Tell Your Legislator You Want Public School Choices in Virginia (0)

February 12, 2016 • Category: Education, Top Story

Dear Fellow Virginian, As a former Fairfax County School Board Member and Immediate Past President of the Virginia State Board of Education, I’ve learned a simple fact: While Virginia has a great system of public schools that largely serve children well, no one can deny that there are huge pockets of failure in some cities […]

Full Story»


EPA Accused of WOTUS Propaganda Violation (1)

“At issue here is whether EPA violated publicity or propaganda and anti-lobbying provisions…” regarding appropriations from Congress (GAO letter December 14, 2015, to U.S. Senator James M. Inhofe.) The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded EPA violated the ‘propaganda prohibition” of a federal statute.  GAO said, “No part of any part of appropriation contained in this […]


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»

Jefferson and His Views on Slavery (2)

(Editor’s note: This history lesson on Thomas Jefferson and his views and actions concerning slavery is worth reading.) Recently, leaders of the Democratic Party of Connecticut voted unanimously to delete the name of Thomas Jefferson from their annual fundraising dinner. Jefferson was, after all, a slave owner. Democrats in other states are reportedly considering similar […]


Time to Stop Criminalizing Mere Misconduct (Comments Off)

By Christian Braunlich and Angela Ciolfi Why does Virginia have the highest rate of referring school children to police? A report last April by the Center on Public Integrity, using U.S. Department of Education data, demonstrated that Virginia schools referred students to law enforcement at a rate nearly three times higher than the national average. And […]


Virginia: Open for Business With Iran? (1)

The Iran nuclear deal will soon become reality even though a bi-partisan majority in Congress opposes it as does a vast majority of the American people. Significant arms agreements, especially between adversaries on the world stage, have always been by treaty, requiring a two-thirds vote of approval by the U.S. Senate. This has ensured broad […]

Economic Development»

Reagan’s Still Right – Bottom-Up Job Creation In Virginia (1)

By Mark Obenshain and Kirk Cox “We who live in free-market societies believe that growth, prosperity and, ultimately, human fulfillment are created from the bottom up, not the government down.” President Ronald Reagan uttered these words more than three decades ago, but they are especially relevant today as Virginia grapples with continuing economic stagnation. Our […]


Economic Growth Slower Than We Want (1)

Modest economic growth? Get used to it, according to the latest 10-year projection from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With the annual pace of employment growth much slower in this expansion than it was in previous decades, it is easy to continue to cast blame on the severity of the Great Recession. The continued elevated […]


Tell Your Legislator You Want Public School Choices in Virginia (0)

Dear Fellow Virginian, As a former Fairfax County School Board Member and Immediate Past President of the Virginia State Board of Education, I’ve learned a simple fact: While Virginia has a great system of public schools that largely serve children well, no one can deny that there are huge pockets of failure in some cities […]


Mad Max Coming to an Electric Grid Near You? (Comments Off)

Two years ago Iranian hackers infiltrated the control system of the Bowman Avenue Dam, a small structure used for flood control in Rye, N.Y., about 20 miles from New York City. The hackers never took control of the dam, and no damage was done, but U.S. officials say the incident highlighted the vulnerability of a […]


Climate Frequently Changes (0)

Dangerous manmade global cooling, global warming, climate change and extreme weather claims continue to justify what has become a $1.5-trillion-per-year industry: tens of billions spent annually on one-sided research and hundreds of billions sent to crony corporatists to subsidize replacing dependable, affordable carbon-based fuels with unreliable, expensive “renewable” energy. Some 50 million acres of US […]


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»

Is a Constitutional Convention a Good Idea? (4)

Many American’s, including presidential candidates from major political parties, have suggested we have a National Convention to amend the U.S. Constitution, most for the purpose of passing a balanced budget amendment. I must admit at times I thought that would be a good idea, but then, like Sen. Marco Rubio of FL, I think about […]

Health Care»

Sparks Will Fly (2)

