BY WESLEY P. HESTER
On Monday, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Timothy M. Kaine laid out his views on how to avoid looming defense cuts, part of the sequestration resulting from the failure of a so-called deficit reduction super-committee.
Kaine, who supported the bipartisan debt deal that created the sequestration as a last resort of the super-committee failed, is now – like many members of congress – looking for an alternative.
The $500 billion in Pentagon cuts could potentially costs 200,000 Virginia jobs, a recent study concluded.
In a conference call with reporters, Kaine said congress should create a new plan that would add $1 in new revenue for every $3 in spending cuts. He said that should be coupled with an expiration of Bush-era tax cuts on households earning $500,000 or more, which he said would create more than $500 billion in new revenue to offset cuts.
“We cannot solve our deficit and debt challenges through cuts alone,” he said, criticizing GOP rival George Allen’s position, stated in a recent debate, that he would not support any tax increase, even if every $1 of revenue was matched with $10 in cuts.
Kaine called that “a position that makes compromise impossible and a position that, frankly, also makes solving the deficit also impossible.”
Kaine also urged members of congress to stop “grandstanding” and “earn their paycheck and actually do something.”
He also criticized Allen’s position that all Bush-era tax cuts should be made permanent, saying it would “make the deficit much, much worse.”
Allen has criticized Kaine for his support of last year’s debt deal, suggesting in a recent ad that he, by extension, supported the steep defense cuts.
“Tim Kaine can’t escape from the fact that he not only supported the Washington deal that disproportionately cuts defense, risking over 200,000 Virginia jobs but just last week he called it ‘the right thing to do,’” said Allen campaign spokeswoman Emily Davis. “Now reflexive tax-raiser Tim Kaine wants to use troop funding as a bargaining chip to raise taxes, building on his record of proposing $4 Billion in tax increases on Virginians making as little as $17,000 a year while 100,000 Virginia jobs were lost,” she added.