Richmond, VA - In Saturday’s Virginia Bar Association debate, George Allen proved again he would be unable to find common ground for a deficit-reduction strategy if sent back to the U.S. Senate to deal with the fiscal mess he helped create.
During an exchange with moderator Candy Crowley, Allen was asked whether he would agree to new revenues if it were accompanied by spending cuts worth ten times the amount of those revenues. After a few rounds of ducking and dodging, Crowley asked Allen if his hedging was a 'no' to which he replied, “Yes, that’s pretty, pretty obvious.”
This latest policy admission puts Allen out of step with nearly every serious voice on deficit reduction including Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and former Governor Jeb Bush. When asked about a similar rejection of a 10 to 1 ratio by Republican presidential candidates, Graham said, “We’re so far in debt, that if you don’t give up some ideological ground, the country sinks.” In addition, former Republican governor Jeb Bush said he would endorse a $10 in cuts for $1 in revenue deal to reduce the deficit.
And when every single one of the Republican candidates for president rejected a similar offer, The New York Times wrote, “In full public view, the party’s mainstream jumped the tracks of reality on issues of spending and taxes, brightly illustrating the ruinous magical thinking that has led to a downgrade of the nation’s credit and invited a double-dip recession.”
“George Allen’s commitment to obstruction truly knows no bounds,” said Kaine for Virginia Communications Director, Brandi Hoffine. “While members of his own party have spoken out on the need to compromise, it is clear George Allen is committed to the same ‘my way or the highway’ politics that brought our country to the brink of economic collapse and risked hundreds of thousands of jobs. George Allen’s outright rejection of an offer with bipartisan support to address fiscal challenges he helped create is proof positive that sending him back to Washington would lead to dangerous consequences for the federal budget, and programs like defense that rely on sound fiscal management.”
Sen. Graham Endorsed $4 In Cuts For $1 In Revenue. According to The Hill, "Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Tuesday he believed Republicans should consider eliminating loopholes in the tax code even if they aren't replaced by additional tax cuts, a move that would break with an anti-tax pledge many GOP lawmakers have signed with activist Grover Norquist. 'When you talk about eliminating deductions and tax credits for the few, at the expense of the many, I think over time the Republican Party's position is going to shift. It needs to, quite frankly, because we are $16 trillion in debt,' he said. 'I'm willing to move my party, or try to, on the tax issue. I need someone on the Democratic side being willing to move their party on structural changes to entitlements.' Graham said, for instance, he would support a plan that included $4 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases. During a Republican debate last August, all eight Republican candidates in attendance said they would reject a proposal to trade $10 in spending cuts for even $1 in tax increases. 'We're so far in debt, that if you don't give up some ideological ground, the country sinks,' said Graham. Graham is the second prominent Republican to come out against rigid adherence to Norquist's pledge this month. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) told the House Budget Committee he would accept the plan rejected by the Republican candidates." [The Hill, 6/12/12]
New York Times Editorial: Republican Candidates’ Rejection Of A 10-to-1 Deal “Brightly Illustrat[ed] The Ruinous Magical Thinking That Has Led To A Downgrade Of The Nation’s Credit And Invited A Double-Dip Recession.” A New York Times editorial said, “In full public view, the party’s mainstream jumped the tracks of reality on issues of spending and taxes, brightly illustrating the ruinous magical thinking that has led to a downgrade of the nation’s credit and invited a double-dip recession. When asked if they would reject a deal to cut the deficit that had 10 times the amount of spending cuts as it had tax increases, the hands of all eight candidates went up. Even a tincture of new revenue, though mixed with huge cuts in government spending, would be too much for the modern Republican Party.” [Editorial, The New York Times, 8/12/11]
Jeb Bush Endorsed $10 Cuts For Every $1 In Revenue. According to Bloomberg News, "Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, in a break with his party, said he could support tax increases to help reduce the federal government’s budget deficit. The brother of former President George W. Bush told a congressional panel in Washington today that he could back a theoretical deficit-reduction package that would include $1 in tax increases for every $10 in spending cuts. 'If you could bring to me a majority of people to say that we’re going to have $10 in spending cuts for $1 of revenue enhancement -- put me in, coach,' Bush told the House Budget Committee. 'This will prove I’m not running for anything,' he said, prompting laughter from lawmakers and the audience." [Bloomberg News, June 1, 2012]