Commentary

Commentary: The Carbon Tax Game Plan for 2017

by John McClaughry Last year the intense efforts of the “Energy Independent Vermont” coalition to sell Vermonters on the merits of a carbon tax ran onto the rocks. But the friends of the carbon tax in the Vermont House and Senate aren’t giving up. Three years ago the EIV coalition burst upon the scene. Spearheaded […]

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Commentary: Universal Pre-K Is A Problem, Not a Solution

By Rob Roper Vermont has been actively expanding taxpayer funded universal Pre-K since 2007 (Act 62). The claims back then and the claims today haven’t changed. Advocates promise that in the long run, these programs will prove great for kids and taxpayers! But ten years later, as we’re looking at an even more dramatic and […]

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Commentary: The Lake Champlain Phosphorus Crisis

by John McClaughry The Vermont legislature is now well into the final chapter of a high-stakes saga that began in 2010. At its center is the phosphorus level in Lake Champlain, especially in St. Albans and Missisquoi Bays. As a state document explains, “In excessive amounts, phosphorus and associated algal growth can impair recreational uses […]

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Commentary: Every Student Deserves The Opportunity I Had (January, 2017)

by Rob Roper When I was in second grade, my parents moved our family from Virginia to Connecticut because Dad took a job in New York City. They chose the town of Riverside to live in based largely on the quality of the public school system. We were lucky to be able to afford to […]

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Commentary: Where Gov. Scott’s Education Transformation Leads (January, 2017)

By John McClaughry Gov. Phil Scott’s budget address promised a balanced General Fund budget lower than last year’s. It reiterated his opposition to any new taxes and fees, and pledged to make the required annual required contributions to keep the two state retirement funds from slipping even further away from long-term solvency. Those features deservedly […]

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Commentary: Health Care Reform: What to Expect (Jan, 2017)

by John McClaughry Six years ago a Democratic Congress and President enacted ObamaCare. Whatever one may have thought about its merits, after six years it is unmistakably clear that it cannot continue without heroic, disruptive interventions in 2017, costing many billions of dollars. Congressional Democrats, who have taken serious beatings at the polls for championing […]

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Commentary: First Steps Toward 700,000 Vermonters (December, 2017)

By Rob Roper During the gubernatorial campaign Phil Scott set a goal to expand Vermont’s population from 625,000 to 700,000 over the next ten years or so. This is a pretty tall order (maybe unattainable), but the governor-elect’s call does raise an important issue. Our state’s population is stagnant, and if we want to be […]

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Commentary: Hard Spending Choices for FY 2018 (Jan, 2017)

By John McClaughry Two weeks from now new Governor Phil Scott will give his inaugural address to the legislature, and a week or so later they’ll receive his budget proposal for FY2018, which begins in July. Gov. Scott campaigned on the attractive idea that “state budget spending will not grow faster than the economy or […]

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Commentary: Men Without Work (Dec, 2017)

by John McClaughry A lot of serious long-term national issues simply weren’t addressed in the recent national election. That’s not surprising. Issues like the alarming growth of the national debt, the rising consequences of opiate addiction,  and unprecedented changes in demography don’t fit easkily into  political campaigns and their 30 second ads. One such neglected […]

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Commentary: Phil Scott’s Challenge (Dec, 2017)

by Rob Roper What happens when an irresistible force meets and unmovable object? Vermonters will find out in January when the new Republican governor officially takes office along with a legislature that has, if anything, moved a little to the left. During the campaign, governor-elect Scott, often accused by his critics of being non-committal and […]

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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

State House Headliners

By Guy Page Republished with permission from Page Communications.  H170, legalized possession of an ounce of marijuana and two adult and five juvenile plants, was approved by the House Judiciary...

Roll Call! House Votes to Allow Confiscation of Firearms If There Are Allegations of Domestic Abuse

  . H.422 – AN ACT RELATING TO REMOVAL OF FIREARMS FROM A PERSON ARRESTED OR CITED FOR DOMESTIC ASSAULT.  . PASSED in the State House of Representatives...

The State: We Can’t Afford To Pay, But You Can!

by Rob Roper The funding mechanism for the Paid Family Leave bill (H. 196) is a 0.93% payroll tax, which would raise about $80 million. The original language...

National Institute of Health Boondoggles

by John McClaughry President Trump wants to cut $6 billion from the budget of the National Institutes of Health, and the medical community is screaming. Certainly the NIH does...

Crossover Overview: Where Key Bills Stand

By Guy Page Like baby sea turtles marching slowly across the beach by their thousands to temporary safety, a minority of the hundreds of bills introduced into the...

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