Flemming: When ‘nanny state instincts’ overwhelm a senator’s ‘libertarian streak’

By David Flemming

On May 21, state Sen. Chris Pearson, P-Chittenden, testified about H.157 on the Senate floor. The bill would require that residential contractors register with the state of Vermont and pay a fee for the privilege for doing so.

Pearson began with this remarkable statement: “I have a sort of libertarian streak senators have sometimes seen.”

Taking a quick detour into the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of a libertarian: “an advocate or supporter of a political philosophy that advocates only minimal state intervention in the free market and the private lives of citizens.”

Continuing with Pearson’s floor testimony, he said:

I have worked alongside contractors (and) I have friends who are contractors. And frankly, I hesitated to support this bill, and then go to a barbecue with my contractor friends and be endlessly ribbed for my nanny state instincts. … But what really tipped the scales for me is the fact that there’s an intersection here with the important work we have to do in the climate sphere. We are investing and helping Vermonters invest with incentives in things. Like swap-outs for high-efficiency wood stoves incentives, for heat pump incentives, we want people to better insulate their homes. We are constantly having small tweaks to code, and the joke in the residential sphere is, code is voluntary. It’s not voluntary. It’s not voluntary!

A cynic might see Pearson’s testimony as evidence he got so annoyed at his “contractor friends” and their jokes about housing codes being “voluntary,” that he decided to vote to make his friends pay a registration fee so they would treat Vermont’s codes with more reverence.

I, for one, have yet to see any evidence of Sen. Pearson’s “libertarian streak” on any legislative vote or in any committee meeting. Libertarianism is a philosophy of voluntary action being morally superior to coercive action. When it comes time to vote on just about any issue, Pearson has chosen coercion over liberty just about every time, as you can see from his Roll Call profile. His insistence on codes being “not voluntary” is just the latest case in a long-standing trend.

But perhaps that cynical explanation should give way to a more understanding one: Sen. Pearson has “libertarian instincts” which get overwhelmed by his “nanny state instincts” whenever the “climate sphere” comes up.

Only problem is, the climate sphere is ever-expanding with Vermont’s ongoing quest to reduce Vermont’s miniscule carbon emissions. Perhaps it makes a small amount of sense that the type of light bulbs you use, to the way you heat your home, are in danger of falling to the climate faction.

But regulating residential contractors? Oh right. Because contractors need to become “agents of the state” for ensuring that customers can only “choose” whatever costly energy efficiency “upgrades” legislators in Montpelier have concocted — or else these contractors become prohibited from legally working on construction projects. There is no real limit to Pearson’s “nanny state instincts” if the only exception to his libertarianism happens to be “saving the planet.”

One wonders if some of Pearson’s contractor friends will invite him back to their barbeques after he pulls this on them. It should come as no surprise that finding Pearson’s libertarian streak is a bit like chasing the elusive Bigfoot.

To watch Pearson’s testimony, click here.

David Flemming is a policy analyst for the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of state of Vermont

17 thoughts on “Flemming: When ‘nanny state instincts’ overwhelm a senator’s ‘libertarian streak’

  1. mY NEIGHBOR BUILDS A BEAUTIFUL GARDEN SHED. i INQUIRE – HE USED $2500 IN MATERIALS.
    i ASK HIM TO BUILD ME ONE. OK. LUMBER HAD GONE SKY HIGH, I NEED TO PAY HIM FOR HIS LABOR!

    NOW HANDSHAKE CONTRACT IS AT ? $4000. BUT! NOW HE NEEDS TO PAY FOR GOVERNMENT .PERMISSION AND FEES AND TAXES AND PAPERWORK AND HAVE A $1,000,000 INSURANCE POLICY FOR EVERY CONTINGENCY
    All FOR A $4000 FREAKIN SHED!! THESE GOOF-BALLS HAVE BEEN SUCKING GRANITE FUMES FAR TOO LONG !!!!!!!!!

  2. Pearson is a flaming virtue-signaling jackass willing to throw anyone under the bus for the highest bidder – then throws in a bunch of Climate Alarmist dogma and calls it a day.

  3. Pearson wins Chittenden County Senate recount by 28 votes over Heston, A NEWCOMER

    Pearson was VERY WEAK.

    He loves to suck money out of the pockets of working people who CONTRIBUTE goods and services to the Vermont economy.

    Likely with a little bit of ballot stuffing by friendly DEM/PROG vote counters/operatives, while no one was looking, Pearson “won”, which was “confirmed” by a “quickie” recount, not by forensic examination of the ballots, as is happening in Arizona right now.

    There will be forensic examinations of millions of ballots in Arizona (almost finished), Pennsylvania and Georgia, a total of 11 + 20 + 16 = 47 votes, i.e., Biden 302 – 47 = 265 and Trump 232 + 47 = 279.

    It will be shown, Trump had more votes than he was credited with and Biden has a lot less votes than he was credited with.
    Stay tuned, until the last vote is forensically examined.

    • It’s interesting with what is going on over in NH….of course nobody in Vermont wants to talk about anything election.

      We don’t even have to get into the federal election….NH has serious issues with over votes not being counted and counted for the wrong person….all because of folded absentee ballots, to which Vermont was king of absentee ballots.

      Surely there are probably enough out of state voters that pushed him over the edge.

      We are corrupt to the core.

    • Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and even Nevada are listed as dominos by Steve Bannon – he’s all over it like wet on water lol

  4. Smooth talking water boy for agenda 21, aka New World Order. Pimping for the Vermont to be the first colony of the United nations. Ignore the fuzzy dice on his rear view mirror.

  5. The private sector already has this covered, it’s called insurance. If the property doesn’t meet insurance standards there is a problem.

    Once again sticking their noses into something that is already taken care of.

    Could it be tax revenue? A new tax? No……couldn’t be possible”

  6. Perhaps his contractor friends should invite him over and barbecue him… I don’t know why he uses the term Libertarian when he’s clearly a fascist intent on having
    his ilk determine and run every facet of Vermonters lives… He’s not “progressive” in any sense of the word… he’s a fascist like all of the power hungry left.
    Vermont use to be known for independent minded self sufficient folks who took care
    of themselves and their neighbors, not needing “progressive” fascist to do it for them.
    Thanks to Chittenden county’s mindless sheeple non VT’ers that aspect of what Vermonter’s are is gone…

  7. Pearson, just another liberal buffoon from Chittenden County, looking to get every
    dime they can from working people !!

    Apparently, this genius didn’t figure that these ” Taxes ” are only going to hurt the
    consumer…. hopefully his contractor friends let him know that they are sick of the
    foolishness agenda.

    One would think that with all the issues within the state, our legislators would be
    trying to eliminate unnecessary tax & fees on the working class, but then again they
    are Liberals running the statehouse ……. pretty sad !!

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