“When I disagree with the President, I’ll make it clear.” – Ed Gillespie
Corporate lobbyist Ed Gillespie and Lt. Governor Ralph Northam will meet for their second debate Tuesday evening. Virginia voters hoping Gillespie will clarify where he disagrees with the President are likely to be left wanting. Across a range of priority issues, Gillespie and Donald Trump hold positions that are decidedly out of the mainstream, spelling disaster for Virginia families.
Just like Donald Trump, Ed Gillespie is advocating for tax cuts for the super wealthy. According to The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis, Gillespie’s tax proposal would primarily benefit the uber wealthy. The top 1% of household would receive a tax break over 500 times larger than that of the bottom 20% of income earners. To make matters worse, Gillespie’s tax breaks for the rich would cost Virginia $1.4 billion, money likely to be siphoned away from critical community programs like education and public safety.
Donald Trump’s tax plan? It’s strikingly similar. Forty percent of the tax cuts under his proposal would go to the top 1% while leaving working families with trillions less for vital community services.
Gillespie is pretty clear where he stands on the minimum wage: “I don’t support a federally-mandated minimum wage.” Gillespie thinks working a minimum wage job is about playing on a softball team and drinking beer, not struggling to make ends meet and support a family. Maybe he needs to take a look at the data?
According to Politifact, Gillespie and Donald Trump on the same page yet again when it comes to the minimum wage. The claim, “Donald Trump wants to get rid of the federal minimum wage” was given their highest rating: True.
Gillespie has been clear on where he stands on health care access: right next to Donald Trump. Gillespie and Trump both support repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, a move that could threaten health insurance access for thousands of Virginia families. While Trump is busy sabotaging the ACA, Gillespie expressed his openness towards the sort of waivers included in the lastest Graham-Cassidy repeal bill that could jeopardize health coverage for the hundreds of thousands of Virginians with pre-existing conditions.
Gillespie has received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the DeVos family so it’s no wonder Gillespie’s education agenda bears a striking resemblance to Trump-DeVos proposals. Gillespie’s plan? It leans heavily into education privatization, pushing proposals like charter schools and voucher schemes that allow private companies to profit off of our children’s education while siphoning dollars away from public education. Meanwhile, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is a well-known champion of privatization schemes and has pushed additional federal funding for charter and voucher programs as one of her top priorities.
The similarities between Trump & Gillespie’s education plans don’t stop at privatization. They also share an affinity for cutting funding. Trump’s first budget proposal released this year would cut $10.6 billion from federal education programs. That plan is bears a shocking resemblance to the impact of Ed Gillespie’s ill-advised tax plan–$1.4 billion less for vital community programs in Virginia, like public schools.