Commentary

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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Commentary: Act 46’s Trojan Horse (February, 2016)

By David Jaqua The recent enactment of Act 46 brought a little noticed but significant change to Vermont’s education funding formula. The change will further confuse people as to why their education property taxes keep going up, and whom to blame. For two decades, frustrated taxpayers looking to hold someone accountable for steadily rising property […]

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Commentary: Rescue School Choice Now! (February, 2016)

by John McClaughry The most pressing education policy issue of 2016 is protecting parental choice in education against extermination by Act 46. For years the prevailing view in Vermont’s majority party – the Democratic Party – has been to increase state control of local public education, create larger administrative units more closely under the thumb […]

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Divestment of fossil fuel stocks is bad policy 



by Rob Roper

 Since January Governor Peter Shumlin has been pressuring state pension fund managers and lawmakers to sell off coal and Exxon/Mobil holdings. The Governor says (now) this policy is necessary to combat climate change. If enacted, however, divestment will do virtually nothing to reduce carbon emissions — but could cost Vermont taxpayers millions. […]

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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

4-29-16 – Proponents Will Say/Do Anything to Get Their Carbon Tax

by Rob Roper The pro-Carbon Tax PR offensive continues, and it appears all tactics are on the table. Vermont Watchdog reports that several names of businesses used by...

4-20-16 – Sharpe’s  Misrepresentations

John McClaughry Rep. David Sharpe (D-Bristol), the engineer of the Act 46 school consolidation bill, penned an op ed on Vermont Digger on April 27. Says Sharpe, “Act...

4-25-16 – Pre-Property Tax Increase Propaganda….

by Rob Roper A couple weeks ago we wrote about a VT Digger article highlighting the fact that a $33 million federal grant that is allowing eight supervisory unions...

4-22-16 – Earth Day: Environmental Predictions Fall Short

by Rob Roper Happy Earth Day! As Vermont celebrates this environmental holiday by industrializing our ridge lines and pasture lands with wind and solar electricity generation factories, a...

4-21-16 – Palmyra Freed; Syria Still Threatened

by John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS—The modern day barbarians have been routed from the ancient city of Palmyra, but the destruction left in the wake of the nearly...

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