Step aside Medicaid expansion. The big uproar in the General Assembly this year is over who gets the final say over the shape of Virginia’s Clean Power Plan: General Assembly Republicans or Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe. At stake is the future of Virginia’s electric grid. Democrats and their allies are pushing for 30% renewable energy by 2030 […]


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 Affordability for Millennials (Comments Off)

As the global epicenter of technology innovation, Silicon Valley creates a massive amount of wealth — but the housing supply, hemmed in by geography and zoning regulations, is incredibly restricted. The resulting housing crunch is so severe that Millennials are hard pressed to live there. The median income for Millennials in the San Jose metropolitan area is […]


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»

Do Newport News Courts Threaten Virginia’s Pro-Business Reputation? (1)

Virginia consistently ranks as one of the most business-friendly states in America, although lately we have been slipping. According to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, since 2001, manufacturing companies have invested $14.5 billion and created more than 72,000 new jobs in Virginia and nearly $4 billion in capital investment. That is most encouraging. The city […]

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 […]


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»

Super Bowl’s Super Last Play (Comments Off)

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made a good decision when he chose to pass the ball against New England’s goal line defense. On second down. With thirty seconds to go. And one time out left. The Patriots were thinking run. Pete chose pass. Zig versus zag. Like the old line from baseball goes “Hit it […]


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 […]


State Leaders Must Act to Curb Federal Regulators (Comments Off)

The expanding power of federal regulators to dictate edicts from Washington would astonish the authors of our Constitution. Regulators who re-interpret laws passed years ago in ways never intended by Congress threaten the checks on executive branch power that have served as the foundation for the rule of law. If the Presidential appointees can transform […]

State Government»

Governor’s Corporate Tax Cut Will Have Little Impact (Comments Off)

Governor McAuliffe has proposed a quarter of one percent cut in the corporate income tax rate (from 6% to 5.75%). This puny tax cut will have a minimal impact on economic growth. Indeed, it will only create 280 new jobs in five years. We find more new jobs coming to Virginia from reading the Governor’s press releases over […]


Tax Reform and Job Creation Go Hand in Hand (3)

I recently sat through two days of state candidates discussing top issues facing Virginia with several dozen business leaders interested in public policy. These discussions made it clear that our economy needs a significant boost and that our tax code needs to be made more relevant to today’s world. In one business survey after another, […]


Surfing the Data Tsunami (Comments Off)

Data Crush is coming, and it gives us an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform aging and decrepit institutions, designed for the mid-20th century. As futurist Chris Surdak argues the “digital trinity” — mobile computing, social media and advanced analytics — is sweeping all before it. Digital-driven innovation is outpacing the ability of our ossified structure of government, […]

Top Story»

Virginia’s Hospital Finances Looking Good (Comments Off)

Earlier this week, the Thomas Jefferson Institute published a study, “How are Virginia’s Hospitals Doing Today – A Review of Hospital Finances,” showing a detailed listing of the profits and losses and the net worth of the 154 hospitals listed on the Virginia Hospital Information website (HERE) Immediately the Virginia Hospital Association (VHA) put its […]


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 […]


Rights and Wrongs of Interstate Tolling (Comments Off)

Now that Congress has added use-it-or-lose-it provisions to the federal pilot program that allows three states to each replace a worn-out Interstate highway using toll finance, interest in the subject is increasing. Last fall Missouri DOT held a workshop (at which I spoke) on the potential of tolling and long-term public-private partnerships (P3s) for large-scale […]


Senators Squash Global Warming Skeptic (1)

As Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition for 15 years, Tomas de Torquemada, presided over the interrogation, torture, imprisonment and execution of thousands, for the “crimes” of religious heresy and pretended conversion to Christianity. Historian Sebastián de Olmedo titled him “the hammer of heretics.” Today Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) are pursuing their […]

Virginia Roundup»

Should Virginians Help Bail Out Puerto Rico? (1)

Puerto Rico is in serious financial crisis, and because the island is a U.S. territory, this is a matter of concern to taxpayers in Virginia and throughout the country. As a territory, this government cannot declare bankruptcy under current Chapter 9 law, but it wants to do just that. No government gets itself into this […]


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.