My View with Pete Benavage: It’s the Democrats’ choice

My View with Pete Benavage: It’s the Democrats’ choice
Adam Ebbin (Courtesy photo)

In responding to State Sen. Adam Ebbin’s opinion piece of Feb. 17, “I oppose many Youngkin policies,” let us be clear about several things.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) is the governor we need at this moment, elected with the aid of a significant number of independent and Democrat crossover voters, and we are blessed to have him. His pursuit of a middle ground on issues will change the tone of political discourse and foster unity rather than bitter divisions. It is time to make Virginia nice again, prosperous again and – in a word – free again.

When Youngkin visited an Alexandria Safeway on Feb. 3 to promote the repeal of the grocery tax, he was gracious enough not to respond to the Alexandria Democrats’ official tweet to him to “get out of Alexandria” and to the rude catcalls from some to “wear a mask” and to “Read the room, buddy!”

Instead, he delivered with civility his message that is resonating with voters: The grocery tax is regressive and hurts the poorest and most vulnerable among us by putting a disproportionate burden on them. The Democratic party could prove they care for the elderly and poor by welcoming a chance to support this policy change in a magnanimous and bipartisan manner.

Instead of partisan invective deprecating the governor’s initiatives to reduce the tax burden on Virginians and businesses, politicians in Richmond should be paying attention to the principles of the Laffer Curve: reasonable tax cuts in fact raise revenues, because the more money people have to spend, the faster the economy grows and the more jobs are created. A tax-friendly Commonwealth will attract more businesses and ultimately provide more prosperity for all Virginians.

With respect to the governor being “new to the world of governance,” perhaps it is time for the Democratic party to be introduced to a new reality, where parents are free to choose where and how their children, who are our future, are educated. School systems that were once the pride of Virginia, and indeed, some of the best in the nation, have become mired in politically correct curricula which stifle the gifted and reward mediocrity.

Learning the basics of math, reading and writing is not political. These are essential skills to enable children to grow into responsible participants in society and the workplace. Gifted students of all races need to be encouraged and given the chance to excel in the arts, science, math and literature. A firm understanding of the basic history of our country and Commonwealth is the cornerstone of understanding our place in society and the world. Youngkin intends to revitalize our school systems for the benefit of our posterity.

It is remarkable that many Democrats criticize the governor’s election integrity initiatives. Honest elections are the hallmark of a free, democratic republic, and the best defense against the rise of a tyrannical government. In a society where one normally must show an ID to cash a check – to ensure the legitimacy of the transaction being performed – why is having to produce a photo ID “overly restrictive”?

Having at least minimal proof that a voter is properly registered, a citizen and eligible to vote is common sense. Conversely, same day registration has many drawbacks and presents more of an opportunity for duplicate votes and fraud. The governor’s efforts to ensure election integrity should be applauded, not condemned. There is no rational reason for opposing election integrity efforts.

One additional point needs to be made about taxes and finance: a $2.6 billion surplus in state coffers is almost criminal. That equates to more than $700 that every employed Virginian was overcharged. Youngkin remembers that this is Virginia residents’ money, taken by taxes from our income. We can maintain a legally required balanced budget without amassing such a huge surplus. Such large surpluses are a sure indicator that Youngkin is on the right track: Virginians are overtaxed.

Virginians have a right to live their own lives and chart their own destinies free from the overbearing interference of governmental officials who insist that they know better about how our lives and those of our families should be run. Youngkin understands this basic right and supports it.

There is one thought that Senator Ebbin expressed with which there can be no disagreement: the hope that Democrats will be able to work with the Youngkin administration to build a stronger Virginia. The ball is in the Democrats’ court.

Work with a dynamic, caring, moderate governor or be prepared to lose more elections. The choice, Democrats, is yours. The rest of us are moving forward in freedom.

The writer is chairman of the Alexandria City Republican Committee.