Commentary

Commentary: The 2016 Legislature: A Post-Mortem

by John McClaughry The 2016 legislative session is now history, and it’s worthwhile to assess its production. My criteria include preserving fiscal responsibility, advancing liberty, limiting government, and thwarting various hungry special interests. The basic facts are readily available from the thorough reporting by VTDigger.org First, the legislature managed to balance the FY2017 General Fund budget, […]

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Commentary: Public Power: Another Costly Big Government Headache? (May, 2016)

by John McClaughry Three times in modern history Vermonters have witnessed a political battle over public power. In the 1960s young liberal Democratic governor Philip Hoff tried to break the political influence of the (largely Republican) investor owned utilities, CVPS and GMP. The Republican legislature rejected his proposal for a state power authority to import […]

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Commentary: A Potentially HUGE Bill for Property Taxpayers on the Horizon

by Rob Roper Vermont property taxpayers are in the pot like the boiling frog from that old analogy. For over a decade we have been following the goal of the VTNEA and their allies in Montpelier to expand the public school system by two years to include three and four-year-olds. The next steps in this […]

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Commentary: Legislature Shouldn’t Blow Chance to Help Our Economy

By Rob Roper Vermont Business Magazine (VBM) wrote about some good news for a Vermont economy that has otherwise been pretty moribund for several years. The bright spot is our tech industry. As the VBM article points out, “Vermont’s tech sector makes up a quarter of the state’s workers and 40 percent of its wages, and generates […]

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Commentary: Sorrell’s Partisan War Against “Climate Fraud”

by John McClaughry On March 29 Vermont’s outgoing attorney general William Sorrell and two of his lawyers travelled to Manhattan to serve as useful props in a news conference orchestrated by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and global climate warrior Al Gore. There Schneiderman announced a coordinated campaign by 20 AGs to find some […]

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Commentary: Spending and Taxes Roll On (April, 2016)

by John McClaughry The House of Representatives has completed its work on the FY2017 General Fund appropriations bill, plus the annual tax increases.  All in all, it’s not pretty. First, the (limited) good news. The House bill keeps three ironclad commitments: interest on state debt, the Act 60 annual transfer to the Education Fund, and […]

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This Family’s Story Is Why School Choice MUST BE A RIGHT

By Rob Roper Rep. Dave Sharpe (D-Bristol) opened an afternoon of testimony from advocates of Vermont’s school choice system by qualifying, “Our responsibility here in the legislature… is the education of all the children in the state, so that puts us in a bit of a bind sometimes when we think about our own children, […]

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Commentary: Vermonters Deserve a Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights

By Rob Roper The Vermont House Ways & Means committee just passed out a $48.3 million package of new or increased taxes and fees. The list includes an increase the fuel gross receipts tax that will at two to three cents to every gallon of home heating fuel, a new application of the 9 percent […]

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Commentary: Reviving Grassroots Democracy (March, 2016)

by John McClaughry Alert viewers of WCAX may have noticed a March 4 segment calling attention to my completion of fifty years’ service as Kirby Town Moderator. Please allow me to use those four minutes of media fame as a springboard for defending the merits of Vermont’s tradition of town meeting government. Early settlers from […]

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Commentary: Who’s To Blame for Flint? (March, 2016)

John McClaughry Last month Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton made an urgent pilgrimage to Flint, Michigan to assure voters that as President, she would never stand by, as she said Gov. Rick Snyder did, and “allow children in Flint to drink poison water just to save a buck, as if their lives weren’t worth even […]

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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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Latest News

5-27-16 – Four Hard Questions for New and Returning Candidates

By Rob Roper The deadline for candidates filing to run in November’s state elections was yesterday (Thursday, May 26). With many prominent members retiring, particularly from the House,...

5-25-16 – Government Doesn’t Have to Be Stupid and Destructive

by Rob Roper Many states are considering a ban on a new technology that provides a cheaper, more convenient way for eye patients to take an exam that...

5-24-16 – Vermonters Fed Up with VPIRG and Their Agenda

by Rob Roper A remarkable editorial appeared in Vermont Digger this week. Remarkable not so much for what it said, but for who said it how many readers...

5-20-16 – Nuclear power costs

by John McClaughry Critics of nuclear energy – of which Vermont abounds – like to point out that in the U.S. nuclear is hugely capital intensive and thus...

5-19-16 – Serious Media Bias for Taxpayer Funded Pre-K

by Rob Roper Another article appears in VT Digger today pumping up the false crisis regarding a lack of childcare options in Vermont. This one is called, Child...

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