Commentary

The Difficult Legislative Agenda of 2018 (January, 2018)

By John McClaughry The biennial session of the Legislature that convenes this week will face more than its share of hot button issues. Here’s a quick survey of the 2018 agenda. State finances: The legislature faces a FY2019 General Fund budget deficit projected to surpass $40 million. The bright side of this coin is that […]

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Commentary: Time For Congress To End “Dues Skimming” (December, 2017)

by Rob Roper  Medicaid is a program intended to help the sick, elderly, disabled, and poor, but in Vermont, it is also being used to quietly pad politically friendly unions’ bank accounts. Here and in just 10 other states, a practice — or scheme, according to the U.S. Supreme Court —known as “dues skimming” is taking place. […]

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Commentary: VPIRG’s New Appliance Prohibition Plan (December, 2017)

by John McClaughry A recent announcement from the Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG) brought back vivid memories of a long- forgotten legislative episode of 25 years ago. The announcement came two weeks ago in a webinar sponsored by VPIRG and its ally the Vermont Natural Resource Council. The purpose of the webinar was to […]

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A $15 Minimum Wage Would Be Disastrous (December, 2017)

By Rob Roper When the legislature returns in January, it appears that passing a law mandating a $15 minimum wage in Vermont will be a top priority. This is what Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe (D/P-Chittenden) has promised, and a six member summer study committee voted 4-2 along party lines to recommend moving forward […]

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Commentary: A Global Renewable Energy Power Play (November, 2017)

by John McClaughry Here’s an interesting insight into the arcane world of global renewable energy politics, based on the October 30 column in Forbes by widely-read energy blogger Rod Adams. Last week the annual “Conference of Parties” (COP23), the consultative body for the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change, convened in Bonn, Germany.  For […]

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Commentary: Tax Reform and Fiscal Responsibility (November, 2017)

by John McClaughry Republicans in Congress have decided that with their embarrassing failure to “reform and replace” Obamacare, they absolutely must produce one popular legislative achievement to present to voters a year from now. Tax reform is an imperative. There’s not much else coming down the legislative pipeline. The one tax law change that almost […]

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Commentary: Repeal Vermont’s CON Laws (November, 2017)

By Rob Roper Kevin Mullin, chairman of the Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB), appeared on the WDEV radio program Open Mike (10/11/17) to discuss Certificate of Need (CON) laws in the wake of a controversy regarding Copley Hospital and their highly successful orthopedic surgery center. Copley is, apparently, generating too much revenue as the result […]

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Commentary: Suter Misjudges the Impact of a $15 Minimum Wage

by David Flemming Recently, Raise the Wage Coalition member Nathan Suter wrote an editorial entitled “Economic Evidence Points to Broad Benefits of a $15 Minimum.” The letter makes several dubious claims in support of Vermont raising the minimum wage to $15/hour. To make his case, Suter relies on four Berkeley studies, one of which was […]

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Commentary: Putting the Brakes on “Sue and Settle” (October, 2017)

by John McClaughry Back in 1999 Robert Reich, President Clinton’s very liberal ex-Secretary of Labor, penned an op ed piece that said “The era of big government may be over, but the era of regulation through litigation has just begun.” Reich argued that Congress, since 1994 under the control of pro-business Republicans, will not enact […]

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Commentary: The next solar bailout (October, 2017)

by John McClaughry “Free electricity from the sun” has been a dream for decades. Although solar photovoltaic cells have been used for 40 years in spacecraft, the growth of the solar PV industry began around 1990, spurred by concerns about global warming from fossil fuel combustion. “Clean, green” solar PV electricity can charge radios 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

Nuclear phase out threatens greenhouse gas goals

April 20, 2018 by John McClaughry The news site Axios recently published an article about a report from the think tank Third Way. It looked at the effect of...

Vermont’s “Taking Game” and Universal Background Checks

April 19, 2018 by John Klar At times, government rightly employs the power of eminent domain to “take” property – for railroads, roadways, prisons, power plants, etc. But...

A Fair Way to Tax Internet Sales

April 18, 2018 by Rob Roper The Supreme Court is hearing arguments about if and how we should tax sales made over the internet. As of now, retailers...

Bernie Sanders: Too Big And Failed

April 16, 2018  by Chris Campion A couple of weeks back, Communism’s own Bernie Sanders took time out of his failed presidential bid to sit down with Jake...

State Education Policy Is Hurting Students

April 13, 2018 by Rob Roper The latest test scores for Vermont students are here, and they continue an unsettling trend of decline for our student outcomes. The...

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