The government does not create jobs, our people do. With the downturn in the economy and the growth of the federal government and taxes, the hope of entrepreneurship has been diminished. The best way to recover from a recession is to establish pro-growth policies that will provide incentives for the creation of new small businesses, expand midsize businesses, and help corporations create more jobs. The owners of small businesses today are the business leaders of tomorrow. It is time to restore the hope of entrepreneurship and help Virginia’s middle class families find jobs and take back their financial freedom.
I grew up in Fairfax County and I am raising my kids in northern Virginia so I know firsthand how difficult it can be running from the grocery store to swim team practice and back home.
To me, finding a long-term solution to our transportation needs is more than just more roads and more asphalt. It is a quality of life issue and an economic growth issue. We need a good transportation system that will allow businesses to quickly and reliably ship their products. It will also maintain our quality of life by providing folks the opportunity to spend more time with their families and less time sitting in traffic.
We need to develop better working relationships between state and local governments to ensure those highest priority traffic congestion and capacity problems are addressed first and that we have a comprehensive approach to addressing the transportation needs of each community. The transportation needs in Fairfax County are very different than the needs in Virginia Beach and the way to fix congestion in northern Virginia is very different than in Hampton Roads.
I was raised in Fairfax County and attended public schools. I was fortunate to attend the University of Virginia where I received a world-class engineering degree and I went on to earn my law degree and a Masters from George Mason University, another one of Virginia’s great public institutions of higher learning.
I believe that every child in Virginia deserves an opportunity to receive a world-class education and that no child should be forced to remain in a failing school. Parents should have the right to decide what educational choices are best for their child and we should encourage them to do so. I also believe that education is the way to expand opportunity for every Virginian and we must find ways to prepare our children for the jobs of today and tomorrow. That means we need to focus on subjects like science, technology, math, and engineering. But we must also realize that not every child dreams of going to college, and so we must also expand vocation and high tech trade schools, as well as worker training, for those who wish to pursue other career choices.
Taxes and Spending
Every day, with every transaction, we are paying taxes to governments that are growing in size, increasingly inefficient, and becoming less accountable for spending our precious dollars. Every day the government spends more and we save less in our own college education accounts, retirement accounts, and savings accounts. The government raises our taxes and causes our cost of living to rise, making it more difficult to buy groceries, pay the electric bill, or purchase gasoline to travel to school or work. It is time to reform our tax system and make it easier for Virginia’s citizens to save their own money and encourage entrepreneurs to invest in their own businesses.
The people of Virginia deserve and expect an open and honest Government. They expect their elected leaders to be accountable to the people and do what they said they were going to do. As Governor, I want to find ways to make our government be more effective, efficient, and transparent – goals I worked toward while in the State Senate.
Virginia’s citizens should be able to access information and get assistance easily whether in a crisis or trying to learn about establishing a business in their community. I want to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse from within state departments and agencies and find ways to ensure that each department is performing their mission in a responsible and accountable manner. And while every politician says they want to get rid of waste, fraud and abuse – as Attorney General, I’ve actually done it, and I’ll do more of it as your next Governor.
Virginia should be a national leader in energy independence with the natural resources we have in our Commonwealth. We need oil, natural gas, and coal to power our homes, cars, and economy and Virginia could be doing more to provide that to the world while growing job opportunities for our middle class. But we also need to find new sources of energy with nuclear, wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, as part of a comprehensive energy program. As Governor, I want an all of the above energy strategy, but one that takes advantage of all of the resources we have here in Virginia and off our shores, in an environmentally safe and economically sound manner and with as little government intervention as possible.
Healthcare costs are continuing to balloon at an unsustainable rate, which not only hurts families, but is also presenting a significant challenge to our state government. I support reforming state health programs to be more patient-centered, improving coordination of care, and bolstering Virginia’s renowned team of healthcare fraud investigators, who will be able to vastly increase their efforts to stamp out fraud, waste, and abuse. A reformed system would provide better care to Virginians, while at the same time saving taxpayer dollars.
I believe strongly that healthcare decisions should be made by doctors and families, not by the government. Our healthcare system is bloated with rules and regulations that make health insurance more expensive and care less accessible. To combat these problems, I support harnessing market competition, consumer choice, and the power of better information for patients.
While states are severely constrained by federal law, I believe that state governments can reform their markets in ways that allow more competition and better choices for consumers. As Governor, I will pursue changes to open up Virginia’s markets, attract the nation’s best medical professionals, improve patient safety by modernizing the health care information systems, and get timely, accurate information to families and businesses to empower them to make the best possible health care decisions.