Richmond, VA - This morning, Crossroads GPS released yet another in their series of false attack ads against Tim Kaine that regurgitate debunked claims. The group's new ad, part of more than $13 million in outside money that's been spent against Tim Kaine, distorts the truth on each of their claims.
On defense cuts? The same attack that Tim Kaine supports sequestration defense cuts has been widely discredited by the Roanoke Times, the Associated Press, Politifact Virginia, the Washington Times, the Washington Post, and other outlets across the state.
On taxes? The record is clear. According to the Tax Foundation, Virginians had a lower tax burden under Tim Kaine than under George Allen. As governor, Kaine cut taxes for hundreds of thousands of Virginians including eliminating Virginia’s estate tax and taking tens of thousands of low income Virginians off the state tax rolls.
On spending? George Allen is the only candidate who knows a thing or two about increasing spending. As governor he increased state spending by 45 percent and as a senator voted for more than $3 trillion in new debt, two unfunded wars, and massive domestic spending that turned large surpluses into huge deficits. In contrast, Tim Kaine reduced the size of the state's general fund and cut more than $5 billion in a tough national recession.
In response to the ad, Kaine for Virginia Communications Director Brandi Hoffine released the following statement:
"George Allen and his allies are giving new meaning to the old saying 'throw some money at the problem.' With over $13 million in negative, misleading attacks to date, all their efforts have done is cement George Allen's reputation as someone who's more interested in fighting partisan battles than fixing them.
"As Virginians saw in the most recent debate, the only candidate with a specific, workable plan to avoid damaging sequestration cuts and begin to responsibly reduce our deficit is Tim Kaine. Virginians deserve more than over-heated political rhetoric and exaggerated claims from George Allen. They deserve a senator like Tim Kaine who has a record of making fiscally responsible choices that earned Virginia's its standing as Best Managed State and Best State for Business and a specific, forward-looking vision to do the same in Washington."
Throughout this campaign, Crossroads GPS’ Virginia ads have been criticized by newspapers, editorial boards, and independent fact-checkers across the state, and called "erroneous," filled with "demonstrable falsehoods and distortions," and “recycled rubbish.”
Tim Kaine has twice offered George Allen opportunities to reach an agreement limiting the influence of these outside groups on this Senate race and George Allen twice declined, opting instead to bolster his re-election campaign with false, negative advertising.
A full fact check follows.
AP: Kaine Cut Nearly $6 Billion And Balanced The Budget. [Associated Press, 11/10/11]
Kaine Signed Legislation That “Would Remove About 140,000 Low-Income Virginians From The Tax-Rolls.” [Roanoke Times, 3/22/07]
Allen Inherited Giant Surplus And Turned It Into A Massive Federal Deficit. [CNN, 9/27/2000; Washington Post, 10/8/04]
As Senator, Allen Voted To Add $3 Trillion To The National Debt, Adding Over $16,000 To The Debt Every Second He Was In Office. [PolitiFact Virginia, 4/15/11]
Allen Voted Four Times To Raise His Own Pay. [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]
Kaine Left The Overall Tax Burden On Virginians Lower Than Allen. [Tax Foundation, accessed 11/28/11]
Kaine's Specifics on Sequestration Solution Trumps Allen at McLean Debate [Falls Church News Press, 9/20/12]
FACT CHECK: “WRONG PRIORITIES”
CLAIM: TIM KAINE IS ADDICTED TO SPENDING
FACT: KAINE CUT BILLIONS IN SPENDING AND LEFT GENERAL FUND SMALLER THAN HE FOUND IT.
Kaine's Outgoing Budget Proposed Two Percent Less General Fund Spending Than The Budget He Inherited. Kaine inherited a General Fund budget of $15,111,251,632 for FY2006. As he left office, Kaine proposed a General Fund budget of $14,806,626,205 for FY2011. [Department Of Planning and Budget, General Fund FY2006; Kaine 2010-2012 Budget Document, 12/18/09]
PolitiFact Rated Kaine’s Claim “True” That The General Fund Was Smaller At The End Of His Term. PolitiFact Virginia reported, “During a recent debate with Republican George Allen, Democrat Tim Kaine maintained that he is the true spending hawk in Virginia’s U.S. senate race. As proof, Kaine cited budget cuts he made as Virginia’s governor. . . . Kaine said the general fund budget was smaller at the end of his gubernatorial term than at the start. The raw numbers hold up his claim: The general fund budget was $15.1 billion when Kaine took office and $14.8 billion when he left. These figures don’t include $1.5 billion in federal stimulus money the state used to support general fund programs during Kaine’s last year. But this does not detract from Kaine’s claim. Virginia did not count the one-time stimulus money as part of the general fund, which mainly consists of income and sales tax revenues. And when the stimulus ran out, there was no backfill for the budget cuts Kaine endorsed. We rate Kaine’s statement True.” [PolitiFact Virginia, 7/27/12]
FACT: ALLEN PROMISED TO CUT SPENDING BY 2 PERCENT, BUT GREW THE GENERAL FUND BY 45%.
1993: Allen Promised To Cut The Budget By Two Percent In Order To Pay For His Campaign Proposals. In October 1993, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that “Republican George F. Allen said yesterday his proposals to end parole, share lottery profits with localities and settle a pension suit with federal and military retirees would cost the state $300 million over the next biennium. The front-running candidate for governor said he could pay for those new programs by cutting the state's $30 billion budget by 2 percent -- a savings of $600 million… In putting a price tag on his promises, Allen did not address how he would pay off the entire $500 million budget shortfall that Wilder has projected. He has said it could be done by rearranging spending priorities.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 10/21/93]
PolitiFact: As Governor, Allen Increased Spending 45 Percent; His Claim That He Reined In Spending Rated “False.” In September 2011, PolitiFact Virginia wrote, “His 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.’ . . . When Allen took office in January 1994, he inherited an overall $14.7 billion budget for the state fiscal year that started the previous July 1. At the end of his term in January 1998, he left behind a $20.7 billion proposed budget for the fiscal year that started the following July 1. That means 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. The fund consists of earmarked revenues such as college tuition and federal highway grants. 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]
- General Fund Budget Grew An Average Of 34 Percent Under The Six Governors That Preceded Kaine. PolitiFact Virginia wrote, “Under the six governors that preceded Kaine, the general fund budget grew by an average 33.8 percent -- not adjusted inflation -- from the day they came to office to the day they left. This figure does not include the spending levels each governor proposed in their budgets for the fiscal year that would begin six months after their terms ended.” [PolitiFact Virginia, 7/27/12]
CLAIM: KAINE TRIED TO RAISE TAXES FOR LOW INCOME VIRGINIANS
FACT: KAINE REMOVED TENS OF THOUSANDS OF LOW-INCOME VIRGINIANS FROM THE STATE INCOME TAX ROLLS ALTOGETHER.
Kaine Signed Laws That “Would Remove About 140,000 Low-Income Virginians From The Tax-Rolls.” The Roanoke Times reported, “Gov. Tim Kaine has signed legislation that would remove about 140,000 low-income Virginians from the tax rolls… Kaine signed bills…that will gradually increase the state income tax filing threshold from $7,000 to $11,950 for individuals and from $12,000 to $23,900 for married couples. The bills also increase the personal exemption from $900 to $930 for all taxpayers.” [Roanoke Times, 3/22/07]
CLAIM: KAINE BACKED DEBT DEAL, WHICH WOULD CUT DEFENSE AND COST VIRGINIA 200,000 JOBS
FACT: NUMEROUS NEWS OUTLETS HAVE ALREADY DEBUNKED THIS CLAIM
AP: Allen Campaign Ad “Clearly — And Falsely — Creates The Impression That Kaine Approves Of The Looming Deep Military Cuts.” The Associated Press wrote, “Throwing such a loaded issue into the blazing politics of an electoral battleground like Virginia was inevitable. Allen had timed the issue to the minute, too. Forty-eight hours after the July 28 debate, his campaign was televising an ad across the state that never mentioned Kaine by name but clearly — and falsely — creates the impression that Kaine approves of the looming deep military cuts. . . . GMU political science professor Mark Rozell said it might be an effective short-term tactic in a Senate race that a Quinnipiac University poll last week showed was dead even. . . . But is it good governance? . . . Further balkanizing the political environment isn't helpful, Rozell said.
