Richmond, VA - In response to George Allen’s new ad that ignores his decades-long record of fiscal recklessness and instead relies on vague platitudes as he questions our country’s future, Kaine for Virginia communications director Brandi Hoffine released the following statement:
"George Allen's ad is a drastic departure from his decades-long record in politics and his re-election campaign proposals. George Allen had the opportunity to address these issues the last time he served in the Senate. Instead, Virginians got a fiscal mess and an economic recession that we're still recovering from.
“We’ll leave it to George Allen to question whether our nation is in decline but Tim Kaine has always believed our best days are ahead and that by working together we can tackle tomorrow’s challenges. That’s what he did as governor when he led Virginia through the worst recession in 70 years by working across the aisle to cut spending and attract new businesses to the Commonwealth, and that’s what he’ll do as senator.”
“Job Creators Can Grow?” – More jobs were created in the private sector in the last two years than the entire time that George Allen was in the Senate. George Allen's all-cuts approach would slash spending that strengthens Virginia's small businesses and gut resources for new infrastructure that helps Virginia succeed.
“Use America’s Energy Resources?” – George Allen mocks clean energy as industries like wind and solar provide energy and sustainable jobs in Virginia. Meanwhile, domestic oil production is at its highest level since 2003 and natural gas production is at its highest level since 1974.
“College is Accessible and Affordable?” – George Allen voted for the largest student loan cut in U.S. history even as public tuition rose nationally by more than 40%. As governor he proposed such deep cuts to education that a bipartisan group of business leaders and former governors had to rally to defeat his plan.
“Stop the Devastating Defense Cuts?” – Breaking with leaders in his party like Sen. McCain and Sen. Graham, George Allen has rejected any new revenue – not one dime – to forge a compromise to avoid sequestration cuts and doubled-down on a politically convenient position that makes a solution virtually impossible.
CLAIM: America Is In Decline.
FACT: The U.S. Has Created More Private Sector Jobs In The Last Two Years Than Were Created During Allen’s Entire Term In The Senate.
U.S. Has Created More Private Sector Jobs In Last Two Years Than Were Created In The Entire Time Allen Was In The U.S. Senate. The U.S. has added more private sector jobs in the last two years – 3.9 million -- than were added during Allen’s entire tenure in the Senate – 3.4 Million. [Bureau of Labor Statistics]
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]
CLAIM: The Economy Will Improve If We Cut Taxes For High Income People And Go Back To Deregulation.
FACT: As Bill Clinton Recently Noted: “That’s What Got Us In Trouble In The First Place.”
Bill Clinton: “The Republican Plan Is To Cut More Taxes On Upper Income People And Go Back To Deregulation. That’s What Got Is In Trouble In The First Place.” In an ad for President Obama, former President Clinton said, “The Republican plan is to cut more taxes on upper income people and go back to deregulation. That’s what got is in trouble in the first place.” [Barack Obama Campaign Ad, Youtube.com, 8/23/12]
Allen Said His Campaign For Governor Was “A Referendum On Whether Clintonomics, And Those Sorts Of Ideas, Are Wanted At The State Level.” According to the USA Today, “‘This election is a referendum on whether Clintonomics, and those sorts of ideas, are wanted at the state level,’ says Terry's opponent, Republican George Allen. . . . He says Clinton ran for president as ‘a new-generation Democrat and turned out to be the same old tax-and-spend.’” [USA TODAY, 8/2/93]
Allen Criticized What He Called “President Clinton And His Misguided Economic Plans.” The Washington Post reported, “On Monday Mr. Allen jumped in. In a letter to Ms. Terry, he conveyed his pleasure that ‘you have finally, and publicly, repudiated President Clinton and his misguided economic plans.’ He went on to invite her ‘to join me in a meeting with the congressional delegation’ for an ‘opportunity to spell out, in detail, the problems we each see with the Clinton plan.’” [The Washington Post, 8/5/93]
Allen Said Virginians Don’t Want “Clintonomics.” At a campaign event, Allen said, “My opponent represents ‘Clintonomics’ at the state level, Virginians don’t want that.” [C-SPAN, 8/16/93]
- 2001: Allen Said The American People Don’t Want To Go Back To Clintonomics. Allen appeared on CNN’s Crossfire, hosted by Bill Press and Tucker Carlson, on 2/27/01. ALLEN: “I think the American people would like to go back to the days of Ronald Reagan as opposed to Clintonomics.” [CNN’s Crossfire, 2/27/01]
FACT: Allen Already Had A Chance To Put His Ideas In Effect, And The Results Speak For Themselves.
