Workers & Unions say “No” to the TCI Carbon Tax

December 31, 2020

By David Flemming

It is becoming more and more clear that the fight against the TCI will be a fight between the legislative/bureaucratic elites and everyday working Vermonters.

David Van Deusen is the newly elected president of Vermont’s chapter of the  AFL-CIO, an alliance of private sector labor unions with around 12 million members nationwide. While he is not against all green energy proposals, he views the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) as being horrible for Vermont’s working class.

Deusen lambasts the TCI: “…a bold social project needs to be funded through progressive taxation and other creative means which do not regressively put more burdens on low income & working class people… Any scheme which seeks to price working people out of driving a gas-powered vehicle (without having a comprehensive public transit system & affordable electric cars readily available first) will not result in workers driving less. Rather, such moves will do nothing more than take dollars out of the pockets of working people; money which we desperately need…. we cannot sustainably create such a society by breaking the backs of working people in the process….charging the working class more money to get to their job? I fail to see how any friend of Labor could stand by such a proposal.”

This puts the TCI in an entirely new context. If the government officials nod their heads to the TCI, they will label themselves as “enemies of labor.” And not just from Vermont’s union membership, but from all low and middle income Vermonters who are not part of any union, but will bear the gasoline tax equally.

The choice of whether or not Vermont should join the TCI is easy. On one side, legislators eager to get Vermont’s rural working class out of their cars on the promise that, someday, somehow, the worker’s sacrifice will give them a reliable busing network.

On the other side: labor unions, Vermonters struggling under the burden of more taxation, and common sense. Choose wisely.

David Flemming is a policy analyst at the Ethan Allen Institute

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

William Hays January 4, 2020 at 3:44 pm

Dutch linguist needed! Is it ‘Van Deusen’, ‘Deusen’, ‘vanDeusen’ or ‘Vandeusen’. Ich weisse nicht.

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