Some Thoughts on Expanding Medicaid (2)

April 10, 2014 • Category: Health Care, Top Story

There are two policy issues involved in whether Virginia should expand Medicaid: first, is whether the budget should be the vehicle through which a major new government entitlement program is determined; and second, whether expanding Medicaid is a sound policy overall. Holding the budget hostage to this debate is serious business. Our elected officials need […]

Full Story»

Agriculture»

EPA’s Water Police: Coming to Your Farm? (3)

I just returned from Germany and Poland and was startled to discover the regulatory control the European Union exercises over its farmers and agriculture. This should not be a surprise, however, when a farmer has the EU paying one-half the cost of his tractor and/or farm equipment. In eastern Germany, we were also regaled with […]

Appreciation»

Great American Heroes (Comments Off)

With all the grim economic news and continued partisanship in our great nation, one must look to the true character of regular men and women in our work force who are making a tremendous difference and saving lives.

Civil Liberties»

Are Courts Assaulting Our Liberties? (1)

Presidential contender Newt Gingrich was criticized recently for his remarks regarding judicial activism. He claimed parts of our modern court system are engaging in “…a fundamental assault on our liberties…” Further, Gingrich contends the Founding Fathers wanted “…to have a balance of power, not to have a dictatorship by any one of the three branches.” […]

Crime»

Gun Control Clamor Needs a Thoughtful Response (5)

Second Amendment supporters must rise to another challenge in coming months. The horrific Newtown, Connecticut school massacre has heightened anti-gun rumblings to a crescendo. It was also predictable that weapons sales would surge in Virginia and nationwide, at least partly in fear that new federal laws might be enacted. Although anti-gun clamors have arisen after […]

Defense»

Slower Recovery due to Sequestration (Comments Off)

The Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy released its fourteenth annual Virginia Economic Forecast last week .  It was again authored by Dr. Christine Chmura and her team at Chmura Economics & Analytics of Richmond, the state’s leading private economic consulting company. With Virginia facing the brunt of the federal government’s spending reductions known as […]

Economic Development»

Suburbia Not Only Not Dying—It’s Thriving (Comments Off)

Fortune magazine’s Leigh Gallagher got a large amount of publicity over the summer for her book, The End of the Suburbs: Why the American Dream is Moving. Major newspapers did articles repeating her claims, and she expounded them on various blogs and talk shows: Millennials hate the suburbs, Baby Boomers are moving back to downtowns, […]

Economy»

65 is the New 25 (Comments Off)

As Baby Boomers reach their retirement years, the Age Wave is washing over the country. The big push among the G.I. Generation and the Silent Generation was to head south, settling in Florida and Arizona. But Boomers have other ideas. They are more inclined to age in place. And if they do decide to move, […]

Education»

VCU Meets Supply and Demand (1)

Surely Virginia Commonwealth University has an economics department. Surely, there is someone at the state’s largest institution of higher learning who is conversant with the law of supply and demand. But, then, maybe not… The VCU Board of Visitors will be asked to increase tuition 3.5% next academic year and pay a new $50 library […]

Energy»

More Bad Science from EPA (2)

The Obama Environmental Protection Agency recently slashed the maximum allowable sulfur content in gasoline from 30 parts per million to 10 ppm. The agency claims its new “Tier 3” rule will bring $7 billion to $19 billion in annual health benefits by 2030. “These standards are a win for publicchealth, a win for our environment and a […]

Environment»

Will the Supreme Court permit EPA climate fraud? (1)

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency. The case will determine how far EPA can extend its regulatory overreach, to control “climate changing” carbon dioxide from power plants and other facilities – by ignoring the Constitution’s “separation of powers” provisions, rewriting clear language in the […]

Feature»

Wetlands: The New Land Grab by EPA (1)

EPA’s draft guidance on identifying waters which may be wetlands was issued on April 27, 2011. My recent blog discussed the concern an Illinois congressman had regarding the impact of this guidance on agriculture and farmers.

Government Reform»

Some Thoughts on Social Security (1)

Today our local newspapers headlines were that the president was backing off from Social Security cuts in his budget which will be released early in March. As someone who receives Social Security, and also one hoping his own children will have a decent retirement which will include Social Security, it got me to thinking about […]

Health Care»

Some Thoughts on Expanding Medicaid (2)

There are two policy issues involved in whether Virginia should expand Medicaid: first, is whether the budget should be the vehicle through which a major new government entitlement program is determined; and second, whether expanding Medicaid is a sound policy overall. Holding the budget hostage to this debate is serious business. Our elected officials need […]

History»

Remembering Reagan at 101 (Comments Off)

It was an honor to know and work for Ronald Reagan, whose 101st birthday we celebrate this month. I “cut my political teeth” working for him in West Texas in 1976 and 1980, running for the U.S. House at his suggestion in 1978, and later serving in his administration in several executive positions. I was […]

Housing»

Economic Impact: Home affordability in Richmond area Hits Highest Level (2)

(This column ran in the Richmond Times Dispatch on February 4, 2013.) Home affordability in the Richmond region stood at its highest level in the third quarter of last year since 2003. The region had 51.9 percent of households that could afford to buy a median-priced home — with half the houses selling for more […]

Immigration»

Immigration Reform Needs to be Realistic (5)

Our economy is in desperate need for more middle-class job creation. Recent statistics continue to show a very weak recovery – one of worst recoveries since World War II. Once Congress gets back to it, the immigration debate needs to focus on reality and not “news bites” and unrealistic concepts. A 2011 survey by the […]

Land Use»

Taking the Bogey Out of Government-Run Golf (1)

How many golf courses does the Commonwealth of Virginia own? No, that is not a ‘how many people does it take to screw in a light bulb’ question. Owning and operating golf courses is not a core government function. It is effectively competing against private enterprises that usually do the job at a lower cost […]

Law and Justice»

Confusing Ability with Intent: Why the NRA Should Not have Joined Forces With the ACLU (2)

The recent controversy concerning alleged “unconstitutional” National Security Agency (NSA) collection of vast telephone “metadata”—records already collected by private sector telecommunications companies that identify what phone numbers were connected with what other phone numbers along with when the calls occurred and how long they lasted—has sadly been driven by misinformation, misunderstanding, and ignorance of both […]

Local Government»

Local, State Government Assets Cause Budgetary Pains (1)

For a moment, let’s accept President Obama’s recent statement on its face value: “the private sector is doing fine. Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government, oftentimes cuts initiated by, you know, governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in […]

Media»

Keep the Redskins’ Name (4)

I was once told that the only bad thing about being a good sport is that you have to lose to prove it. So it is with democracy; you have to have the freedom to disagree to prove that it works. This brings me to the issue of the Washington Redskins. They are one of […]

Nice & Curious Questions»

A Rocky Business: Quarries in Virginia (Comments Off)

Modern quarries in the Old Dominion owe their existence to the automobile – and muddy roads. In fact, in 1928, before the state took over road maintenance, Fairfax County opened a quarry near Centreville to extract crushed stone for county roads. Now privately owned, the Luck Stone Corporation quarry site on Route 29 provided material […]

Politics»

Ferris Bueller and the Election Results (Comments Off)

If one assumes that Ferris Bueller was a second semester senior in the 1986 classic comedy hit “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’, today he would be 44 or 45. While Ferris would have never voted for Ronald Reagan, he was a child of the times as we all are children of our times. But who was […]

Regulation»

Should the Uranium Mining Moratorium Be Lifted? (1)

The debate over uranium mining in Virginia is reaching a crescendo as the Virginia General Assembly meets for its 2012 Session and those in favor and those opposed are ready to battle over this important public policy and economic development issue. While this is  important , especially to those who live in Southside Virginia, the […]

State Government»

Fostering Regional Collaboration Case by Case (1)

For reasons rooted in local identity and entrenched political interest, Virginians are unlikely to consolidate their local governments into units aligned with the metropolitan regions they serve. But it is not impossible to imagine governments partnering regionally on specific projects. A new study by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, “Encouraging Local Collaboration through […]

Taxes»

Virginia, Stop Getting Slapped (2)

“There ought to be a law,” is not a phrase that slips easily from my keyboard. Generally, I think there are far too many laws and, particularly, too many new laws. Old laws that have long outlived any usefulness are too seldom revisited and removed from the statute books. At the rate we add new laws, one would […]

Technology»

Flying Blind Does Not Serve Taxpayers (1)

In order to implement and measure the effectiveness of the programs proposed by President Obama and Governor Kaine we need a better understanding of our land. The US and Virginia both need better maps.

Top Story»

Medical Care for the Needy (3)

As our state’s General Assembly debates whether to expand the taxpayers’ financed Medicaid to an additional 400,000 of our citizens, we should step back and see what can be done today to reform the current program and help many of those folks who do not have health insurance. There are ways to serve the poor […]

Transparency»

Is Virginia’s P3 Program at Risk? (Comments Off)

(This article is reprinted by Surface Transportation Innovations, a monthly newsletter by Reason Foundation.) The state with the longest track record in public-private partnerships (P3s) for transportation infrastructure is clearly Virginia. It enacted the first workable general enabling legislation for P3s back in 1995 (the Public-Private Transportation Act—PPTA) and despite a few early stumbles, has generated substantial private capital […]

Transportation»

Value-Added Tolling: Getting to “Yes” on Interstate Tolling (1)

The Interstate highway system is wearing out. Over the next two decades, nearly all of its 47,000 miles will have to be rebuilt, to make it serviceable for another 50+ years. In addition, several hundred major interchanges are horrible bottlenecks and need to be replaced with more modern designs, and some corridors need additional lanes […]

Uncategorized»

State Should Get Out of Private Sector-Type Businesses (Comments Off)

Next time you hear about the rising cost of a college education and the amount of debt students carry upon graduation, remember the Mason Inn. George Mason University, a Virginia state university located in Fairfax, suffered $11 million in losses on a $54 million investment in the on-campus hotel and conference facility, causing the university to announce it […]

Virginia Roundup»

Virginia Roundup (Comments Off)

A roundup of news from the last two weeks around the state.

Disclaimer

The views expressed in Bacon's Rebellion are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Thomas Jefferson Institute or its Board of Directors. The authors in this electronic journal are free express their own opinions. Nothing in these columns should be construed as the Jefferson Institute supporting or opposing any specific piece of legislation.