In this fall’s Virginia gubernatorial campaign, Virginia Democrats are citing “a new independent study” to attack Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin, when Democrat policies themselves merit scrutiny. The Virginia Democrats web page does not cite the source of the Youngkin study but does link to the the website of the Virginia Education Association (VEA), whose political action committee has endorsed the Democrat candidate. The VEA page describes a study about “… Mr. Youngkin’s proposal to eliminate the personal income tax …” but does not link to an actual study. To request it, you must contact VEA Communications.
Try it. The reply was, “This study is being reserved for VEA members and members of the media.” (Though a long-standing member of the media, Bacon’s Rebellion publisher Jim Bacon received the same response.)
What are the Democrats and the “independent” Virginia Education Association trying to hide? Perhaps it is that Mr. Youngkin never proposed to eliminate the personal income tax. According to PolitiFact:
Seeking the GOP nomination in April, Youngkin said he was focused “on not just getting our income tax down, but how we can, in fact, eliminate it.” Although that may have stirred some Republicans, Youngkin stopped short of saying he would abolish the tax. He said he was looking into it with a conservative economist.
Four months later, Youngkin says he still wants to cut the income tax but has determined it’s infeasible to eliminate it. That’s a significant change in position, but he left himself some leeway.
The VEA page also cites cataclysmic numbers, for example 43,000 fewer educator jobs, from another study, by Virginia Excels, which is based on the same falsehood.
Now, consider Democrat proposals.
For education, instead of returning last year’s record $2.6 billion budget surplus to taxpayers, they will increase public school spending annually by $2 billion. They do not promise to raise overall or minority achievement. That requires elementary school curricula changes that they oppose, namely intensive phonics instead of “Balanced Literacy” and arithmetic drill instead of reliance on hand calculators.
For the economy, their promise of good jobs for Black and Brown communities will fail, as it has for past decades, as long as Virginia public schools fail to raise minority achievement. Mandatory sick leave and raising the minimum wage jeopardize small businesses and reduce entry-level jobs. Think kiosks at McDonalds.
For COVID recovery, they will help Black and Brown-owned businesses, which closed at disproportionate rates during the lockdown, by again raising the minimum wage and by mandating paid sick, family, and medical leave! Can small businesses afford mandates?
For healthcare, they will expand Medicaid, which subsidizes poverty rather than ending it, and still allows hospitals to charge exorbitant rates elsewhere to make up for Medicaid underpayments.
For gun violence, they will continue complicating gun laws so law-abiding citizens become inadvertent felons, while Democrats ignore family breakdown, which is the source of most gun violence.
For energy, Democrats will tear down all natural gas power plants and ban gasoline cars, driving up energy costs and causing solar and wind-related brownouts to avoid climate disasters that are predicted but don’t occur. Imagine your electric car’s battery running out in a traffic jam.
For higher education, they will attempt to teach in community colleges what they failed to teach in grades K-12.
Their affordable housing plans reduce the housing supply by imposing mandates and restrictions on landlords. Affordable housing programs do not meet a fraction of the demand.
For nutrition, the government will furnish more meals. Remember when families used to cook their own meals?
For women’s rights, they ignore that Virginia already has 17,000 abortions a year, and that half of the babies aborted are female. The United States birth rate is now below the replacement level. Is that what Democrats want?
For Black Virginians, Democrats force Black children – and all children — to attend public schools that cannot even teach reading and writing, thereby trapping children in poverty.
For seniors, the Democrats will drive up taxes that erode retirement incomes to fund programs that subsidize problems instead of solving them.
For COVID, the Democrats will “incentivize” ($14,000 fines per employee?) businesses to mandate the COVID vaccine even though the inventor of mRNA warns against universal vaccination (will result in a vaccine-resistant variant) and says that only those at high risk should be vaccinated.
Democrats attack Youngkin for a proposal that Youngkin never made and base their attack on a secret “independent” study that wasn’t independent. Meanwhile Democrat proposals are the same socialist solutions Democrats have promoted for a century. They drive up taxes, trap the poor in poverty, subsidize failed programs, erode freedom, and ignore individual responsibility, the power of free markets, and the critical role of families.
Arthur Purves is president of the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance.