Rob Roper, John McClaughry and David Flemming write 40+ commentaries a year discussing the most pressing public policy issues in Vermont. These are published online and in newspapers throughout the state, including VT Digger, the Caledonian Record, the Rutland Herald, the St. Albans Messenger, the Bennington Banner, Vermont Biz, TrueNorthReports, Times Argus, the Eagle Times and Vermont Daily. If you see an EAI commentary in your local newspaper, shoot us an email! And if you don't see our commentaries in your local papers, let your newspaper editors know.

Rethinking the Climate “Crisis”

The airwaves are awash with frenzied reports about the terrors of the imminent climate crisis. Could we calm down a minute and get a grip on the subject?

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Commentary: The Condos 'Wet Paper Ballot Standard' surpasses "Gold Standard"

In his recent commentary, Secretary of State Jim Condos decried election disinformation’s potential to create distrust in our electoral process. Despite touting the “gold standard voter-marked paper ballot we use in Vermont,” Condos has done much to encourage such distrust in our electoral process while dismissing the importance of a free press in supporting free elections.

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Commentary: Holding Legislators Accountable

The 2022 legislative session will decide how to redistrict Vermont’s House and Senate. The best way to hold legislators accountable is to put them into single-member districts, where the voters can vote incumbents up or down. Failing that, separating the two positions within a two-member district would achieve much of the same end.

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Commentary: Climate Council Crack Up

In the spring of 2011, then Governor Peter Shumlin signed into law the bill that was supposed to set Vermont off leading the nation to a single payer healthcare system. The activists rejoiced, the politicians puffed their chests, the bean counters got to work. Then, in December 2014 the three-year adventure in denying reality came to an end. Shumlin was forced to admit the whole scheme was too expensive, too disruptive, and simply wouldn’t work. So, never mind! A similar scent of impending failure is beginning to seep out from the (virtual) chambers of the Vermont Climate Council.

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Commentary: Public school democracy, voice vs. choice

New departures in sex education and union-promoted Critical Race Theory in the public schools are raising the temperature of parents and school board. Objecting parents should have the option they have at the college level: parent-empowered K-12 school choice.

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Commentary: A Capitalist Success Story

            Here’s a tale of two savvy young men from Vermont who hit the jackpot by selling their startup company to a larger one for $40 million. 

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Commentary: Questions for the Climate Council

As the Vermont Climate Council readies its plans to dramatically reduce Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions, they embarked on a series of public engagement events to field questions from curious citizens. Here are some we all might consider asking.

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Commentary: Unsustainability Crisis Facing Seniors

            The national debt is $28.43 trillion and rising steadily. Even at historically low interest rates, that can’t last forever, the Federal government is paying almost a billion dollars a day in interest on its debt. Social Security will run out of money to make promised payments in 2034. More seriously, The Medicare HI Fund will have to reduce expenditures by nine percent as early as 2026 – and two years earlier than that if Congress and President Biden enact the Sanders $3.5 trillion entitlement bill. What’s the remedy? At the very least, don’t make this worse.

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Commentary: Opting in and out of Government Spending

A large insurance company has been flooding the television channels with an advertising slogan “Only Pay for What You Need.” It’s an interesting exercise to apply that idea to various public spending issues.

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Commentary: State Spending is Out of Control, Taxes to Follow

Steve Klein, Chief Fiscal Officer for the legislature’s Joint Fiscal Office, recently made a presentation to the Pension Reform Task Force. The Task Force is charged with coming up with a plan to fix the state’s public pension crisis, the result of decades of underfunding and financial mismanagement that has led to a $6 billion and rapidly growing unfunded liability. Currently, just keeping the state pension system afloat consumes over 12% of all General Fund state spending and fixing the system will take even more money. So, the Task Force asked Klein where such a pot of cash might be found. The resulting slide show was not encouraging.

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