I agreed (and occasionally disagreed) with Tim Kaine, while he was Governor. But for one thing I’ll always give him credit: he was never afraid to solve a problem.
That’s what makes him the better candidate for U.S. Senate.
The #1 issue facing Virginia is the coming danger of “the fiscal cliff” or “sequestration,” which kicks in under current Federal law if the U.S. Congress fails to take serious and concrete steps to solve the Federal deficit. In such case, automatic cuts take place with 50% due to come from the defense industry.
The effect on Virginia — where 1/3 of every dollar in circulation directly relates to Federal spending (either salaries, entitlements or procurement) — would be catastrophic.
Again, George Allen sacrifices Virginia’s interest for intellectual purity. By refusing to consider any revenue increases in his campaign, he basically states that he’s fine with “sequestration” — an outcome that will cost 100,000+ jobs in Virginia. (Alternatively, he’s hoping that the whole deficit reduction process is a joke. Not a good option either).
The #1 revenue option is the Bush tax cuts, which are set to expire on December 31, 2012. Those cuts were enacted in 2001, when the United States budget was in annual surplus and the stock exchange had tripled over the past five years. Yeah, that was a different context than what we face today.
Kaine’s proposal is more conservative than the President’s. He would keep the cuts in place for all annual incomes below $500,000, as opposed to the President’s $250,000 level which would have an outsize impact on northern Virginia.
The total raised is $500 billion, which puts a sizeable dent in the budget. Coupled with necessary cuts to entitlement spending, that’s a serious plan to address the deficit and save Virginia jobs.