Allen Took A Huge Surplus And Turned It Into A Massive Federal Deficit. The Washington Post reported, “When Bush took office in January 2001, the government was forecasting a $5.6 trillion budget surplus between then and 2011.” As CNN put it: “[T]he federal budget surplus for fiscal year 2000 amounted to at least $230 billion, making it the largest in U.S. history.” The Washington Post continued, “Instead, it is now expecting to accumulate an extra $3 trillion in debt -- including a record $415 billion in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.” [CNN, 9/27/2000; Washington Post, 10/8/04]
As Senator, Allen Voted To Add Over $3 Trillion To The National Debt, Over $16,000 Every Second He Was In Office. 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 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]
Four Times, Allen Voted To Give Himself A Pay Raise. Since 2001, Allen has voted to give himself a pay raise at least four times. [Vote 406, 10/23/03; Vote 410, 10/23/03; AP, 10/23/03; Vote 242, 11/13/02; AP, 11/13/02; Vote 360, 12/7/01]
CLAIM: We Need To Use America’s Energy Resources.
FACT: Energy Production Is At Historic Highs.
PolitiFact: Oil Production In “2010 Is Definitely The Highest Since 2003.” PolitiFact looked at Obama’s claim that oil production in 2010 was the highest since 2003 and reported, “We turned to the Energy Information Administration, the federal government’s official office for energy statistics. Since Obama said ‘oil production,’ we will only look at oil removed from U.S. territory, rather than natural gas or other petroleum products. . . . 2010 is definitely the highest since 2003.” [PolitiFact, 3/15/11]
US Crude Oil Production Is At Highest Level Since 2003. The LA Times reported, “U.S. crude oil production increased by an estimated 120,000 barrels a day last year over 2010, the report says. Current production, about 5.6 million barrels a day, is the highest since 2003.” [LA Times, 3/12/12]
- Net Crude Oil Imports Are Down By 10% From Last Year, Which Amounts To A Reduction Of 1 Million Barrels A Day. The LA Times reported, “According to the study, the United States reduced net imports of crude oil last year by 10%, or 1 million barrels a day. The U.S. now imports 45% of its petroleum, down from 57% in 2008, and is on track to meet Obama’s long-term goal, the administration maintains. Imports have fallen, in part, because the United States has increased domestic oil and gas production in recent years.” [LA Times, 3/12/12]
US Natural Gas Production In 2010 Was At Highest Level Since 1974. [U.S. Energy Information Administration, Accessed 2/23/12]
- LA Times: “The U.S. Has Been The World’s Largest Producer Of Natural Gas Since 2009.” The LA Times reported, “The U.S. has been the world’s largest producer of natural gas since 2009, the report says.” [LA Times, 3/12/12]
NPR: “The U.S. Has Become A Net Exporter Of Gasoline For The First Time In Fifty Years.” In a story entitled, “U.S. A Net Gas Exporter For First Time In Decades,” NPR reported, “The U.S. has become a net exporter of gasoline for the first time in fifty years. Thanks to rising production at refineries and declining demand, the United States exported more gasoline than it imported in December.” [NPR, 3/5/12]
FACT: Allen Dismisses Alternative Energy.
Washington Post: Allen Voted For Tax Breaks For Oil And Against Fostering Alternative Sources Of Energy. The Washington Post reported, “As senator, [Allen] voted for tax breaks to oil and coal companies and against fostering alternative sources, including solar and wind, because he said they were not dependable.” [Washington Post, 9/25/11]
2011: Allen Op-Ed Ridiculed Democrats For Pushing R&D For Clean Energy, Said Wind And Solar Is “Costly And Years Away – If Ever – From Widespread Use.” In an April 2011 op-ed in the Washington Examiner, George Allen criticized President Obama “and his liberal allies in Washington” for pushing clean-energy technology and launching a “full-scale assault on conventional fuels.” Allen wrote: “In answering a college student’s question about high gas prices last week at Northern Virginia Community College, President Obama told Americans he believes the only real way to reduce our energy costs is to spend money on research and development of clean-energy technology… Sadly, the president and his liberal allies in Washington seem more concerned about tilting at intermittent, expensive windmills and throwing up bureaucratic roadblocks to using our American resources than the crippling impact of high energy costs… [W]ind and solar power technologies remain costly and years away – if ever – from widespread use, despite the tens of billions the U.S. Department of Energy has spent on renewable energy technologies since 1978, when Jimmy Carter was in the White House.” [Allen op-ed, Washington Examiner,4/26/11]
Allen Promoted Coal, Oil, And Natural Gas Over Alternatives Because “The Sun Doesn’t Shine All The Time; The Wind Doesn’t Blow All The Time.” In June 2009, the Virginian-Pilot reported, “Former Gov. and U.S. Sen. George Allen launched the American Energy Freedom Center last week to promote coal, oil and natural gas as the best solutions to the world’s energy problems. He said solar and wind energy are less dependable because ‘The sun doesn’t shine all the time; the wind doesn’t blow all the time.’” [Virginian-Pilot, 6/13/09]
Roanoke Times Editorial: “Allen Dismisses Wind And Solar.” A May 2011 Roanoke Times editorial criticized George Allen’s energy proposals. The Times opined: “Allen dismisses wind and solar as ‘costly and years away.’ The same could be said of drilling for gas and oil off Virginia’s shore -- but without the environmental risk. So what’s Allen’s solution? Three things: drill, baby, drill from sea to shining sea; revel in being the ‘Saudi Arabia of coal’; tap for more natural gas, coal-bed methane and shale gas.” [Editorial, Roanoke Times, 5/8/11]
CLAIM: Allen Promises To Work In The Senate To Make College More Affordable.
FACT: When Allen Was In The Senate, He Voted For Historic Cuts To College Aid As Tuition Went Up By More Than 40%.
AS SENATOR, ALLEN VOTED FOR THE LARGEST CUT TO STUDENT AID IN U.S. HISTORY, AS TUTION ROSE 40%
College Tuition Rose By Over 40% During Allen's Term In The Senate. The average published tuition and fees as measured in constant 2011 dollars increased by 40.49% for public, 4-year institutions from 2000-2007. The price was $4586 for the 2000-2001 school year and $6443 for the 2006-2007 school year, representing a 40.49% increase. [Trends In College Pricing 2011, College Board]
2005: Allen Was Critical Vote for Largest Student Loan Cuts in History. Allen voted for the final version of the 2005 budget reconciliation bill, which cut $12.7 billion from college loans, the largest cuts to the student loan program in its history. The measure was approved 50-50, with the Vice President voting to break the tie. [Vote 363, 12/21/05, CQ Floor Votes; AP, 12/19/05; Washington Post, 12/19/05]
The Washington Post: “And In One Of The Most Controversial Provisions, The Agreement Would Shave $12.7 Billion Out Of The Federal Student Loan Program.” The Washington Post reported, “And in one of the most controversial provisions, the agreement would shave $12.7 billion out of the federal student loan program, in large part by locking in interest rates often at a higher level than the current variable rates. ‘This bill is the largest raid on student aid in history. At a time when millions of American families are struggling to keep up with skyrocketing tuition costs, it is shameful for Congress to raid student aid in order to pay for tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans,’ said Rep. George Miller (Calif.), the senior Democrat on the House education committee.” [Washington Post, 12/19/05]
- AP: “The Student Loan Program Would Endure The Largest Cut In Its History.” The AP reported, “As Congress moves to slash $40 billion in spending, no program will take a bigger hit than college loans, where almost $13 billion would be cut over five years. . . . [O]verall, the student loan program would endure the largest cut in its history, and most of the money would not be pumped back into education.” [AP, 12/19/05]
ALLEN VOTED TO END PELL GRANTS FOR 84,000 STUDENTS
2003: Allen Opposed $2.2 Billion for Higher Education, Including $1.7 Billion for Pell Grants. Allen, on September 9, 2003, voted against the Kennedy amendment to H.R.2660, which would have provided an additional $2.2 billion for higher education, including $1.7 billion for Pell Grants, $157 million for federal work study programs, and $115 million for supplemental education opportunity grants. The motion was rejected by a vote of 49-46, with 5 Republicans, 43 Democrats and 1 Independent voting in favor. [Vote 331, 9/9/03, CQ Floor Votes]
- Budget Officials At Education Department Estimated 84,000 Students Would Have Lost Their Pell Grant Eligibility If Senate Amendment Had Not Passed. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported, “[L]awmakers also approved an amendment that prohibits the Bush administration from changing the formula the federal government uses to calculate a student's need for financial aid. Budget officials at the Education Department have estimated that 84,000 students would lose their eligibility for Pell Grants in the 2004-5 academic year if the change, announced in May, went into effect.” [The Chronicle of Higher Education, 9/19/03]
ALLEN VOTED AGAINST TAX BREAKS FOR TUITION, FAVORING TAX BREAKS FOR BIG OIL INSTEAD
2006: Allen Voted For Tax Breaks For Big Oil Over Tax Breaks For Tuition. In May 2006, Allen voted for the final version of the $70 billion tax reconciliation bill, which removed a provision that had allowed taxpayers to deduct up to $4000 of college tuition. The tuition deduction was included in earlier versions of the bill but was stripped in the final version. The tuition deduction could have been paid for by reducing a tax break for oil companies. Republican Senators Olympia Snowe and George Voinovich voted against the bill. Allen voted yes. [Vote 118, 5/11/06, CQ Floor Votes; CNNMoney.com, 5/11/06]
GOP Tax Reconciliation Bill “Does Not Contain A Provision Allowing Taxpayers To Deduct Up To $4,000 Of College Tuition.” The Hill reported on “the GOP-sponsored tax reconciliation bill that does not contain a provision allowing taxpayers to deduct up to $4,000 of college tuition.” [The Hill, 5/11/06]
