Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: Ken Cuccinelli’s Economic Plan Would Derail Virginia’s Fragile Recovery
Press Release

RELEASE: Ken Cuccinelli’s Economic Plan Would Derail Virginia’s Fragile Recovery

Read the report. 

Washington, D.C. — A new report released today by the Center for American Progress Action Fund reveals that Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli’s tax plan would give the wealthiest Virginians significant tax savings while providing little to no relief for middle-class families, placing additional strain on an economy already suffering from slow post-recession growth.

Although Virginia has seen considerable economic progress over the years, recent trends of slow economic growth combined with the devastating effects of the federal sequester threaten the commonwealth’s economy. Cuccinelli’s economic plan—which would put a $1.4 billion hole in Virginia’s budget during a fragile recovery—would move Virginia further away from a pro-growth path and would stifle investments in education, infrastructure, and, ultimately, jobs.

“Virginia is at a crossroads, and the choices its next leaders make would determine whether Virginia takes a pro-growth path or falls behind,” said Anna Chu, Policy Director for the ThinkProgress War Room at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “Rather than take the pro-growth path, Cuccinelli offers up the same old, failed trickle-down policies we’ve seen before. Cuccinelli’s plan would stifle Virginia’s growth and progress now and well into the future.”

The report’s analysis finds that Cuccinelli’s “Economic Growth & Virginia Jobs Plan” disproportionately favors the wealthy over middle- and working-class families. Nearly half—47 percent—of Cuccinelli’s proposed income tax cut would be concentrated to the top 5 percent of Virginians and would provide millionaires an additional tax break of more than $6,000 per year. Meanwhile, families earning between $40,000 and $63,000 would receive an average tax cut of just $98, while the average minimum-wage worker would see no additional tax cuts.

Cuccinelli also stands to benefit under his tax plan and would receive a personal tax cut of $985—a cut that is 10 times higher than the average tax cut for a middle-class family.

In addition to providing generous tax cuts for the wealthy, Cuccinelli’s economic plan would mean further cuts to investments in education and transportation, threatening Virginia’s competitive edge in a difficult economic climate. Because Virginia requires a balanced budget, the loss in tax revenue resulting from Cuccinelli’s tax plan must be made up in other areas. Although Cuccinelli has refused to provide specific details on how he would pay for his tax plan, leaders from both parties—including Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Rolling—have expressed doubts that the tax cuts could be paid for without cuts to education or transportation.

The report also outlines how Cuccinelli’s ideological opposition to issues like Medicaid expansion and increasing the minimum wage would cost the commonwealth jobs, billions of dollars in revenue, health care, and economic security for working families. Medicaid expansion, for example, would help more than 400,000 Virginians access affordable health care coverage and bring $21 billion to the commonwealth. Similarly, increasing Virginia’s minimum wage could also bolster the economy by adding $1.4 billion in additional wages to some 758,000 workers. Despite these economic benefits, Cuccinelli continues to oppose Medicaid expansion and increasing the minimum wage.

Virginians are already suffering from the effects of a federal budget impasse and slow economic recovery, and Virginia’s next governor must work with state leaders to find a way to grow the commonwealth’s economy from the middle out. However, Ken Cuccinelli’s vision for Virginia and ideological agenda could jeopardize Virginia’s economic competitiveness and undermine economic progress.

For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Katie Peters at 202.741.6285 or kpeters@americanprogressaction.org.

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