‘George Allen isn't in leadership right now. He just has to mobilize groups of voters and that's what he's trying to do,’ Rozell said. ‘He can deal with governance and leadership after he's elected. If he's elected.’” [Associated Press, 8/12/12]
AP: Allen Ad “Distorts Kaine’s Position,” Creates “False Impression That His Democratic Opponent, Tim Kaine, Supports Potential Deep Military Spending Cuts.” In an article titled, “Allen Airs Campaign Ad On Possible Defense Cuts That Distorts Kaine’s Position,” the Associated Press wrote, “Republican former Sen. George Allen is airing a new ad that deftly fosters a false impression that his Democratic opponent, Tim Kaine, supports potential deep military spending cuts under a debt-reduction compromise. The ad is rooted in Saturday’s debate between the candidates, when Allen attacked Kaine for supporting a bipartisan compromise in August that allowed Congress to increase the nation’s debt ceiling.” [Associated Press, 7/24/12]
Washington Times: “Virginia GOP Attack On Kaine Ricochets—6 On Hill Backed Defense Sequester.” In an article titled, ‘Virginia GOP Attack On Kaine Ricochets—6 On Hill Backed Defense Sequester,” The Washington Times wrote, “The Virginia Republican Party lambasted Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine on Monday for backing a congressional deal that’s led to the specter of $500 billion in defense cuts starting next year — despite a majority of the state’s Republican lawmakers, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, having voted for the plan. In the first general-election debate with Republican George Allen, Mr. Kaine called last year’s deal to increase the country’s debt ceiling ‘the right thing to do.’” [Washington Times, 7/23/12]
Roanoke Times: Attacks Against Kaine Have Been “Exhaustively Debunked.” Super PACs Resorting To “Fabrications.” In an editorial titled, “A Second Helping Of Yuck – Interest Groups Are Piling On Attack Ads Against Senate Candidate Tim Kaine That Have Already Been Debunked,” the Roanoke Times wrote, “The Labor Day kickoff for this year's campaign season is still more than two weeks away, but outside interest groups are already serving up warmed over attack ads. Worse, the stale accusations being shoved down voters' throats have been exhaustively debunked. The hapless ‘star’ of three new negative TV ads that began airing this week is Democratic Senate candidate Tim Kaine. Surely his political opponents can scout out legitimate policy differences without resorting to fabrications. The former governor has an extensive record, and one that hardly qualifies as ancient history. He and his family moved out of the executive mansion less than three years ago. But Crossroads GPS and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the advocacy groups underwriting the ads, aren't interested in a thoughtful policy discussion. They don't even seem to be that interested in saying nice things about Republican candidate George Allen. They just want to get the most bang for the millions of bucks they are spending by demonizing their target.” [Editorial, Roanoke Times, 8/17/12]
FACT: THE BUDGET DEAL WAS NEGOTIATED AND SUPPORTED BY REPUBLICANS LIKE PAUL RYAN, ERIC CANTOR, JOHN BOEHNER, AND MITCH MCCONNELL AMONG OTHERS
Paul Ryan On Why He Voted For The Debt Deal: “It Was A Step In The Right Direction.” In an interview on Face the Nation, Ryan said, “I did, you know why I voted for it? Because I was working to find common ground with Democrats to get a down payment on deficit reduction. I worked with President Obama to find common ground to get a down payment on deficit reduction. It wasn't a big down payment but it was a step in the right direction.” [Face The Nation, 9/9/12]
Cantor Negotiated Sequestration Deal And Whipped Freshman Tea Party Representatives To Vote For It. The New York Times reported, “Staff members from the office of Mr. McCarthy and Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the Republican majority leader, leaned on the aides of on-the-fence members, fuming, at times, said several staff members, that their bosses would not simply commit and move on. To get the bill to pass, Mr. McCarthy and Mr. Cantor worked the phones, as well as the hallways and the floor of the House.” [New York Times, 8/2/11]
Six Out Of Eight Of Virginia’s Republican Congressman Voted For Sequestration Deal. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that six of Virginia’s Republican congressman voted for sequestration deal. They include: Robert J. Wittman, R-1st; Scott Rigell, R-2nd; Robert Hurt, R-5th; Robert W. Goodlatte, R-6th; Eric Cantor, R-7th; Frank R. Wolf, R-10th. [Richmond Times Dispatch, 8/2/11]
