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True North Archives - January 2, 2007
Radio | Editorial | News & Views

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Featured Articles

Action needed on property taxes
By Rep. David Sunderland

… Yes, there are a number of ways we can reduce our property taxes. But doing so by simply raising the income tax, gas tax, property transfer tax, sales tax, or any other kind of tax does nothing to reduce the overall tax burden on Vermonters. It merely gives politicians the ability to raise their hands and say "we did something." This Legislature must commit itself to not just doing something, but doing the right thing for all Vermont taxpayers…. -- David Sunderland represents Rutland Town in the Vermont House

In the War on Poverty, Give Peace a Chance
Study shows lowering taxes and spending reduces childhood poverty. 
By Rob Roper

… A new report, "How to win the War on Poverty," by Mathew Ladner of the Goldwater Institute, takes an extensive look at poverty across the United States…. It turns out that – as some will argue the War on Terror just creates more terrorists -- the War on Poverty is, in fact, just creating more poor people, particularly more poor children, and it’s time to cut and run. Cut taxes that is…. – Rob Roper is State Director for FreedomWorks-Vermont (

A To-do List for Legislators
By Pete Behr

… The number one concern at all political rallies, debates, forums, etc. was property taxes. All candidates acknowledged the problem and promised to do something about it. That was campaign rhetoric. Now comes facing reality…. – Pete Behr writes a regular column for the Vermont Standard

Here Comes the New Legislature!
By John McClaughry

With a new and potentially veto proof liberal legislature arriving in Montpelier next week, it's worth reviewing the items on its agenda, if for no other reason than to put taxpayers on notice…. – John McClaughry is president of the Ethan Allen Institute (

Vermont News

Dome day scenarios: Getting down to the people’s business
By Christian Avard & Shay Totten, Vermont Guardian, December 29, 2006

When lawmakers convene on Wednesday to kick off the 2006-2007 biennium, many of the same issues that befuddled them in past years will rear their heads again — rising property taxes, health care premiums, global warming, keeping farms viable, and planning the state’s future energy mix…

'Revolt' Gets a Response
By Bob Audette, Brattleboro Reformer, December 28

… But Symington's letter -- and its stated intention to study the issue from a number of different directions -- didn't sit well with some Jamaica Selectboard members, including Oliver Olsen and chairman Joel Beckwith. "There's not a lot there," said Beckwith. "It's pretty clear we have received a form letter with the same tired rhetoric we have heard for years," said Olsen….

Brock: Medicaid overpays pharmacies $2.2 million
By David Gram, Associated Press, December 28

Vermont's Medicaid program has overpaid pharmacies by an estimated $2.2 million over the past two years, state Auditor Randy Brock said Thursday…. Brock, who lost re-election to Democrat Tom Salmon in a recount completed Dec. 21 and leaves office next week, said his office has been conducting an audit of Vermont's entire Medicaid program.

Swanton plant to produce biodiesel in January
By Dan McLean, Burlington Free Press Staff, December 27, 2006

Biocardel Vermont LLC is gearing up to start producing soybean-derived biodiesel fuel in Swanton in January, the plant’s general manager said…. About 10 employees will be hired in 2007, he said. By the end of the year, the plant could be running 24 hours a day, seven days a week….

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From Elsewhere

The Global Warming Deceptions Continue
By Tom DeWeese

… "The '60 Minutes' segment made no mention of Hansen's partisan ties to former Vice President Al Gore or Hansen's receiving of a grant of a quarter of a million dollars from the left-wing Heinz Foundation run by Teresa Heinz. There was no mention of Hansen's subsequent endorsement of her husband John Kerry for President in 2004." 

Editor’s Note: Incoming Senate President Pro-Tem, Peter Shumlin, believes that Global Warming is the most important issue facing the Vermont Legislature. 

Poverty reduction works better in low-tax states, according to census data
by Matthew Ladner

Many people believe that government should play the role of Robin Hood. Through progressive taxation, spending and redistribution, proponents believe government will reduce poverty…. Using data from the Census Bureau, the Goldwater Institute report finds that states with the lowest tax rates enjoyed sizeable decreases in poverty. For example, the 10 states with the lowest state and local tax burdens saw an average poverty reduction of 13 percent — two times better than the national average. The 10 highest tax states, meanwhile, suffered an average increase in poverty of 3 percent….

Editor’s Note:Learn more about Vermont’s efforts to implement a Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights -- SOS-Vermont – by clicking on the links in the Notes & Events section.

Watch Your Wallet Think the Republicans were bad? Here's a preview of the Democrats' economic policies.
By Pete Du Pont

… So will the Democratic Congress be any better than the Republican Congress was? A look at half a dozen likely policy proposals makes clear the answer will probably be no…

The Real Sunni Triangle There are only three options in Iraq.
By Christopher Hitchens

… If, when reading an article about the debate over Iraq, you come across the expression "the realist school" and mentally substitute the phrase "the American friends of the Saudi royal family," your understanding of the situation will invariably be enhanced…. Iraq has only three alternatives before it. The first is dictatorship by one faction or sect over all the others: a solution that has been exhausted by horrific failure. The second is partition, which would certainly involve direct intervention by all its neighbors to secure privileges for their own proxies and would therefore run the permanent risk of civil war. And the third is federalism, where each group would admit that it was not strong enough to dictate terms to the others and would agree to settle differences by democratic means. Quixotic though the third solution may seem, it is the only alternative to the most gruesome mayhem—more gruesome than anything we have seen so far….

What Will They Ban Next?
By John Stossel

New York City has ordered restaurants to stop selling food made with trans fat…. In a free society the issue is: Who decides what I eat, the government or me?.... Why do the health police get to take away my choices? Adults should be expected to take responsibility for their own health. Often the health police say they must "protect the children." But children are the responsibility of their parents. When the state assumes the role of parent, it makes children of all of us…. 

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