EAI believes Vermont is spending money on government services at an unsustainable rate. In order to pay for these services, Vermonters are being asked to pay more in taxes and fees with each passing year. Taxation must be circumscribed and limited else it will “defeat and render useless the power to create.” By what principle should it be limited? There is a principle embedded in our system which provides inherent limits to all taxation. It is so basic to our political institutions that it should govern every legislator, every executive, and every judge. It precedes all our constitutions, all our laws, and all our political institutions. It brought them into existence; it sustains them; without it they are a nullity.
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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Legislator Roll Call Votes
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On October 6, Hank Kim, of the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems testified in front of the Pension Benefits, Design, and Funding Task Force, which is responsible for finding a way to reduce Vermont’s massively underfunded state employee and teacher pensions.Read more
In testimony provided to the Pension, Benefits, Design and Funding Task Force on September 9, Paul Cillo, President of the Public Assets Institute, came to testify about the “fiscal issues related to the state’s public employee pension systems.” He suggested that “it’s irresponsible to not raise revenue” to pay for the pension underfunding crisis. According to Cillo, “Many Vermonters at the top, with much greater amounts of discretionary income, still pay less as a percentage of their income in state and local taxes than their lower-income neighbors, according to a 50-state analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy” (a left-leaning think tank).Read more
When the folks at the Georgetown Climate Center put forward their memorandum of understanding for thirteen New England and Mid-Atlantic states to sign onto, it was a blow to the interstate carbon scheme that only three states (plus Washington DC) signed on. It was a further blow that in two of those states where the Governor gave the okay, Connecticut and Rhode Island, the left-leaning legislatures in both balked at adopting legislation that would actually allow their states to participate in TCI. So, as of now, they’re still out. That leaves Massachusetts, which does not require legislative approval to participate, as the only state left on the field. And now even Massachusetts’ participation in TCI is in jeopardy.Read more