Charter School Constitutional Amendment: Giving Opportunities to Students (0)

September 30, 2015 • Category: Education, Top Story

Imagine that award-winning teachers proposed a high school for under-performing students adding 23 days to the school calendar, and extending the daily schedule by more than an hour each day. Imagine further that this school allows students to take an additional credit course each year, provides increased “wrap-around” services for students and families, was endorsed […]

Full Story»


Free Speech Decision Helps Genetically Modified Foods (0)

A recent Forbes Magazine carried a story which caught my eye regarding GMO (genetically modified organisms) food labeling. The Forbes article discusses a little noticed June 18, 2015, U.S. Supreme Court decision Reed v.Town of Gilbert. The article was entitled, Supreme Court – Free Speech Clobbers GMO Food-Labeling Activists. I was not aware the Court had any GMO issue before it, […]


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 […]


Human Trafficking Happens Here In Virginia (Comments Off)

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, so it is time to recognize, and bring awareness to, the horrible evil of human trafficking. Human trafficking is when individuals use violence, threats, debt, and other forms of coercion to force women, men and children to engage in sex or acts of labor against their […]


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»

Federal Bureaucracy Much Worse than Devine Outlines (1)

Donald Devine could not be more wrong with his data or conclusions (Reagan Idea Could Reform Invisible Bureaucracy, Jefferson Policy Journal, March 19, 2015). He points to the growth of government spending, but the relatively constant size of the federal workforce. He should give government employees more credit. In the private sector, U.S. manufacturers now […]


Our Economy Is Still In Recovery Mode (Comments Off)

Federal spending is back on the upswing and that may provide part of the explanation for Virginia’s uptick in employment growth. President Obama’s budget shows a 7 percent increase in spending in the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30 compared with the prior year. Employment growth in Virginia accelerated to 1.3 percent for the 12 […]


Charter School Constitutional Amendment: Giving Opportunities to Students (0)

Imagine that award-winning teachers proposed a high school for under-performing students adding 23 days to the school calendar, and extending the daily schedule by more than an hour each day. Imagine further that this school allows students to take an additional credit course each year, provides increased “wrap-around” services for students and families, was endorsed […]


Toward a Smarter Grid (0)

One day earlier this month, 10,000 people living in Fairfax County lost their electric power around 7:30 a.m. Thanks to sensors and devices that Dominion Virginia Power had installed in its electric distribution system, company operators were able to quickly identify and isolate the problem. Fifteen minutes later, they had restored service to 9,000 residents; within half […]


Climate Change Silliness (2)

The Middle East is imploding. Islamic State butchers are annihilating Christian and other communities including Moslems. Putin is sending arms and troops to Assad. Under the Obama-Iran nuclear deal, the mullahs will get $150 billion to expand their proxy terror war on Israel and the West. Saudi Arabia has 100,000 empty air-conditioned tents but won’t […]


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»

Reagan Idea Could Reform Invisible Bureaucracy (Comments Off)

(Editor’s note: Virginia has the largest percentage of federal government employees than any other state. Don Devine was the Director of the Office of Personnel Management under President Reagan.) It is official. Total Federal civilian government personnel have increased from 1.74 million in 2001 to 2.1 million today. President Barack Obama alone has added 350,000 […]

Health Care»

Reform for Better Health Care (Comments Off)

Now that the Supreme Court has determined that the Obamacare entitlement is here to stay, let’s work toward reforming our health care system in ways that make sense. Virginia is one of 36 states that still has Certificate of Public Need laws (COPN) on the books. This law stems from a federal mandate more than […]


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 […]


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 […]


Widely-Touted Study on State and Local Taxes is a Sham (1)

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) is a self-described “non-partisan research organization” dedicated to providing “accurate, timely, and straightforward information” about tax policies. In a new report on state and local taxes, ITEP declares that “virtually every state’s tax system is fundamentally unfair,” because they take “a much greater share of income from […]


Connected Vehicles and Cybersecurity (1)

In May Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced that the federal government would be accelerating its efforts to mandate that new automobiles come equipped to communicate with one another. A regulation to that effect is to be submitted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to the Office of Management & Budget for final review by […]

Top Story»

Spending Transportation Money Wisely (Comments Off)

A good idea for better public policy can, at times, take years to become reality. But when it happens it proves that old saying, “Every journey starts with the first step.” Transportation spending is a good case and point. In 1999, the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy published a study focused on creating a […]


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 […]


Ballooning the Highway Trust Fund (Comments Off)

One day last month I was listening to “Marketplace” on NPR and heard a bizarre story. According to the reporter, the huge electronic signs in Times Square in New York are now “illegal billboards” that must be taken down. Why? Because Broadway and 7th Avenue are now defined by the Federal Highway Administration as “other […]


Measuring Educational Value Added (3)

What are the top colleges and universities in Virginia? We know the usual roster, based upon the annual survey by U.S. News & World Report: The University of Virginia, College of William and Mary, and Virginia Tech. Essentially, U.S. News measures the prestige of an institution. But how well do colleges and universities actually prepare students to earn a living? That’s […]

Virginia Roundup»

Virginia Roundup (Comments Off)

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


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.