Let’s Drill Off-Shore (0)

July 24, 2014 • Category: Energy, Top Story

Ten years ago Virginia started down the road of lifting the federal government’s moratorium on offshore drilling. Late last week, the Obama Administration announced it was going to allow seismic testing off the Atlantic coast so that energy companies could use updated technology to determine just how much oil and natural gas is available. Critical […]

Full Story»

Agriculture»

No Joke: USDA Seeks Submachine Guns (1)

The headline is hard to believe. The request in the Federal Register on May 7, is not. The solicitation is from the Inspector General’s office and was published at 2:03 p.m. in FedBizOpps.gov. Does the U.S. Department of Agriculture need submachine guns to police farmers? According to the National Review Online, “A May 7 solicitation […]

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»

Is the End of America’s Culture Wars in Sight? (0)

Have the Culture Wars peaked? Is the national debate over God, Gays and Guns on the downward slide? Michael Lind, a conservative thinker and co-founder of The New America Foundation, thinks the end is foreseeable. Just as the Civil War didn’t end after Gettysburg — the Confederate states still had a lot of fight left in […]

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»

Virginia’s Employment Declines (1)

Employment in the nation is finally starting to pick up. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 192,000 in March, which is 1.7% higher than a year ago. The Richmond metropolitan area is seeing similar growth. Employment rose 1.5% over the year ending with February, which is the latest data available at the regional level. In contrast, employment […]

Economy»

Job Market Remains Sluggish (0)

The national labor market continues to slowly improve, but so many people with work experience are still seeking jobs. This is making it another tough summer for high school and college students who want to work as well as new college graduates entering the workforce. Making matters worse, the mounting debt that college graduates are […]

Education»

When A Deal Isn’t A Deal (1)

As the fiscal year comes to an end on June 30, the General Assembly has not yet agreed to a two year budget. The stumbling block is that the Governor and the State Senate want to include a huge increase in Medicaid coverage to as many as 400,000 people not now covered. The House believes […]

Energy»

Let’s Drill Off-Shore (0)

Ten years ago Virginia started down the road of lifting the federal government’s moratorium on offshore drilling. Late last week, the Obama Administration announced it was going to allow seismic testing off the Atlantic coast so that energy companies could use updated technology to determine just how much oil and natural gas is available. Critical […]

Environment»

EPA’s Plans for Virginia’s Farmers (0)

Cover crops, Virginia says, “…comes at considerable expense to agricultural producers…” Virginia’s WIP (Watershed Implementation Plan) wants cover crops on 10% of available cropland. Financial incentive programs will be available. Virginia’s WIP claims there are approximately 27,000 farms in Virginia managing approximately 1.5 million cattle. Virginia officials state “Achieving livestock exclusion on 95% of riparian […]

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»

Medicaid Expansion Is Bad Policy, Period (1)

(The Jefferson Policy Journal ran a column on June 19, 2014 highlighting the positive aspects of how Indiana has expanded Medicaid, This column offers another perspective.) It is time to stop, take a breath and ask some basic questions about health care:  Do we want to see greater government control over health care dollars and […]

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»

The Obamacare of Real Estate (Comments Off)

Top Senate Banking Committee members released plans this week to wind down mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and replace them with a complicated apparatus disturbingly similar to Obamacare. While the proposal by Senators Tim Johnson (D-SD), the chairman, and Mike Crapo (R-ID), the ranking member, was announced with great fanfare, it simply follows […]

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»

Cantor’s Loss: Lessons Learned … Again (5)

To my many friends on both sides of the political aisle, if you learn just two things from the Eric Cantor loss last month I hope you infuse your political blood with: 1 – Challengers don’t win, incumbents lose. 2 – Relationships require work. A year ago when two senior Republican members of the Virginia […]

Regulation»

Government Regulations Impact Industries (1)

Increasing government regulations tend to have varying degrees of effect on different industries. Even though their impacts on the broader economy may be modest, for certain industries, the impact can be quite severe. Susan Dudley, director of the George Washington University’s Regulatory Studies Center, said in a report that the Obama administration’s own estimates shows […]

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»

Medicaid Reform – The Virginia Way (5)

Let’s think through this Medicaid expansion issue. First, everyone wants to make sure that those who need health care assistance have access to it as needed, but how to best do that – for those who are financially less fortunate and need medical assistance and for the taxpayers who have to pay for government health […]

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»

The Elephant in the Room in Highway Reauthorization (0)

State DOT’s are planning cutbacks in various projects as the Federal Highway Administration begins reducing reimbursement payments next month to a level that can be sustained by existing federal highway funding sources. Just to cover existing contractual obligations through Dec. 31st of this year would require an additional $8 billion, based on projections from the […]

Uncategorized»

As the Highway Trust Fund Runs Low, States Come to the Rescue – Part II (Comments Off)

(Part I of this article was run in the Jefferson Policy Journal on May 8, 2014) Fortunately states and local governments are assuming a larger role in funding transportation, thus lessening the pressure to increase the level of federal assistance. Having concluded that they no longer can count on a reliable and growing stream of federal revenue, states and local jurisdictions are […]

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.