Second Week of the 2016 General Assembly Session Wraps-Up

January 22, 2016
Contact: Christian Heiens
(540) 497-2955
Second Week of the 2016 General Assembly Session Wraps-Up
RICHMOND, VA - The Virginia House of Delegates has just completed its second week of the 2016 session. Over the past week, Delegate Nick Freitas (R-Culpeper) has filed three additional bills: HB1341, HB1349, HB1350, and HB1375.  Delegate Freitas was elected to his first term in November 2015, and currently represents the 30th District in the House, comprising the counties of Madison, Orange, and parts of Culpeper. 
News from Richmond
Delegate Freitas bills currently active in committees:

HB459 - Career Technical Education (CTE) Programs
Gives greater control to localities in selecting CTE teachers.
HB760 - Transparency in Government
Requires the Auditor of Public accounts to update the transparency website to provide more information on government spending and to make information easier to find. 

HB762 - Electric Transmission Line Planning Association
Allows localities to form associations so that they can more closely monitor transmission line planning and protect property rights
HB763 - 10th Amendment
 Prohibits the use of state and local law enforcement from assisting the federal government in the enforcement of regulations that haven't been properly voted on by congress, when there are active investigations of violent crimes within their jurisdictions 

HB1183 - Revocation of the "Incumbent Protection Act"
Removes the portion of election law which provides incumbents special privileges to select their method of nomination. 

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2016 Legislative Session Survey!

Let us know what you think about important issues facing the Commonwealth!


So What Class Are You?

Have you ever been asked what "class" you belong to? Judging by political rhetoric, especially that which comes from the left, class is everything. Here is a quick guide:

Upper Class: Bad
Middle Class: Good
Lower Class: Victims

It is for instance perfectly acceptable to talk about how bad, greedy, selfish, lazy, self centered etc. the "upper Class" is. 

It is mandatory to speak of the virtue, hard working, trustworthiness and importance of the "middle class".

As for the "lower class", we don't really use the term "lower" because that would be insensitive. Instead it is the working poor or those struggling to get by, but as we all know, the "lower class" are victims of the "upper class". 

So I will now tell you what class I belong to...none of them. I am a Christian, I am a husband, a veteran an American. I love my wife and kids dearly. I like BBQs and a good steak. I enjoy John Wayne movies and think Jane Austin was a literary genius. I like impressionist paintings, especially Monet's lily pads. My music collection is very eclectic with everything from Beethoven to blue grass to rock. I like football and baseball. I love working outside clearing brush and planting trees. I am a horrible mechanic. I love to teach and to engage in discussion with others about religion, politics, economics and a whole host of other topics. I have 10 new ideas of what I would like to accomplish on our ten acres every day, with the understanding that I might actually get around to 1 or 2 of them in the next 5 years. 

I am all of these things. And all of these things together will tell you far more about me than you probably ever wanted to know. But just about anyone of these things will tell you more about who I am than my current economic status. You see, all of the things I have listed above have accurately defined aspects of my personality and character far more than what my income does. And I believe that is true of everyone I have ever met.

One other thing about me that I should probably mention. I reject, with passion, the practice of assigning people a "class" based on nothing more than their temporary economic status. This is America. We don't categorize people in this way. If the Democrats would like to, let them. Let them be the ones to borrow the Marxist view that you are nothing more then the sum total of what you currently make. I believe that each individual is far more accurately defined by their hopes, dreams, aspirations, charity, and yes, actions, regardless of how much they may have made in the process. I applaud those who have made a great deal of money providing goods and services that their fellow man desired. I oppose those who make their fortunes through the force of their political connections rather then their ability to serve their fellow man in the free market. 

As liberty minded individuals we need to stop adopting the rhetoric of the left, which seeks to constantly separate people based off of arbitrary numbers. We need to be more than that. We need to remind people that we believe in the power of the individual. We believe that free men and women working in concert with one another through voluntary cooperation, have achieved more than bureaucrats and politicians could ever dream. 

So will I "fight for the middle class"? Honestly I don't even know what that means. What I will fight for is the God given liberties and rights of all people to dream, strive, work and achieve their goals. Not through the force of government, by providing an environment which values and protects individual liberty.



Do All Lives Matter to Democrats?

In a shocking revelation, to anyone who hasn't been paying attention, the head of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, let all of us know that Democrats support abortion on demand, at any gestation, for any reason.   

Recently when Republican Presidential candidate Rand Paul was asked to explain what possible exemptions he approved of with respect to abortion, he very reasonably asked the question why the press NEVER asks Democrats under what circumstances they oppose destroying innocent human life.

Because let’s face it, that is what we are talking about here. Regardless of how you couch the debate to appeal to the demographic you happen to be speaking with, in the end, the science is clear. Human life begins at conception. This isn't some kind of amazing scientific revelation by the way. If we simply use the same criteria toward a fetus that we apply toward any other entity, we find that all of the genetic and substantive criteria are met to determine that at conception, we are dealing with human life at its earliest stages. 

