Richmond, VA - Please see below for this morning's Roanoke Times editorial on George Allen's recent "hysteria-laced attacks" over a budget crisis he helped create while serving in the Senate and one that he continues to play politics with as he runs for re-election.
"It's a little hard to follow the hysteria-laced attacks by Senate candidate George Allen and fellow Republicans against his opponent Tim Kaine..."
"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"
"So far, Allen has demonstrated no evidence that he would help to fill that leadership gap."
Roanoke Times Editorial: Allen's leadership gap on the budget deficit
The GOP Senate candidate criticizes his opponent for backing a budget deal that had the support of top Republicans.
It's a little hard to follow the hysteria-laced attacks by Senate candidate George Allen and fellow Republicans against his opponent Tim Kaine, but they seem to be under the impression that the Democrat is cutting the federal budget by $1 trillion, and they are determined to do everything in their power to stop him. As long as "everything" doesn't include being honest with Virginians about the national deficit and what it will take to get it under control.
Kaine didn't have a vote last summer when Congress passed a bipartisan deal that raised the federal debt ceiling and laid the groundwork for deep spending reductions. But he supported the proposal because it put pressure on Congress to get its finances in order while averting default on national debts that could have deepened the ongoing global economic crisis.
Virginia Republican Reps. Bob Goodlatte, 6thDistrict, and Robert Hurt, 5th District, did vote. They backed the plan, as did House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Gov. Bob McDonnell threw his support behind the compromise, too.
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.
The budget deal contains nearly $500 billion in automatic defense spending cuts over the next decade that would squeeze the commonwealth, home to many defense contractors and military bases. But demands by Allen and other Republicans that the savings instead come from domestic programs are deliberately misleading.
The across-the-board cuts already gouge another $500 billion from education, safety net and other services. The Office of Management and Budget has estimated that 700,000 children and mothers will lose nutritional assistance. More than 25,000 teachers and teaching aides will lose their jobs. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services predicts 2,300 medical research grants will be canceled, 100,000 children will be shut out of Head Start programs, and 80,000 more will no longer qualify for child care assistance.
Every member of Congress who voted for last summer's budget bill did so hoping that the so-called supercommittee would come up with a substitute for the automatic cuts scheduled to begin in January. But any serious solution to the deficit would require difficult decisions about Medicare benefits, tax increases and, yes, cuts in defense spending as troops withdraw from the Middle East. Only a handful of congressional representatives dare to broach those topics. So far, Allen has demonstrated no evidence that he would help to fill that leadership gap.