From the great American songbook, “Say it Ain’t So.” It is very sad, that a governor having never held elective office, now in charge, is amassing a record that leaves a lot to be desired. He is making rookie mistake after mistake, to name a few. Starting with making masks optional, vaccinations optional, and asking kids to report on their teachers. That’s what they did in East Germany. Further, scapegoating Loudoun County. Good for you in opposing his malice. All these things are unnecessary divisiveness but satisfying some ideological urges. The Governor seems to not understand that pandering, propaganda and falsehoods only add to the rancor. He wants to get rid of the grocery tax that is badly needed to fund education. He wants to suspend the gas tax that funds badly needed infrastructure projects and each month of suspension would cost $100 million. He is sitting on over $3 billion in surplus funding. For starters, he can get rid of the car tax that should have been gone 24 years ago. What about property tax relief for senior citizens over 65 who have lived in their homes for over 25 years? He can help all families immediately by getting rid of nuisance sales taxes, such as supplies for children and supplies for diabetics and other medical devices, etc. All experts agree eliminating these kinds of taxes would make a meaningful difference. It was reported that the Governor recently said he’s “having a ball.” The question is, what about the people he serves?

Fariborz S. Fatemi

McLean

(3) comments

HSteacher

Just more theory from Fox News.

Biden and the Democrats are not responsible for inflation - that is just fodder from a current GOP campaign flyer. Inflation is due to market forces resulting from the severe economic swings due to COVID and the various stimulus packages pushed by both the Trump and Biden administrations. The inflation on food and gas is due more to price gouging and profiteering from Republican donor oil companies and corporations. If not, why are oil companies showing record profits and why are the execs bonuses so high?

As for the Russia invasion, that is a Trump travesty. If Trump had won re-election, Putin would have invaded Ukraine even sooner. Trump repeatedly failed to contain and rebuke Putin. Biden has effectively marshalled an international coalition to limit Putin's advance. The more frustrating issue here is that the people of Ukraine are suffering as a result of the world leader pissing match.

The Afghanistan withdrawal was going to be messy regardless of which president finalized it. It should have been done years ago and the blame for that falls on both parties and multiple adminstrations.

As for Gov. Youngkin, I am still waiting for that big teacher raise he promised. If he wants to come visit my classroom and watch me teach what he claims are divisive concepts, he is more than welcome. I'm sure it will be the first time he sits in a public school classroom for more than a photo op.

Taxes are a necessary evil. Make a compelling case for their repeal or retention- I am open to the discussion. Better yet, make the tax methodology more equitable for the people of Virginia. Or use the significant surplus the Northam adminstration gifted Youngkin to reduce the overall impacts on the most needy.

J Smith

Thanks for the response HSteacher.

Let’s talk facts, not theory. I’ll share my sources, you share yours.

When President Biden took office inflation was at 1.4%. Now it’s at 8.5%.

Checkout a website called “the balance.”

When President Biden took office gas prices were $2.28/gal. Now the national average is $4.32/gal.

Checkout the US Energy Information Administration Independent Statistics & Analysis

In one year, President Biden and democrat policies have driven inflation through the roof and devastated our economy.

Everybody loves to bash oil companies and wants to punish them. Yes, the energy sector did well in 2021. But did you know that Energy companies had massive losses the year before in 2020 and over the last ten years Energy companies have been among the least profitable sectors with an average annual gain of just 0.85%?

Do you want to know who is really raking in the cash right now and has been making money hand-over-fist the last ten years? Big Tech, Big Pharma, and Financials. Their profit margins dwarf those of Big Energy.

You’re well off the mark, HSteacher, if you think inflation on food and gas prices is due to price gauging and profiteering by oil companies. Check out the recent Yahoo!finace article entitled “Big Oil isn’t as rich as everybody thinks.”

Here’s another fact. When President Obama was in office, Putin annexed Crimea. When President Trump was in office, Putin was quiet. When President Biden took office, Putin invaded Ukraine.

