After First Month Stumbles, Virginia Republicans Have Nowhere to Go But Up

If Glenn Youngkin intended to spend his time as Governor becoming a national laughingstock, he’s off to a great start, what with teacher snitch lines and targeting a teenager. His recent ticket mate, Attorney General Jason Miyares, has also been quite busy stepping on rakes – his deputy just resigned after her pro-insurrection posts were discovered by the WaPo.

Democrats in Richmond are probably wondering if this nonsense will keep up all the way to November 2023. They shouldn’t get their hopes up.

At some point in the near future, the conversation will shift from first-month stumbles to fiscal policy arguments. Youngkin et al will be on firmer political ground then. Youngkin’s tax reductions are still Old Keynesian policies in new bottles, but at present, Democrats have yet to follow my advice on how to fight them.

Instead, well, I’ll let my BD colleague Norm Leahy explain.

…in the Senate, the grandees are wrestling with eliminating the state’s tax on groceries. It’s a vastly complicated enterprise, we are told, that, if done incorrectly — or at all — might blow a hole in local government finances, education, transportation and, presumably, the heavens themselves.

This is just about the worst political argument one can use when opposing a tax cut, even a Keynesian one. Keynesian tax cuts spur aggregate demand, which is the last thing we need to do when inflation is hitting levels last seen when Delegate Wampler’s grandfather was still in Congress. Instead of picking up that cudgel, Virginia Democrats seem to think sounding the alarm about government spending is the better way to go.

If Virginia voters see the choice as a Keynesian party defending bureaucrats versus a Keynesian party putting money in their pockets, they probably won’t be pulling the lever for the former.

As Norm notes in his piece, the two parties are coming closer together on mask mandates and fleecing the taxpayers for Dan Snyder. Youngkin and Miyares may have ended their honeymoons early with bizarrely unpopular moves, but when the conversation shifts to taxes it will likely be the Democrats on shaky ground, unless they’re prepared to shift gears and fight Keynesian tax cuts with supply-side tax cuts.

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