George Allen’s allies misleading voters on Allen’s big-spending record

No matter how much money George Allen and his allies spend, they can't change the facts. As Governor, Allen increased state spending by more than 45%. As a Senator, Allen took an economy in record surplus and drove it into a record deficit, added $3 trillion to our national debt, voted four times to raise the debt ceiling, all while voting against common sense measures to help balance the budget.

Fortunately for Virginia families and businesses, there is a clear choice in this election.  While George Allen was part of a Congress that took a wrecking ball to our economy, Governor Kaine supported policies that helped Virginia weather that economic crisis better than nearly every other state.  He protected Virginia's AAA bond rating, cut more than $5 billion from the budget, recruited new companies to Virginia, and protected Virginia's reputation as Forbes' Best State for Business. That's the type of actual fiscal responsibility and economic leadership Virginians expect.

Voice-Over:  “In the Senate, George Allen supported tax cuts.”

2001: Allen On The Bush Tax Cuts, “I Think It's A Measly Tax Cut.” In March 2001, Allen was a guest on NBC’s Meet The Press. Tim Russert asked Allen for his reaction to Democratic criticism of Bush’s tax cut proposal. Allen responded: “Well, first of all, they have the impression that, gosh, by letting people keep more of what they earn out of the surplus, that somehow that adds interest to the deficit. . . . And this is responsible in that it is over 10 years, it's phased in, it's not all going into effect in the first year. And so I think over 10 years, when you look at this approach, I think it's a fairly--not just moderate, I think it's a measly tax cut.” [NBC, Meet The Press, 3/11/2001]

 

Voice-Over: “That spurred economic growth.”

Median Household Wages Decreased While Allen Was In The Senate. According to Census Bureau data, from 2000 through 2006 median household income – in 2010 dollars – decreased from $53,164 to $52,124. [Census Bureau, Median Household Income By State, Single-Year Estimates, Accessed 11/19/11]

The Policies Championed By George Allen And President Bush Led To The Worst Recession Since The Depression. Bloomberg reported, “The first 12 months of the U.S. recession saw the economy shrink more than twice as much as previously estimated, reflecting even bigger declines in consumer spending and housing, revised figures showed. The world’s largest economy contracted 1.9 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007 to the last three months of 2008, compared with the 0.8 percent drop previously on the books, the Commerce Department said yesterday in Washington. Gross domestic product has shrunk 3.9 percent in the past year, the report said, indicating the worst slump since the Great Depression.” [Bloomberg, 8/1/09]

 

Voice-Over:  “He supports a balanced budget amendment.”

Allen Inherited A Record Surplus And Turned It Into Record Deficits. According to numbers from the Office of Management and Budget, the federal government ran a record surplus of $236 billion in fiscal year 2000. In fiscal year 2003, the federal government ran a record deficit of $377.5 billion, and in fiscal year 2004, the federal government set a new record with a deficit of $412.7 billion. [OMB, Historical Tables, Accessed 12/13/11]

As Senator, Allen Voted For Every Appropriations Bill That Came Up, Adding Over $3 Trillion To The National Debt. PolitiFact Virginia wrote, “Under the budgets approved during Allen’s term, debt climbed by $3.202 trillion. Congress sets budgets through a series of appropriations bills, and Allen supported all of the roughly four dozen bills to hit the Senate floor during his term. . . . Radtke said debt increased by $3 trillion during Allen’s Senate term, a figure equal to $16,000 per second. The actual figures were $3.202 trillion, or $16,896.68 per second.”  [Richmond Times-Dispatch, “PolitiFact Virginia,” 4/15/11]

Allen Voted For Every Bush Budget. [Vote 74, 3/16/06; Vote 363, 12/21/05; Vote 114, 4/28/05; Vote 58, 3/12/04;  Vote 134, 4/11/03; Vote 98, 5/10/01; Vote 86, 4/6/01]

Allen Voted to Raise the Debt Limit Four Times. [Vote 148, 6/11/02; Vote 202, 5/23/03; Vote 213, 11/17/04; Vote 54, 3/16/06]

Allen Voted Against Restoring PAYGO Rules At Least Six Times. Allen voted against restoring pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) rules at least six times, which would have required tax cuts and new entitlement spending to be offset with revenue increases or spending cuts. [Vote 38, 3/14/06; Vote 340, 11/17/05; Vote 283, 11/3/05; Vote 53, 3/16/05; Vote 38, 3/10/04; Vote 200, 5/23/03]

New York Times Chart Shows That Bush Tax Cuts Were “The Biggest Policy Drivers Of The Swing From Projected Surplus To Deficits.” An editorial by Teresa Tritch in the New York Times entitled, “How The Deficit Got This Big,” stated, “In 2001, President George W. Bush inherited a surplus, with projections by the Congressional Budget Office for ever-increasing surpluses, assuming continuation of the good economy and President Bill Clinton’s policies. But every year starting in 2002, the budget fell into deficit. In January 2009, just before President Obama took office, the budget office projected a $1.2 trillion deficit for 2009 and deficits in subsequent years, based on continuing Mr. Bush’s policies and the effects of recession. Mr. Obama’s policies in 2009 and 2010, including the stimulus package, added to the deficits in those years but are largely temporary. . . . The second graph shows that under Mr. Bush, tax cuts and war spending were the biggest policy drivers of the swing from projected surpluses to deficits from 2002 to 2009.” [Editorial, Teresa Tritch, New York Times, 7/23/11]

 

Voice-Over:  “And as Virginia’s Governor, Allen cut spending and waste with bipartisan support.”

Washington Post: "As Governor, Mr. Allen Expanded State Spending Dramatically..." [Editorial, Washington Post, 8/3/11]

PolitiFact: As Governor, Allen Increased Spending 45.6%; His Claim That He Reined In Spending Rated “False.” In September 2011, PolitiFact Virginia wrote, “[Allen’s] campaign web site says that when Allen was governor, ‘He challenged critics and sentiment that suggested it couldn’t be done, reining in government spending and substantially reducing the size of the state workforce.’ . . . Allen endorsed $6 billion in additional spending when he was governor -- a 40.7 percent increase. But looking at overall spending may be unfair. Slightly more than half of outlays during Allen’s years came from the non-general fund, over which a governor has limited control. . . . A better gauge comes from examining the general fund, which supports public education, health programs and public safety. It’s mostly supported by state income and sales taxes. The general fund was almost $6.8 billion when Allen took office. At the end of his term, he proposed a $9.9 billion general fund budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1998. That means Allen endorsed $3.1 billion in additional general fund spending when he was governor -- a 45.6.percent rise. . . . Our ruling: Allen takes credit for ‘reining in state spending’ when he was governor. . . . We rate the statement False.” [PolitiFact Virginia, 9/12/11]