Richmond, VA - Following the release of a new ad, “Pledged,” from Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, Kaine for Virginia Communications Director Brandi Hoffine released the following statement:
“Once again, George Allen’s friend Karl Rove and his out of state secret donors prove they know nothing about Virginia, its budget, or Tim Kaine’s record. As Virginians know well, the tax burden under Tim Kaine was lower than under George Allen and Kaine spent his term working across party lines to cut spending by more than $5 billion as Virginia recovered from George Allen's last term in the U.S. Senate that added $3 trillion to our national debt, turned a budget surplus into massive deficits, and helped create our fiscal crisis.
"George Allen's record of helping to create an economic crisis is in clear contrast with Tim Kaine's fiscally responsible approach. As governor, he made record investments in classrooms and labs on Virginia’s campuses and directed millions in tuition assistance to students. George Allen, on the other hand, voted for the largest cuts to student aid in history and still praises the Paul Ryan plan that would gut investments in education and eliminate thousands of Pell Grants that make college affordable. As governor, George Allen attempted cuts to education that were so deep that a bipartisan group of former Virginia governors and business leaders rallied against him to prevent his cuts. No amount of outside money can paper over George Allen’s votes for higher deficits, trillions in debt, cuts to student aid, and privatizing Social Security, or distract from his praise of a plan to raise taxes on middle class families and turn Medicare into a voucher program.”
Throughout this campaign, Crossroads GPS’ Virginia ads have been criticized by newspapers, editorial boards, and independent fact-checkers across the state, and called "erroneous," and filled with "demonstrable falsehoods and distortions."
Crossroads has now tried a half-dozen times to boost George Allen’s campaign. Tim Kaine 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.
Quick Facts You Should Know
AP: Kaine Cut Nearly $6 Billion And Balanced The Budget. [Associated Press, 11/10/11]
Tax Foundation: Kaine Left The Overall Tax Burden On Virginians Lower Than Allen. [Tax Foundation, accessed 11/28/11]
Kaine’s Higher-Education Proposal Added “$26 Million For Need-Based Financial Aid.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2/8/09]
As Governor, Kaine Worked with Republicans to Pass the Biggest Higher Education Bond Package in Virginia History. [The Bond Buyer, 4/17/08]
As Senator, Allen was a Critical Vote for the Largest Cut to Student Aid in U.S. History, as Tuition Rose 40%. [Vote 363, 12/21/05, CQ Floor Votes; AP, 12/19/05;Trends In College Pricing 2011, College Board]
Allen: Ryan budget plan is 'worthwhile' proposal. [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5/6/12]
Please see below for a full fact check on Crossroads GPS' latest misleading television ad, “Pledged”:
RHETORIC: Tim Kaine raised taxes.
REALITY: Kaine cut taxes and the tax burden on Virginians was lower under Kaine than it was under Allen.
PolitiFact Virginia: “There’s No Evidence Kaine Made A No-Tax Pledge During The 2005 Campaign.” [Politifact VA, 4/18/11]
Kaine Ended Virginia’s Estate Tax In Order To Make Virginia More Competitive In Attracting “Small Businesses And Retirees.” A Wall Street Journal editorial said, “Democratic Governor Tim Kaine and the Republican-controlled legislature struck a deal to abolish the state's estate tax. […] The tax only brings in about $140 million a year to Richmond from several hundred estates, but the levy has made it harder for Virginia to compete for small businesses and retirees with Florida and the 24 other states that no longer have a death tax.” [Wall Street Journal, Editorial, 9/6/06]
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]
Kaine Left The Overall Tax Burden On Virginians Lower Than Allen. According to the Tax Foundation’s data, the state & local tax burden for Virginians was lower during Kaine’s gubernatorial tenure than during Allen’s Governorship. [Tax Foundation, accessed 11/28/11]
During The Great Recession, Governor Kaine Presided Over The Biggest Decrease In The State Tax Burden On Virginians Since At Least 1977. According to the Tax Foundation, the decrease of the state-local tax burden on Virginians between 2008 and 2009 (from 9.6% to 9.1%) was the biggest since at least 1977. [Tax Foundation, accessed 11/28/11]
RHETORIC: Kaine’s spending caused budget shortfalls every year.
REALITY: Kaine cut billions in spending and balanced the budget every year.
AP: Kaine Cut Nearly $6 Billion And Balanced The Budget. The Associated Press reported, “While the recession depleted revenues, Kaine and the General Assembly cut nearly $6 billion and never finished a fiscal year with insufficient funds…” [Associated Press, 11/10/11]
Richmond Times-Dispatch: “In Reality, Kaine Worked With Legislators To Cut More Than $5 Billion To Offset Dwindling Revenue And Balanced The Budget As Required By State Law.” The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported, “In reality, Kaine worked with legislators to cut more than $5 billion to offset dwindling revenue and balanced the budget as required by state law.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 4/25/12]
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, 12/19/09]
RHETORIC: Kaine cut college funding and tuition exploded over 30%.
REALITY: Kaine worked with Republicans to make historic investments in higher education.
AS GOVERNOR, KAINE WORKED WITH REPUBLICANS TO PASS THE BIGGEST HIGHER EDUCATION BOND PACKAGE IN VIRGINIA HISTORY
2008: General Assembly Agreed to $1.4 Billion Bond Package For Higher Ed, Which Kaine Called “Critical to Our Economic Success.” The Bond Buyer reported, “Virginia lawmakers late Tuesday reached a preliminary agreement on a $1.4 billion bond package to fund construction at the state's colleges, parks, and mental health facilities. . . . ‘The General Assembly has worked very hard over the last months to advance our higher education bond proposal,’ Kaine said in a statement. ‘The completion of their work will signal a record investment in Virginia's higher education institutions, which are absolutely critical to our economic success.’” [The Bond Buyer, 4/17/08]
- Roanoke Times: $1.4 Billion Bond Package For Higher Education A Rare Moment To Be Proud Of All Lawmakers. In an editorial, the Roanoke Times wrote, “Rare is the moment when Virginians can look to Richmond and be proud of every single lawmaker. It's been a long time coming, but just such an auspicious occasion occurred last week when all lawmakers agreed to a $1.46 billion bond package that, for the most part, will be spent bettering the state's universities and community colleges.” [Editorial, The Roanoke Times, 4/28/08]
Kaine’s Higher-Education Proposal Added “$26 Million For Need-Based Financial Aid.” According to the Richmond Times Dispatch, “Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's higher-education proposal would: . . . Add nearly $26 million for need-based financial aid for fiscal 2010, bringing the total to $143.9 million.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2/8/09]
REALITY: As Senator, Allen voted for historic cuts to higher education while public tuition went up by 40%.
AS SENATOR, ALLEN VOTED FOR THE LARGEST CUT TO STUDENT AID IN U.S. HISTORY, AS TUTION ROSE 40%
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]
College Tuition Rose By Over 40% During Allen's Term In The Senate. The average published tuition and fees as measured in 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]
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]
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]
REALITY: While Allen was Governor, he united Democrats, Republicans and the business community against his proposed cuts to higher education.
1995: The Virginia Business Higher Education Council Was Formed To Defeat Allen’s Plan To Cut Higher Education Funding. 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]