Here are a few more facts: Under President Trump, ISIS went from one of the top threats during the Obama years to almost non-existent. Under President Trump, North Korea went from carrying out regular missile tests over neighboring countries, including Japan, to being relatively well behaved. It was Obama’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that hit the big red “Reset” button with Russia and gave it to her Russian counterpart. It was the Obama-Biden team that mocked Mitt Romney when Romney declared that Russia was our biggest geopolitical foe during a Presidential debate.

So why did Putin wait to invade Ukraine? Maybe he took note of the horrific, humiliating US withdrawal from Afghanistan that took place under the Biden administration and realized the US is under weak and ineffective leadership.

Putin is not the only one who believes that. Most voters believe President Biden is ineffective, even cognitively impaired, and that democrat policies are driving our current malaise.

Check out the recent article from “The Hill” entitled “Voters believe Putin wouldn’t have invaded Ukraine under Trump. Logic agrees.” 85% of republicans, 38% of democrats, and 66% of independents blame Biden for Russia invading Ukraine.

When it comes to teacher pay raises, HSteacher, I hope you get one. Let’s see what comes out of the Special Session. Anything will be better than being rated as last in the nation for teacher pay by business.org after 8 years of democrat governors Northam and McAuliffe being in office.

As far as the “significant surplus the Northam administration gifted Youngkin,” that came from your wallet and mine and the rest of Virginia taxpayers when the democrat controlled General Assembly refused to lower the state tax rate or provide a cash refund to Virginia taxpayers after the US Congress reduced the Federal tax rate in 2018. The end result, the Commonwealth is still taxing a larger part of our income.

The other reason for the surplus is governor Northam’s decision to shut down our schools. One of the greatest policy errors in modern history. Northam’s decision that harmed our children had the effect of a massive drop in education costs. Believe it or not Virginia state Medicaid costs also had a massive drop in 2021. Why? Medicaid clients on a fee-for-service were far less likely to visit their providers in 2020 and 2021. See Sen Chap Petersen’s (D-Fairfax) Dec 10, 2021, article to Editor of the Fairfax Times entitled "Why does Virginia have such a big surplus?" (In my view, Sen Petersen is the rare democrat from a different era, not beholden to far left progressive ideologues.)

So, as Sen Petersen says, “the state surplus is not about good stewardship.” I’ll be more blunt. It’s about democrat policies: collect more taxes, shutdown schools, provide less services.

By the way, I’m not really a fan of Fox news or any other legacy media for that matter. And especially not news feeds from Facebook, Instagram, or social media.

J Smith

I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion, Mr. Fatemi.

But the fact is that Governor Youngkin’s decision to let parents decide whether they wanted to put masks on their children or giving people the freedom to decide whether or not to get vaccinated, were immensely popular decisions in the state of Virginia.

Establishing an e-mail account where parents can report on teachers or schools where they feel their fundamental rights are being violated, where their children are not being respected, or where their school is teaching inherently divisive practices is not East German. That’s giving parents a voice in the instruction of their children and holding schools accountable for their actions.

Regarding taxes, you seem all over the place. Yes to grocery taxes. No to car taxes and some property taxes.

I’m all for lowering as many taxes as possible. Everybody has to buy food. Not everybody owns a car or owns property. So lowering grocery taxes seems a good place to start to help everyone.

Repeal of taxes has to be done through the General Assembly. So I encourage you to contact your delegate or senator and ask them to support tax reductions that you think are important. I wish you best of the luck in that regard.

Far from making rookie mistakes, according to a recent Zogby poll, Governor Youngkin is one of the commonwealth’s more popular recent chief executives with an approval rating of 57% among likely Virginia voters. Far better than President Biden’s approval at 47%.

No wonder about that. President Biden and democrat policies have been an utter failure for Virginia and for our country.

Biden and the democrats are responsible for:

- Massive inflation driving prices for gas and food and everything else through the roof.

- An American withdrawal from Afghanistan that was messed up beyond all recognition.

- A southern border that is an utter disaster as millions of illegals cross the border and are then flown at taxpayer expense to a community near you

- Huge failure in response to COVID that wrecked our economy, destroyed small business, closed our schools, and harmed our students

- Total failure in statesmanship on international matters, particularly with Russia and Ukraine.

Thank goodness more and more people in Virginia are recognizing the destructiveness and divisiveness of democrat policies and are voting republican.

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