Commentary: Return of the Curse of Diocletian
The “Inflation Reduction Act” authorizes Medicare to “negotiate prices” with the pharmaceutical industry. That is to say, impose price controls on their products purchased through Medicare, meaning that prices will shoot up for everyone in the private market. Emperor Diocletian tried price controls in 301AD, wrecked the Roman economy, and was forced to abdicate the throne.
Commentary: Candidate Questions for 2022
Here are sixteen fairly stated and timely questions voters should put to those seeking legislative office this November. Voters deserve to know where office seekers stand. That’s what makes democracy work.
Commentary: The Climate Council’s “Carbon Tax PLUS” Agenda for Vermont
As gasoline prices hover around record highs, putting tremendous pressure on family budgets, stressing businesses, and making life generally more expensive, the Vermont Climate Council is coming up with a plan to make the problem worse. Much worse.
Commentary: A Victory for the Rule of Law
The Left has denounced the Supreme Court’s holding in West Virginia vs. EPA as a gift to big corporate polluters. It – and others – should be cheering this decision as a victory for democracy and the rule of law, over runaway agency regulation to effectuate what Congress failed to authorize.
Commentary: Seeking a middle path on American racial history
With discussion of how to teach American racial history reaching a fever a pitch at school board meetings across America, there are lessons to be learned from a recent exchange in St. Albans. While progressive leaders like to frame the discussion as a choice between reflecting on racial history inside and outside of schools (usually with a Black Lives Matter flavor) or not reflecting at all, the choice is more complicated than that.
Commentary: A Legislative Wrapup for 2022
The 2022 legislature did a respectable job avoiding the dangers of too much money to spend, but its most notable outcomes were Gov. Scott’s judicious vetoes of Act 250 (non) reform, making half the state into a conservation zone, and stalling the Vermont Climate Council’s flagship carbon tax scheme, the Clean Heat Standard.
Commentary: Maine Decision Points the Way Toward Universal School Choice
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Maine tuition case opens the door to every K-12 student having the right to opt out of an unsatisfactory public school and attend the independent school of their choice – sectarian or nonsectarian – at public expense. There will still be public schools, but they’ll have to compete for pupils by being responsive to the needs of pupils and parents.
Commentary: Watch Out for a Heating Oil Crunch
A combination of factors could well lead to much higher heating oil prices by the end of the year. Ironically, that’s what the climate change warriors have worked hard to bring about for the past six years – but if this happens, the increased fuel cost will go into the petroleum supply chain, not to the state to finance green subsidies. Let’s hope that global warming will bring us a string of mild winters.
Respecting Precedent in Constitutional Law
The debate is raging over the U.S. Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion overturning the 1973 abortion rights decision, Roe v. Wade, and its follow on opinions in Doe v. Bolton (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992). The advocates for a constitutional right to abortion have never quite agreed just where this right can be found in the Constitution. But they do agree and have strongly argued that the judicial rule of stare decisis – a presumption of the validity of longstanding earlier decisions – should be invoked to keep in force the right declared in Roe v. Wade 49 years ago.
Commentary: Bad policy begets worse, repealing the GWSA is the solution
One signature and one vote thwarted the attempt to upend heating in Vermont's built environment. Governor Phil Scott won the game of political ping pong against the Legislature, when the latter failed to override his veto of the Clean Heat Standard (CHS) bill by one vote.