Commentary

Commentary: Four Very Serious but Widely Ignored Threats (May, 2017)

by John McClaughry If you watch the news media, and especially the accounts of things like the Peoples’ March for Climate, Jobs and Justice, you would believe that the most critical  problems facing America are deportation of immigrants for entering the country illegally, employer resistance to paying low skilled workers $15/hour, carbon dioxide emissions that […]

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Commentary: If Science Is the Standard… (April, 2017)

By Rob Roper Folks celebrated Earth Day this year with a “March for Science” around the nation. The marchers’ message is, ostensibly, that policy should be based on science and not things like emotion, morality, or politics. But is this really what they’re after? Or is this more of an attempt to legitimize their own […]

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Commentary: Four New Bills to Levy a CarbonTax (April, 2017)

by John McClaughry Not so long ago – 2015 – the carbon tax was all the rage among such organizations as VPIRG, Vermont Natural Resources Council, Conservation Law Foundation, and Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. Their argument was straightforward. Humankind’s penchant for making use of fossil fuels is (so they believe) inexorably driving the planet […]

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Commentary: Examining Equity In Our Public Schools

By Rob Roper Equity and access to educational resources has been a hot topic surrounding the rules (or changes thereto) governing independent schools that accept tax dollars through Vermont’s tuitioning system. Some argue that if a school takes state money it should accept any and all comers. But what about public schools? There is a […]

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Commentary: The Benefits of “Grotesque Inequality” (March, 2017)

by John McClaughry In a recent talk before students at St. Johnsbury Academy, Sen. Bernie Sanders declared that although we are living in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, “the nation’s wealth is in the hands of a privileged few”, producing what he called an “unfair and grotesque level of income inequality.” […]

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Commentary: The Carbon Tax Game Plan for 2017 (March, 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 (February, 2017)

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 (February, 2017)

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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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

The ESSEX Plan: Symbolic Environmentalism That Will Impose Economic Harm on Vermonters

by Jonathan A. Lesser, PhD I was asked by Vermont’s Ethan Allen Institute to prepare an economic analysis of The ESSEX Plan, the most recent carbon tax proposal...

Sponsors Can’t Deny ESSEX Carbon Tax Favors Rich Over Poor

by Rob Roper Introducing the latest carbon tax bill (H.791) to the House Energy & Technology Committee, lead sponsor Rep. Sarah Copeland-Hanzas (D-Bradford) provided an example of how...

It’s the Economy Stupid

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS—Back in Ronald Reagan’s time, the underlining philosophical mantra of the extraordinary economic expansion was that “a rising tide lifts all boats.”  Namely,...

Ben & Jerry’s Loves the Carbon Tax — Cuz They Won’t Pay It!

by Rob Roper Chris Miller, who works on the Social Missions Committee at Ben & Jerry’s, testified to the House Energy & Technology committee that his company is...

Questioning the Highly Questionable ESSEX Carbon Tax

By Rob Roper The Vermont House Committee on Energy and Technology will start taking testimony on the ESSEX Carbon Tax bill today. Here are some questions our legislators...

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