Commentary

Commentary: Time for Facts About Vermont Health Connect

By Wendy Wilton It is good news that Auditor Hoffer has scheduled a performance audit of Vermont Health Connect this spring. The auditor’s work will be vitally important information for the Legislature to consider as it determines the fate of the state’s exchange. Hopefully, they will have his report before the session ends. Much has […]

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Commentary: Disappointing Budget with a Silver Lining

by John McClaughry Last Friday the Vermont House completed deliberations on a fiscal year 2016 general fund budget and an associated tax package. The appropriations committee, after months of intense work and no little agony, produced a budget that covers a $113 million deficit. The House-passed bill (H.490) reduces the governor’s budget request by $53 […]

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Commentary: Tax Raising Mania Sweeps Montpelier (March, 2105)

by John McClaughry Crunch time is rapidly approaching in Montpelier. The pressing problem is finding at least another $112 million to fill a General Fund budget gap for 2016. This high-tension exercise requires finding new money from Washington, looting account balances within state government, and pushing spending into a following fiscal year. When those options […]

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Commentary: Reality Check for the Do-Everything State (February, 2015)

by John McClaughry The House and Senate Appropriations Committees are struggling valiantly to report a balanced General Fund budget for Fiscal Year 2016. The presently estimated shortfall is about $130 million, eight percent of the proposed General Fund budget. This is a result of the chronic tendency of legislatures to find ever more things to […]

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Commentary: School Choice Even Improves the Value of Your Home (February, 2015)

By Rob Roper There are plenty of reasons for parents and kids to love school choice in the 90 plus Vermont towns that already have it, and there are plenty of solid educational and social arguments for expanding the program to all Vermont towns. But why should folks without kids care? Property values. A recent […]

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Commentary: Legislature Moving to Increase Electric Rates (February, 2015)

By John McClaughry The 2015 legislature, and of course, Gov. Peter Shumlin, are hard at work contriving yet another way to make Vermonters pay more for their electricity. The vehicle is H.40, spearheaded by Rep. Tony Klein and just now emerging from the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee. It’s the bill to – finally […]

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Commentary: School Choice – and Lower Property Taxes (February, 2015)

by John McClaughry Finally alarmed by voter resentment at high school property taxes, the Vermont legislature is hot on the trail of some kind of “solution”.  It’s not likely to be productive unless legislators crawl out of the box that confines their thinking. One obvious (non)”solution” is to ship more money from the General Fund […]

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Commentary: Vermont’s Renewable Energy Policy Worse Than Worthless (January, 2015)

By Rob Roper The Vermont Legislature has long been bent on saving the planet through government micromanagement of energy policy. The big issue this year appears to be passing a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that would require utilities to sell a set percentage renewable power (and thereby forcing customers to buy the more expensive product). […]

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Commentary: Why Electricity Costs Spiked

by Meredith Angwin A Valley News letter writer was speaking for many recently when he asked about huge electric rate increases this winter and paltry explanations for them. David C. Montgomery of Hanover New Hampshire said his electricity bill had increased by 72 percent, even as petroleum products have dropped in cost. “All we have […]

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Commentary – Shumlin’s Budget Address:  More Centralized Government (January, 2014)

John McClaughry In his earnestly delivered January 15 budget message, Gov. Peter Shumlin addressed many of the pressing issues left out of his inaugural address the week before. The coming year’s budget, Shumlin said, was “the toughest budget that I’ve put together.” Not much argument there. The flood of federal cash has reduced to a […]

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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

3-30-15 – A Teachable Moment Over Legislative Pay Cut Debate?

posted by Rob Roper Friday afternoon a handful of Republican representatives tried to pass an amendment to the budget that would have cut legislators’ pay by 7.5%. Legislators...

Progressivism and Majority Rule vs. Individual Liberty, Part 5

by Tom Licata Progressivism – so pervasive in today’s Democratic Party – is the ideology of American suicide and specifically of American Constitutionalism. This is the fifth in...

3-25-15 – State Government is Raising and Spending More Money Than Ever

Posted by Rob Roper The House will vote on a budget bill this week amidst much self-congratulations for “making the tough choices.” Throughout the process, there was tearing of...

3-25-15 – Afghan Peace Process far from Assured

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS–Afghanistan’s long and tortuous road to peace and reconciliation still seems a near mirage as an entrenched terrorist insurgency seems to rebuff political...

3-24-15 – Direct Pay Health Care

by John McClaughry Last Saturday I participated in a conference sponsored by Vermonters for Health Care Freedom and the Ethan Allen Institute, on mending the health care problem caused...

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