GOP Tax Reconciliation Bill Removed The Extension Of Tuition Deduction, Which Would Have Been Paid For By Reducing A Tax Break For Oil Companies. CNNMoney.com reported, “The Senate on Thursday passed a GOP-supported final tax reconciliation bill . . . With the exception of some popular provisions like AMT relief, many elements in the reconciliation bill have been sharply criticized by Democrats and some moderate Republicans. They contend some of the tax breaks, especially the extension of the investment tax rates, are too costly and benefit too few taxpayers - namely, upper-income ones. Democrats also have objected to the removal of an extension for tuition deduction, which they say could have been paid for if tax writers had left in a provision that would have reduced a key tax break for oil companies, which would have raised $4.3 billion in revenue.” [CNNMoney.com, 5/11/06]
- Lieberman Blasted Bill For Putting Tax Cuts For Big Oil Ahead Of Tax Breaks For College Tuition. A press release from the office of Senator Lieberman stated, “Today, May 11, 2006, Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) said he will vote against the Tax Reconciliation Conference Report because of the bill's failure to relieve the financial burden of the middle class while giving unnecessary taxes breaks to big corporations and the rich. Lieberman blasted Republican tax conferees for restoring more than $5 billion in tax breaks which favor big oil during a period of record gas prices for the Connecticut consumer. He protested the exclusion of a college tuition deduction and extension of the research and development tax credit.” The press release quoted Lieberman as saying, “[T]his Republican bill showers tax breaks on the nation's wealthiest, who don't need the help, the oil industry, which is enjoying record profits, and explodes the debt, placing a hidden tax on our children and grandchildren. . . . The final conference report, also protects the ‘last in first out’ (LIFO) accounting loophole and foreign tax credits Big Oil companies get for overseas operations. . . . Look at what's missing from this bill: The state and local sales tax deduction, the college tuition deduction, the welfare to work tax credit that encouraged employers to lower welfare roles by creating jobs; and the research and development tax credit that helped spur the innovation we need to compete in the global economy." [Press Release, Office of Senator Lieberman, 5/11/06]
FACT: While Allen Was Governor, He United Democrats, Republicans And The Business Community Against His Proposed Cuts To Higher Education.
1995: Business Leaders And Bipartisan Group Of Former Governors United To Fight Allen’s Proposed Cuts To Higher Education. An article that appeared in both the Roanoke Times and the Virginian-Pilot detailed Allen’s failed effort to pass a $2.1 billion tax cut at the expense of higher education and other priorities. The article stated, “The governor wanted to save $150 million by slicing education funding, 1,100 state jobs, police protection and a number of popular social programs such as ‘Meals on Wheels’ for senior citizens. . . . Momentum to defeat Allen's plan grew slowly. . . . The decisive blows to Allen, however, did not come from constituent letters, polls or backroom meetings in the Capitol. Instead, the knockout came from corporate boardrooms, where a group of the state's most influential businessmen united against the governor. Calling itself the Virginia Business-Higher Education Council, the group formed in late 1993 out of concern that Virginia colleges were slowly being gutted by budget cuts. During the recession, the legislature had sliced $400 million from higher education to balance the state budget. As a result, tuitions in Virginia climbed to the second-highest in the nation. The businessmen feared that soaring costs would make college education inaccessible. They had been hoping, as the state's economy began to improve, that money would be restored to universities. When Allen proposed an additional $47 million cut to higher education, the group jumped into action. . . . The group's opposition was a blow to Republicans. About two-thirds of the group's members had contributed substantial sums to Allen's 1993 gubernatorial campaign. Now, many of the same people were standing up at budget hearings and all but accusing the governor of inventing a financial crisis to further his political ambitions. In private, the group was promising help for friendly legislators who encountered election-year problems because they opposed the tax cut. The coup, however, was achieved by [John] Hazel. Working behind the scenes, he persuaded three former governors - Republicans Godwin and Linwood Holton and Democrat Gerald Baliles - to sign a letter deploring the cuts to higher education. The release of the letter on Feb. 1 provided the final measure of protection to Democrats worried about bucking the governor.” [Roanoke Times, 2/26/95; Virginian-Pilot, 2/27/95]