Gov. Bob McDonnell Offered Support For Debt Ceiling Deal. The Virginian-Pilot reported, “Offering measured praise for the late-breaking federal debt ceiling deal that averted a potential credit default, Gov. Bob McDonnell cautioned Tuesday that it is just a ‘small first step’ to get government spending under control. ‘I am pleased that we have avoided default, which would have threatened Virginia's AAA bond rating and have been catastrophic for our economy, and that this legislation cuts spending and does not raise taxes,’ the governor said in a statement. ‘Throughout this debate I have been clear that Congress must raise the debt limit by August 2 and that any increase in the debt limit should be accompanied by a reduction in federal spending. This legislation, while not perfect, achieves both of those objectives.’" [The Virginian-Pilot, 8/2/11]
John Boehner On Debt Deal: “I Got 98 Percent Of What I Wanted. I'm Pretty Happy.” While discussing the debt deal on CBS Evening News, John Boehner said, “When you look at this final agreement that we came to with the white House, I got 98 percent of what I wanted. I'm pretty happy.” [CBS Evening News, 8/1/11]
Sen. McConnell Praised The Budget Control Act As One Of The “Things We Agree On… [That] Will Get Us A Trillion Dollars In Savings Over 10 Years.” The following exchange occurred on NBC’s Meet The Press: DAVID GREGORY: “Isn't this classic? Politicians talking out of both sides of their mouths? We can't have an ultimatum, ‘my way or the highway,’ but we will not talk about tax increases as we go forward to try to bring this budget into balance over time.” SEN MINORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL: “Well, regretfully, it never gets talked about, but there actually are things we agree on. We passed the Budget Control Act last August, this past August. It will get us a trillion dollars in savings over 10 years.” [Meet the Press, 9/18/11]
Fairfax County Chamber Of Commerce Supported Deal To Raise Debt Ceiling. The Washington Post Virginia Politics blog reported, “Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce President Jim Corcoran, mindful of the billions of dollars that pour into Northern Virginia from the federal government, called on Congress and the White House on Tuesday to cut a deal to raise the debt ceiling or risk damaging Virginia’s economic powerhouse.” [The Washington Post, Virginia Politics Blog, 7/26/11]
The US Chamber Of Commerce On Debt Deal: “This Legislation Is The Right Thing To Do.” In a key vote letter supporting the Budget Control Act of 2011, the US Chamber of Commerce said: "As is the nature of all compromises, this bill is not perfect. It does not fix America’s long-run debt and deficit problems, nor reform the tax code, two things that Congress still must do. But this legislation is the right thing to do, now. This legislation increases the statutory debt ceiling in a manner that does not trigger an increase in taxes, but instead would force Congress to cut spending. The Chamber strongly supports the “Budget Control Act of 2011.” The Chamber will consider including votes on, or in relation to, this issue in our annual How They Voted scorecard." [U.S. Chamber Of Commerce, Key Vote Letter, 8/1/11]
FACT: KARL ROVE PRAISED THE DEBT DEAL AND HOUSE REPUBLICANS FOR NEGOTIATING IT. APPARENTLY, SUPPORTING THE DEBT DEAL IS JUST FINE AS LONG AS YOU’RE A REPUBLICAN.
Rove Praised House Republicans For The Debt Deal They Negotiated And Passed, Called The Cuts In The Deal “A Down Payment.” In an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove wrote, “For Republicans, the outcome was far more positive. House Republicans adroitly shifted the debate's focus from how much to raise the debt ceiling to how much should spending be cut. They achieved this even while the other two centers of power in any legislative struggle—the Senate and the White House—remained in Democratic hands. In doing so, Republicans achieved roughly two-thirds of the spending cuts sought in the budget the House passed in April, cuts which would have gone nowhere in the Senate without the debt-ceiling battle. . . . The cuts agreed to in the debt-ceiling debate are a down payment.” [Rove Op-Ed, Wall Street Journal, 8/4/11]
FACT: ALLEN’S POSITION WOULD HAVE LED THE U.S. TO DEFAULT ON OUR DEBT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY.