The abortion question is therefore a fairly simple one. Can people arbitrarily decide, based on no greater justification than their own convenience, to destroy innocent human life which they helped bring about in the first place? Republicans have already answered the question with respect to rape and life of the mother. In the case of rape or life of the mother we are talking about two victims instead of one. But these circumstances, even according to avidly pro-abortion organizations like the Guttmacher Institute account for an incredibly small percentage of abortions. So why is it that the press feels it appropriate to spend all of their time on this issue, reaffirming that which has already been affirmed, and none of the conversation asking Democrats some tough questions about their support for aborting a 7 pound baby just before she leaves the womb? 

If Republicans agreed, as they already have, that abortion should be legal when a mother’s life is in danger, could we perhaps convince Democrats that allowing the abortion industry to go into our schools and encourage kids as young as 11 to engage in sexual activity "as long as they feel ready" is inappropriate?

What could be more exploitive than Democrat politicians advocating for the abortion industry to go into our schools and encourage irresponsible sexual behavior in the name of “education”?

Talk about “cronyism”. What could be a better example of “crony capitalism” then Democrats not only giving a specific industry access to our children at public schools, but then sending them hundreds of millions of tax dollars every year, a significant portion of which comes back to them as campaign contributions?

Talk about a war on women. What could be more "war like" than actually dismembering a female in the womb for profit?

But I guess the press is simply too busy asking Republicans to confirm once again that we don’t think a mother should have to carry a pregnancy to term if it is going to kill her, and most likely the baby.

In the end Republicans are dedicated to protecting Mothers and their children. We are not the ones conducting a “war on women” nor do we take lightly the difficulty of the decision concerning abortion. Our fight is not against those who have had an abortion or those considering it, but an exploitative, destruction based industry which would victimize them and their children.

What we despise is a culture which allows dead beat dads off the hook by making an unplanned pregnancy a “woman’s responsibility” while leaving the man free to shirk their responsibilities.  We are abhorred by an industry that profits off of the destruction of innocent human life by convincing young women that they have no other alternative but to use their service. We detest an industry that helps conceal abuse by keeping confidential the identities of suspected sexual abusers provided that they cover the cost of an abortion. And we openly oppose an industry which preys on our youth by suggesting that they engage in activity they clearly are not mentally or emotionally prepared for while seeking to make a profit off of the bad decisions they helped encourage. 

So to answer our initial question...Do all lives matter to Democrats? I guess it depends on how powerful your lobby is. 

Religious Freedom, The Market Place and the Role of Government Discrimination "an act or instance of discriminating, or of making a distinction."

The latest controversy over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Indiana demonstrates how the deconstruction of language and shared meaning is hurting public debate. 

Before the ink was even dry on the Indiana RFRA, which essentially provides limited protection to business owners attempting to live in accordance with their sacred beliefs, the cry of "Discrimination!" was leveled at anyone who holds the crazy idea that people shouldn't be threatened with government violence for choosing to withhold their talents or property from those who wish to benefit from them. 

To discriminate is to make a distinction. Essentially every decision you make in favor of one thing or action over another is a form of discrimination. For instance, the moment liberals decided to boycott certain bakeries and pizzerias they were engaging in discrimination against those select establishments. Did that make their actions automatically immoral or wrong? Like the words "equality" or "tolerance", they have no inherent moral meaning outside of a larger context. Discrimination can be good, discrimination can be bad. Equality can be a good thing, it can also be a bad thing, etc. etc. So what about Indiana's law?

Ultimately we have to ask ourselves a very simple question. Should the government choose who stays in business or should consumers? Should government tell companies how to run their businesses or should the people who actually own the property, developed the product or provide the service do that? This is not a question of "solutions", it is a question of trade offs. Pass all the laws you want, you won't end racism or sexism tomorrow because you have a law against it. The trade off liberals seem very comfortable with at the moment is this: "We will give the government the power to destroy any business that doesn't coincide with our liberal preferences concerning who to serve." Ok, fair enough. What is the inherent trade off? Well, it could be that a minority business owner is now forced to provide a service to an openly racist organization. Or it could be that a different group of people, with different preferences later on down the road use this very same principle to force out businesses that don't share their particular preferences. Before you say that is an extreme example, I will remind you that it wasn't that long ago that the Democratic Party not only advocated racial segregation but actually enforced it through law...that is until Republicans made them stop. The point is there are a lot of potential second and third order consequences of giving politicians the power to decide which businesses succeed and which do not based off of their arbitrary preferences. 

The left in this country simply can't seem to embrace the fact that mankind is flawed, and no amount of government tinkering is going to fix it, largely because politicians are selected from the same genetic stream as the rest of mankind. Furthermore, they don't seem to appreciate that laws are not magical talismans which supernaturally end bad things and promote good things. Laws are essentially a threat of violence against something or in favor of something. And because we are talking about violence, we need to be careful how we use it.

Might I recommend a different trade off for our liberal friends. Instead of running to expand the role of government and encouraging violence against anyone who doesn't share your particular worldview, why don't you show a little "tolerance" and "coexist" with your neighbors. Don't resort to violence, simply vote with your dollars. Or better yet, if you think a market is being under-served due to inappropriate discrimination, open up your own business and make a profit by providing a good or service people want. The free market provides an environment where the best and most efficient ideas can rise to the top, without anyone resorting to violence, and that is something we should all be able to support. 

