Richmond, VA - Former governor and U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine held a roundtable with defense contractors yesterday in Sterling and met with the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) in Arlington to discuss his strategies to avoid the impending sequestration defense cuts. At both events, Kaine emphasized, if Congress fails to come together to reach a long-term solution to reduce the deficit, the scheduled cuts would devastate Virginia’s economy.
"These sequestration cuts are the wrong cuts," Kaine told defense contractors in Sterling. "It is essential that our leaders in Congress cross the aisle to hammer out a solution that puts us on the path of sustained economic growth. Our defense contractors deserve predictability and stability as they make new hires and grow."
Throughout the afternoon, Kaine focused on the need for leaders to break the gridlock in Washington that continues to threaten the country’s economic recovery. Kaine also spoke out against George Allen’s reckless all-cuts approach to address the deficit, which would cost Virginians jobs and weaken national defense. Instead, he offered a balanced approach of significant cuts and new revenues from allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire over $500,000 that would make possible key investments in education and infrastructure.
"I am grateful Governor Kaine came to share his vision for responsible deficit reduction with the defense contractor community. His balanced approach will ensure more certainty for contractors across Virginia and a strong national defense for our nation," said Tim Oliver, a defense contractor who attended the roundtable in Sterling.
Kaine also contrasted his fiscal record with Allen’s. In the Senate, Allen helped turn a record surplus into a massive deficit and voted to add more than $3 trillion to the national debt, contributing to the economic crisis. Kaine, in contrast, was the only governor in modern times to leave office with a smaller general fund budget than when he entered, and cut more than $5 billion in spending while investing in key priorities like early childhood education and workforce training. His commitment to Virginia’s workforce development and sound fiscal management helped the state earn recognition as Forbes' "Best State for Business" four years in a row, Governing magazine's "Best Managed State," and Education Week’s best state to raise a child.
"I know there is a right way and a wrong way to do cuts and we won't grow our economy if we continue to blame hardworking federal employees for our fiscal challenges," Kaine told federal employees in Arlington. "I don't believe in the politics of name calling."
Since the beginning of the year, Kaine has held nearly 70 economic roundtable discussions around the Commonwealth with business and community leaders to share his strategies to create jobs and strengthen the economy.