U.S. Chamber Of Commerce: “This Legislation—The Product Of A Bipartisan Agreement Among Congressional Leaders And President Obama—Must Be Approved To Avert Default.” The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said, "The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, strongly supports the “Budget Control Act of 2011,” which would increase the statutory debt ceiling. This legislation—the product of a bipartisan agreement among Congressional leaders and President Obama—must be approved to avert default, reduce spending, and begin the process of getting America’s fiscal house in order." [U.S. Chamber of Commerce Press Release, 8/1/2011]
Washington Post: Allen’s Stance On Debt Deal A “Cynical Flip-Flop;” Allen Opposed While Cantor And McDonnell Supported Deal To Avoid Default. In August 2011, the Washington Post criticized Allen in an editorial headlined, “An Early Flip-Flop For Senate Candidate George Allen.” The Post wrote, “As a one-term Republican senator, George Allen voted four times to raise the nation’s debt ceiling — an expansion totaling $3.2 trillion — explaining at one point that, while it was unpleasant, increasing the limit was the responsible thing to do. Today, as a candidate trying to regain the Virginia Senate seat he lost in 2006, Mr. Allen has found the new debt-limiting religion, and he’s peddling it with the fervor of a convert. Condemning the spendthrifts in Washington among whom he used to move so collegially, Mr. Allen now blasts the eleventh-hour deal in Congress to avoid default, saying it provides no ‘long-term solution to our debt crisis.’ A spokesman confirms that Mr. Allen, had he been in the Senate, would have voted Tuesday with the minority to defeat the deal. So much for Mr. Allen’s erstwhile concern for doing the responsible thing. Mr. Allen’s cynical flip-flop can be seen partly in the context of Virginia’s Republican primary for the Senate, in which he faces former state Tea Party head Jamie Radtke, whose bona fides as a debt-ceiling diehard are unassailable. . . . [B]y insisting that a balanced-budget amendment be included in any deal, he sets the bar beyond the realm of political reality. In effect, Mr. Allen’s stance was no less likely to lead to default than Ms. Radtke’s. . . . Even as he condemned the debt deal, his fellow Virginia Republicans, including Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, were supporting it. . . . As a candidate for the Senate, his attempts to rebrand himself as an insurgent ring hollow.” [Editorial, Washington Post, 8/3/11]
- 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]
FACT: ALLEN HAS NO PLAN TO DEAL WITH SEQUESTRATION
Allen Pointed To House Of Representatives’ Bill On Sequestration As The Path To A Solution. According to the Washington Examiner, Allen Said, “I Would Like To See It Solved Before The Election And I Think They Can Work Off What The House Passed In May.” [Steve Contorno Tweet, 9/17/12]
- “Panetta Said The Measure Has Actually Made It More -- Yes, More -- Likely That Sequestration Will Take Effect.” Politico’s Morning Defense reported, “The most devastating comments from Panetta’s press conference yesterday came when he discussed a bill approved by the House GOP that would avert sequestration. Panetta said the measure has actually made it more -- yes, more -- likely that sequestration will take effect. He blasted the plan, which shields the Pentagon from the automatic cuts by slashing funds for poverty programs, such as food stamps. ‘By taking these funds from the poor, middle-class Americans, homeowners and other vulnerable parts of our American constituencies,’ Panetta said, ‘the guaranteed results will be confrontation, gridlock and a greater likelihood of sequester.’” [Politico Morning Defense, 5/11/12]
When Pressed On Whether He Would Vote For The House Bill That Avoids Sequestration By Cutting $1 Trillion From Non-Defense Spending, Allen Admitted, “I Haven’t Had A Chance To Look At Every Detail Of It.” [Washington Examiner, 9/17/12]
The Hill: “Allen Did Not Present Any Details Of A Plan Of His Own.” The Hill reported, “Allen did not present any details of a plan of his own but pointed to a May bill passed by House Republicans that he says would avoid the defense cuts from sequestration.” [The Hill, 9/20/12]