Heritage Foundation Review of the State of the Union 2015

What Obama Got Right and Wrong in the State of the Union

Heritage Foundation experts weighed in on the policies President Obama mentioned in his State of the Union Tuesday night—and how they hurt or help America. Here are all their takes on the big issues.


The Problem With Obama’s Shrinking Deficit Talking Point

President Obama touted shrinking deficits in today’s State of the Union address. This is about the only time in the foreseeable future the president will get to say that. The average annual deficit over the next decade is projected at $950 billion, just shy of a trillion. Starting this year and looking out as far as projections go, the deficit–absent further policy changes–is only heading in one direction: Up. Why address chronic and rising deficits confronting the nation, when you can enjoy a talking point while it lasts?


— Romina Boccia

The Real Story on Obama’s Sensible Regulations

President Obama claims credit for crafting “sensible regulations” that will prevent another financial crisis as well as a new government “watchdog” to protect consumers. But the massive Dodd-Frank regulation statute actually entrenches the concept of “too-big-to-fail,” the very concept upon which bailouts are based. And the new “watchdog,” the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has exploited its unconstrained regulatory powers over virtually every aspect of consumer finances, including banking services, mortgages and credit cards—none of which had any connection to the financial crisis. The result has been higher costs for financial services and fewer options, which actually has inhibited the economic recovery and consumer welfare. — Diane Katz

President Obama Disappoints on Business Tax Reform

President Obama and his staff rolled out his plan to raise taxes on the rich and give targeted tax cuts to some middle class families this weekend. Surprisingly, he made little specific mention of this plan in tonight’s speech.

He mentioned a significant increase of the child care credit, which only benefits families that choose to pay for care outside the home.

Then he made vague reference to closing loopholes in the tax code, but gave little indication of which he’d like to see closed. He did make clear, of course, that he wants these undefined loopholes closed to raise taxes to pay for infrastructure spending. If loopholes are to be closed, tax rates should be lowered so as not to cause a tax hike.

He did mention that he wants to see loopholes closed that allow businesses to keep foreign income offshore. This could mean many things, but is most likely ending deferral, which allows businesses to avoid paying the highest-in-the-world corporate tax rate until they bring their foreign income back to the U.S. We need to reform how we treat businesses’ foreign income, but Obama’s plan goes in the wrong direction. We need to move to a territorial system that does not tax foreign income, just like almost all other developed nations use.

Lastly, he talked about raising taxes on wealthy heirs, which really means he wants to raise capital gains taxes on the rich. Far from soaking just the rich, higher capital gains taxes will hurt middle class and low-income families because it will slow economic growth.

The big disappointment tonight is that  Obama did not commit to lead on business tax reform. This vital policy improvement is necessary to spur economic growth, but it will only happen if the president leads the charge. His failure to take the reins likely means business tax reform will have to wait yet another year. — Curtis Dubay

Obama’s Export Subsidies Favor Only the Few

The president notes the economic benefits of exports, and recognizes that “today, our businesses export more than ever.” Why, then, is he pressing for a long-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, which puts American businesses at a disadvantage by subsidizing their foreign competitors? Ex-Im’s taxpayer-backed financing largely benefits some of America’s biggest, most successful multinational corporations. With privately financed exports reaching record levels, there is no justification for continuing this cronyism. —Diane Katz

Obama Is Wrong on Internet Regulation

In his address tonight, President Obama called for a “free and open Internet.”  That is a worthy goal, but the policies he has called for would actually make the Internet less free and less open.   He has called for regulators at the Federal Communications Commission to impose heavy new regulations on the Internet providers.  These regulations would treat the companies that provide Internet access as public utilities, under rules written telephone companies over a hundred years ago.   Applying such 19th century restrictions to the Internet of the 21st century makes no sense. The predictable consequences of such regulation would leave competition reduced, Internet users worse off and the Internet less free. The FCC and Congress should reject this dangerous regulatory scheme on consumers. Instead, the Internet marketplace should be allowed to function unimpeded, policed by competition and the same competition laws that apply to other industries.(For more information, see: — James Gattuso

Once Again with the War on Women

Well, well. It seems like President Obama needs one lesson in history and one in statistics. According to the president “this Congress still needs to pass a law that makes sure a woman is paid the same as a man for doing the same work. Really. It’s 2015. It’s time.” Actually, Congress did pass such a law in 1963 and President John F. Kennedy signed it. It is called the Equal Pay Act and the country is 52 years into it. Now on to statistics. Based on previous remarks by the president, the gender wage gap is the basis for the president’s claim that women do not receive the same pay for the same work as men. Yet even that claim has little basis in reality. The president’s very own Labor Department concluded that “the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers.” No thank you, Obama, we’re doing more than fine making our own choices without your misguided labor policies—they only promise to do more harm than good. — Romina Boccia

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Democrat Tax Strategy Explained


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