Commentary

Commentary:  To Turn Around, You Have to Change Direction (January, 2018)

By Rob Roper We have some pretty serious issues facing our state: a shrinking workforce, a public school system that is hemorrhaging students while it vacuums money, and a structural state budget deficit, to name just a few. These problems are not new, and the policies our state government has enacted to address them have […]

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Commentary: Gov. Scott’s Budget Plan (January, 2018)

by John McClaughry Gov. Phil Scott has delivered his budget address, and the consensus of various pundits seems to be that it’s mostly a no-excitement, small-bore initiative, hold the line, need more thinking, and “help me!” production. But let the governor take credit for this: “For the second consecutive year, Gov. Scott has proposed a […]

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Commentary: A State Health Insurance Purchase Mandate? (January, 2018)

by John McClaughry The House and Senate health care committee chairs in Montpelier are pondering new adventures in health care policy for 2018. High on their list is a Vermont individual insurance mandate. The mandate to purchase government-approved insurance has had a four year run in Washington. It was made a cornerstone of Obamacare because […]

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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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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

EAI Comments on Individual Mandate Working Group draft report

  October 11, 2018 Herewith are our comments on the Working Group’s draft product. The legislature is concerned that with the repeal of the Obamacare insurance mandate, individual...

High Minimum Wages Were Designed to Hurt Minorities

October 5, 2018 by Rob Roper With institutional racism becoming an increasingly discussed topic in Vermont, it is ironic that some of our legislators are again promising to...

Bernie, Amazon, and How a $15 Minimum Wage Screws the Little Guy

September 4, 2018 by Rob Roper Amazon just announced that it will be implementing a $15 minimum wage for all of its North American employees. Bernie Sanders is...

The $15 Minimum Wage Will Be Bad for Young Families

October 3, 2018 by Rob Roper Gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist and Democratic leaders promised to revive and, if they win the additional seats they need in the house...

Retirement Funds Liability

September 27, 2018 by John McClaughry Before long the State Treasurer will receive the 2018 report of the auditors of the state’s two retirement funds – the state...

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