1995: Allen’s Proposed Budget Cut $92 Million From Education, With $40 Million Coming From Higher Education And $52 Million From Secondary Education. The Washington Times reported: “Democratic leaders began to outline their battle plan for the Virginia General Assembly yesterday, saying they will combat Republican Gov. George Allen's proposed cuts in police and education funding. Led by House Majority Leader C. Richard Cranwell of Vinton, Democrats said they oppose cuts of $52 million from secondary education, $40 million from higher education and $6.5 million from police.” [Washington Times, 1/13/95]
Allen’s Proposed Budget Increased The Office Budgets Of His Cabinet Secretaries By $1.8 Million, While Cutting $92 Million From Education. The Virginian-Pilot reported: “House Democratic leaders, meanwhile, sharply criticized Allen's budget-cutting plans during an afternoon news conference. They said they would not agree to proposals that would cut education funding by $ 92 million and trim $ 6.5 million from a state program that helps localities pay for police. They also criticized Allen for proposing a $ 1.8 million increase in the office budgets of his Cabinet secretaries during a time when he is proposing massive reductions to many state services.” [Virginian-Pilot, 1/13/95]
FACT: Allen’s 1995 Budget Was Voted Down Without A Single Vote In Favor.
House Of Delegates Voted Down Allen’s 1995 Budget Without A Single Vote In Favor. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported: “House Majority Leader C. Richard Cranwell, D-Roanoke County, the governor's chief tormentor since the 46-day session began last month, ambushed Republicans shortly after the start of debate on the budget. Cranwell, accused by Allen of blocking floor votes on his record income and business tax cuts, turned the tables by introducing the governor's original budget. ‘Now is the time to say to your governor: You were right or you were wrong,’ Cranwell said, daring Republicans to embrace Allen's cuts in public education, law-enforcement, mental health and Virginia Extensive Service. . . . Some Republican leaders looked like deer caught in the headlights of a speeding truck; and the vote was called for. Sixty-three House members -- Democrats joined by almost a dozen Republican defectors -- voted against the governor's budget containing the $403 million in cuts while 37 Republicans abstained from voting.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2/10/95]
CLAIM: We Need To Stop Devastating Defense Cuts.
FACT: Kaine Is The Only Candidate To Offer A Serious Compromise On Taxes And Spending To Avoid Defense Sequestration Cuts.
Roanoke Times: “While His Colleagues Were On Capitol Hill Taking Tough Votes, Allen Was Free To Stand On The Sidelines And Criticize, But He Has Never Offered A Coherent Alternative.” The Roanoke Times editorialized, “While his colleagues were on Capitol Hill taking tough votes, Allen was free to stand on the sidelines and criticize, but he has never offered a coherent alternative. Like 9th District Rep. Morgan Griffith, Allen bellyached that the budget cuts should have been deeper, a posture he's chosen to ignore now that he's airing ominous TV ads and firing off emails that accuse Kaine of laying waste to Virginia's economy.” [Editorial, Roanoke Times, 7/27/12]
Richmond Times-Dispatch: “If Congressional Republicans And The Obama White House Were Interested In Accomplishing Something, Then They Would Agree To Kaine's Compromise.” A Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial said, “Kaine — former governor of Virginia, former head of the Democratic National Committee, and current candidate for U.S. Senate — says the two sides should split the difference and extend the tax cuts for those making less than $500,000 a year. ‘If everyone sets partisanship aside, we can find the right balance,’ he says. . . . If congressional Republicans and the Obama White House were interested in accomplishing something, then they would agree to Kaine's compromise and take half a loaf each. Instead, we suspect both of them will use the tax issue as a political weapon, and then blame the other side when everyone goes hungry.” [Editorial, Richmond Times-Dispatch,7/15/12]
Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial: “Taxes And Spending: Kaine Is Right.” In an editorial headlined, “Taxes And Spending: Kaine Is Right,” the Richmond Times-Dispatch wrote, “Democrats, led by the White House, want to extend the tax cuts for most Americans but insist on jacking up taxes for any family earning $250,000 or more. Republicans refuse to raise taxes even on the richest one-tenth of 1 percent. Virginia senatorial candidate Tim Kaine has provided the obvious answer: compromise. Draw a line at $500,000 and raise taxes for anybody making more than that.” [Editorial, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 8/5/12]