Fairfax Times: “Allen Did Not Outline An Approach To Dealing With Sequestration.” The Fairfax Times reported, “Kaine said Allen has not outlined a plan of his own, while detailing his three-pronged approach to the federal budget issues, which includes letting the George W. Bush administration’s tax cuts expire for people with incomes of more than $500,000. Kaine’s plan also involves eliminating subsidies to oil companies and reducing Medicare costs by negotiating prescription drug prices. Allen did not outline an approach to dealing with sequestration during the debate.” [Fairfax Times, 9/20/12]
“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]
FACT: KAINE IS ONLY CANDIDATE IN THE RACE TO SUPPORT A COMPROMISE TO AVOID SEQUESTRATION
Falls Church News-Press: “Kaine's Specifics On Sequestration Solution Trumps Allen At McLean Debate.” In an article titled, “Kaine's Specifics on Sequestration Solution Trumps Allen at McLean Debate,” The Falls Church News-Press reported, “Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine trumped in a high-profile debate today his Republican rival, former Virginia Gov. and U.S. Senator George Allen with outlines of a specific plan to avoid the year-end $1 trillion federal budget sequester that threatens to wipe out 200,000 defense-related jobs in Northern Virginia.” [Falls Church News-Press, 9/20/12]
At Fairfax Chamber Debate “Kaine Spelled Out Repeatedly The Elements Of His Plan.” [Falls Church News-Press, 9/20/12]
To Deal With Sequestration, “Kaine Laid Out A List Of Alternatives… Allen, Who Has Made Those Defense Cuts The Centerpiece Of His Campaign Of Late, Offered Only Vague Solutions.” The New York Times reported, “Both candidates railed against automatic defense cuts scheduled to begin in January unless Congress intervenes. But Mr. Kaine laid out a list of alternatives: Allow Bush-era tax cuts to expire on households earning at least $500,000, repeal tax breaks for oil and gas companies, and allow the federal government to bargain for lower prescription drug prices for Medicare. With those changes, Congress would have only $23 billion more cuts to shut off the so-called ‘sequester’ — or automatic cuts, he said. Mr. Allen, who has made those defense cuts the centerpiece of his campaign of late, offered only vague solutions.” [New York Times, 9/20/12]
At The Fairfax Chamber Debate, “Kaine Repeatedly Talked About Avoiding Sequestration” And Outlined A Plan That “Would Cover Three-Quarters Of The Cost Of The Planned Sequestration.” The Hill reported, “During the debate Kaine repeatedly talked about avoiding sequestration by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire on earners making more than $500,000, a position he's long held, as well as by ending subsidies to the five largest oil companies and allowing the federal government to negotiate for lower payments on drugs for Medicare, saying that, combined, those would cover three-quarters of the cost of the planned sequestration.” [The Hill, 9/20/12]
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]
FACT: KAINE HAS ALWAYS OPPOSED DEFENSE SEQUESTRATION CUTS.
Richmond Times-Dispatch: “Kaine Has Stated On Numerous Occasions That The Deep Defense Cuts Should Be Avoided.” The Richmond Times-Dispatch Virginia Politics Blog wrote, “While Kaine’s rival, George Allen, never supported the deal, Kaine has stated on numerous occasions that the deep defense cuts should be avoided.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginia Politics Blog, 8/15/12]
After The Supercommittee’s Failure, Kaine Urged Congress To Find “A Meaningful Solution That Will Avoid Harmful Cuts To Defense.” After the failure of the Supercommittee, Governor Kaine issued the following statement: “Congress has, yet again, let Americans down by demonstrating that they will not work together to find common ground. . . . I urge Congress, after the flameout of the supercommittee process, to tackle the issue together. There are good models on the table--the Simpson/Bowles proposal and the Gang of Six--that can be the basis of a meaningful solution that will avoid harmful cuts to defense and health care, cuts that have a particularly negative impact on Virginia. There's only one reason for failure--Congress placing their own political self-interest above the national interest.” [Kaine Press Release, 11/21/11]