Policies Are Hurting Middle Class, Rural Vermonters (March, 2019)

By Rob Roper We are half way through the 2019 legislative session, and a theme is emerging. While the majority of legislators would probably insist they are looking out for our most vulnerable friends and neighbors, the flood of proposed new taxes, regulations, and curbs on traditional culture have something in common – they are […]

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Commentary: Single-Member Districts Will Strengthen Democracy (March, 2019)

By John McClaughry Kudoes to the Vermont Senate for passing a bill requiring that Senate districts “shall have a maximum of three members.” Interestingly, two of the three sponsors of S.11 (Sens. Ashe and Sirotkin) are elected from the Chittenden District, the only district with more than three members. The main reason Vermont has one […]

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Commentary: What the Decarbonization Study Found (February, 2019)

By John McClaughry Last summer the Joint Fiscal Office awarded a legislatively mandated contract to Resources for the Future, a Washington consulting firm, “to analyze the costs and benefits for Vermont of adopting and implementing policies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by Vermont’s consumption of fossil fuels.” The firm delivered its 114-page report […]

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Commentary: Stamping Out Carbon Dioxide Emissions (February, 2019)

By John McClaughry Last September the Legislature underwrote a $120,000 contract to a Washington DC firm named  Resources for the Future, that specializes in analyzing the economic impact of various policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions caused by consumption of fossil fuels. The 114-page “Decarbonization Study” has now been delivered. Before summarizing its findings, let’s recall […]

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Commentary: Paid Family Leave Proposal Shows Why Vermont is Unaffordable (January, 2019)

January, 2019 By Rob Roper As a result of the November 2018 elections, Vermont Democrats and Progressives achieved veto-proof majorities in both chambers of the legislature. Their first priority flexing this new muscle is to pass a mandatory, government-run Paid Family Leave program that will require a new payroll tax. This proposal demonstrates exactly why […]

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Commentary: The Coming Report on Expanding Act 250 (January, 2019)

by John McClaughry Two years ago the legislature created a six-member commission to assess the fifty years of experience with Vermont’s Land Use Control Act and “assess, to the extent feasible, the positive and negative outcomes of Act 250’s implementation from 1970 to 2017.” The commission was charged with developing legislation for consideration in 2019. […]

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Here Comes the Carbon Tax Again

January 2, 2019 By John McClaughry The carbon tax warriors are promoting yet another version of “carbon pricing”. This new version is the “Transportation and Climate Initiative” (TCI), promoted in nine Northeastern states by the Georgetown (University Law School) Climate Center. A December 19 report by Mark Johnson in Vermont Digger described the TCI as […]

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Commentary: Absentee Ballots Undermine the Secret Ballot – And Election Integrity (December, 2018)

By Rob Roper The North Carolina congressional race between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready could be heading for a re-vote because it appears absentee ballot fraud may have influenced the outcome. Harris is ahead by around 900 votes, but the suspicion of fraud arose from fact that he received an improbably high percentage […]

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Commentary: A Sensible Agenda for Vermont Democrats (December, 2018)

By John McClaughry Vermont’s Republican governor can no longer expect to have a veto sustained by one third of either body, at least on any issue of crucial importance to the political base of the Democratic/Prog legislative leadership. What, then, would be the best possible outcome of the next two years? To some – like […]

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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.
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