By Delegate Barbara Comstock (R-34th District)
Earlier this month, in the first debate between our former Governor and Senator, George Allen and former Governor and DNC Chairman, Tim Kaine - we had a chance to hear from two U.S. Senate candidates about their two very different visions on how to move our country forward and protect the economy and families of our Commonwealth.
From George Allen we heard about proven solutions to create jobs, reprioritize and keep spending under control, and protect our national security. George Allen understands that reinvigorating our economy and creating jobs is job #1. Virginia is #1 for jobs while being a hub for important national security jobs that protect the entire county. In the Virginia General Assembly, after Tim Kaine left us a budget that was seriously out of balance, we bipartisanly cut spending back to 2006 levels and not only balanced the budget, but also created a surplus. Washington needs to do more of what we have been doing in Virginia, and George Allen is the man to do that in the Senate. He has a demonstrated record of common-sense policies as our Governor and Senator.
George understands that we can reprioritize our spending while still investing in our national security, our roads and our schools, without raising taxes during these tough economic times. He understands we can unleash our natural energy resources and put them to work for us and yield good-paying jobs and much needed money for transportation while providing more energy security for the entire country. These are win-win solutions that will be good for the Commonwealth and good for the nation.
Tim Kaine has a very different approach. In 2010, Governor and DNC Chairman Tim Kaine turned over a budget to the General Assembly with a $6 billion deficit and he recommended raising our taxes by over $2 billion a year for two years, led by a 17% state income tax hike. So, did anyone think those tax increases - which would have been the largest in history of Virginia – were a good idea in the midst of a recession? The House of Delegates rejected Tim Kaine’s tax increases – 97-0; not even one Democrat voted for Tim Kaine’s tax hikes. Yet at the debate, Tim Kaine still embraced his billions in tax increases.
Tim Kaine also closed 19 rest stops across the Commonwealth claiming he didn’t have the funds to keep them open. Governor McDonnell opened those rest stops almost immediately and an audit of VDOT found over a billion in transportation funds sitting in VDOT – while we were sitting in traffic and not having open rest stops! Fortunately this year, the General Assembly bipartisanly passed a $4 billion transportation bill – the first major new investment in transportation in two decades! Tim Kaine said this couldn’t be done without raising taxes, but a bipartisan majority of the General Assembly worked together to find a solution that didn’t impose additional burdens on our businesses and families.
So after having his tax increases rejected in Virginia, Tim Kaine now has endorsed the highly partisan Washington big taxing and big spending agenda of the current Administration. He still defends the $800 billion stimulus bill which never yielded the “shovel ready jobs” it promised but did raise our national debt while national unemployment has stayed over 8% for almost three years. (Fortunately, Virginia, with our job friendly policies, has had a considerably lower unemployment rate of between 6 – 6.5%.) In the midst of these still trying economic times, Tim Kaine also advocates raising tax rates on tens of thousands of Virginia families and small businesses, which puts him to the left of where the President was just last December when he said the current tax rates should stay in place.
And Tim Kaine has supported even more taxes on top of that with his support for the federal health care law which will crush small businesses with an array of new taxes: an increase in the payroll tax, a new 3.8 percent surtax on investment income, and a 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices among other things. In the first debate, Tim Kaine doubled down on his support for the federal health care law which a strong bipartisan majority of members of the Virginia General Assembly rejected. Like George Allen, my colleagues understand how these new taxes and new mandates will explode our health care budget and crowd out needed spending for our roads and our schools. Yet Tim Kaine – contrary to most federal and state studies – has claimed that the federal health care law will cut costs and insists on imposing all of these new mandates and new taxes on our families and our small businesses.
George Allen has a 21st century vision for Virginia that embraces the success of our entrepreneurs, our small businesses and our national security expertise. He has rejected the mess in Washington that is focused on more spending, more mandates and more taxes, while dramatically cutting and imperiling our national security community and jobs. George Allen will take the Virginia example of putting jobs first to Washington to work for us and the whole country.