An Unsustainable Appetite for Spending

Steve Klein of the Joint Fiscal Office briefed the Pension and Benefits Task Force, which is looking into how to fix the state’s $6 billion unfunded pension liabilities, on the current state budget as well as impending budget pressures in the pipeline. Klein’s slide show revealed a frightening increase in spending with daunting implications for Vermont taxpayers.

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Two More Act 250 Horror Stories

The Burlington Free Press’s excellent reporter Dan D’Ambrosio reported last Thursday on two more horror stories from the application of  Act 250, the development control law.

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Commentary: Climate Council Wants “A River of Money”

The Vermont Climate Council, charged with coming up with a plan to reduce Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions to 26% below 2005 levels by 2025, 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, and 80% below by 2050, is finally putting forward some details about what policies it will take to do this. While they have not yet discussed many specifics of how to pay for these programs, member Richard Cowart summed it up at their July 26 meeting saying “a river of money” needs to be diverted into the cause. A river indeed!

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Can Vermont Follow New Hampshire's Tax Rate Reduction?

Drew Cline of the Josiah Bartlett Center in New Hampshire noted that New Hampshire’s Business Profits Tax rate was 8.5% in 2015, making it the third-highest corporate income tax in New England, after Maine and Connecticut.

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A Thorny Question Indeed!

At the July 26 meeting of the Vermont Climate Council, member Richard Cowart raised what he admitted might be “a thorny question.” Thorny or not, it was a very good one. It illustrates very clearly how government interventions in the free market, using carrots and sticks to influence people’s behavior in singular, predetermined ways can lead to disastrous conclusions.

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Commentary: Is Climate Science Settled? Absolutely Not.

          Steven E. Koonin is one of America’s leading high-level public scientists with a long career at MIT (PhD physics), CalTech (30 years, Provost) , five national laboratories, and President Obama’s Energy Department. His new book Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters is a devastating refutation of exaggerated, scientifically insupportable, and politically fabricated claims about coming climate catastrophes.

 

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Endangered Species Act Foils E-Car Manufacturing

Everybody from President Biden down to Gov. Scott is busy promoting electric cars as the major means of cutting down the 43% of Carbon dioxide emissions from the transportation sector. California wants all cars on the road to be electric by 2035.

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Why Exactly is the Rent Too D*** High?

A headline in VT Digger declares “Vermont wages well behind cost of rent, national study details.” First question: did we really need a study to tell us that? When politicians run on the issue of “affordability” at the top of the list of unaffordable items is housing. When companies say they have a hard time recruiting workers to come to Vermont, the obstacle usually at the top of the list is a lack of affordable housing for the potential employee.

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Missouri and New Hampshire School Choice Programs

Last week Reason.com published an update on school choice developments in the states.

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Sen. Clarkson’s Pension Report

I’m a believer in legislative bodies making reports to the citizens of what they have wrought in their just completed session. But last month’s report from Senate majority leader Alison Clarkson (D-Windsor Co.), struck me, in at least one important aspect, as indefensibly inflating two miniscule accomplishments.

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