- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
- U.N. rights chief: Flight MH17 downing possible war crime
- Attack on park in Gaza war kills 10, mostly children
Allen, Kaine find common ground at forum
Question of the Day
U.S. Senate candidates George Allen and Tim Kaine found plenty to disagree about on issues such as taxes and health care Thursday in their first joint appearance since Mr. Allen's Republican primary victory June 12.
But the pair found some areas of consensus as well.
During a "Tech Town Hall" hosted by the Northern Virginia Technology Council in Reston, the former governors each called for comprehensive reform of the country's tax system, albeit using markedly different means.
Mr. Kaine, a Democrat, reiterated his call to end the Bush-era tax cuts for people earning more than $500,000 per year and subsidies for large oil companies, saying the government should shoot for $3 in spending cuts for every $1 in revenue increases to rein in expanding debt and deficits. Long-term, he said, the country needs to look at lower tax rates with a broader base, and "go after every line item" in expenses.
Mr. Allen, a Republican, said he wouldn't favor tax increases at this point because they would negatively affect small businesses, calling for a "simple, fair, flatter and lower" system, noting that if Congress does not act, taxes will skyrocket on Jan. 1.
"Heck, even if you die your taxes are going to go up next year," he said.
The event was not a debate, per se — Mr. Kaine and Mr. Allen did not share the stage — but the two men were given separate opportunities to answer virtually identical questions from technology and business panelists.
A concern at the forefront of the Northern Virginia defense and technology sector is the looming threat of "sequestration" — $1.2 trillion of automatic spending cuts, half of it coming from defense, that will kick in Jan. 1 if Congress fails to act.
Both Mr. Kaine and Mr. Allen said Congress must find a way to undo it, though they again appeared to advocate different strategies.
Mr. Kaine said the Department of Defense could better identify cuts than Congress, while Mr. Allen expressed frustration that the cuts, resulting from a congressional "supercommittee" that failed to reach a consensus, were not accompanied by spending caps or a balanced budget requirement — two ideas he has advocated for on the trail and during his time in the U.S. Senate.
While the candidates stayed mainly on topic and directly answered the panelists' questions, both managed to get in subtle digs at one another.
"If I go into the Senate, I'm going to go in working," Mr. Kaine said. "I'm a Democrat and I'm a proud Democrat. But I'm going to go in working to partner with Republicans. Not to kick 'em around or knock their teeth down their whiny throats."
The line was a reference to Mr. Allen's oft-cited comment encouraging Republicans at the state GOP convention in 1994 to "enjoy knocking [Democrats'] soft teeth down their whiny throats."
Mr. Allen noted his work with Democrats like Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden on issues like cybersecurity and nanotechnology while in the U.S. Senate, and he dinged Mr. Kaine for supporting Mr. Obama's health care overhaul.
"If I were in the Senate, I would have voted against it," Mr. Allen said. "I know my opponent thinks it's a great achievement, and I want to be the deciding vote to repeal it."
Later in the day, after the ruling was handed down, both men issued much sharper statements taking swipes at their rival's position.
"My opponent regularly calls for a full repeal of this law, despite the positive results it's already delivering for Virginia," Mr. Kaine said, adding that, during Mr. Allen's six years in the Senate, the average insurance premium for families more than doubled and over 12 million more Americans were uninsured.
Mr. Allen, meanwhile, reiterated his call for reforms like health savings accounts, allowing insurance to be purchased across state lines, and allowing states more flexibility to manage their Medicaid programs.
"I believe [the law is] an infringement on individual liberty and free enterprise," he said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Wilder, Cuccinelli named as possible witnesses in McDonnell trial
- Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's trial to test definitions of political corruption
- Half can't name political party of their member of Congress, poll finds
- Mich. congressman returns Commerce award after group endorses opponent
- Rep. Henry Cuellar on border crisis: 'Playing defense on the one-yard line'
Latest Blog Entries
- Dick Cheney: Hillary Clinton 'clearly bears responsibility' on Benghazi
- Holder vows to press ahead on gun control fight
- Seven of 10 prefer that Obama work with Congress, not go around it: Poll
- Schumer: Tea party hasn't let Obama put his policies into effect
- GOP official: Black not running for Wolf's House seat
TWT Video Picks
By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- D.C. police chief orders officers not to arrest legal gun owners carrying weapons in public
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- CURL: Obama, staffers not even pretending any more
- Family of Marine killed in Afghanistan pushes back against cover-up
- D.C. seeks stay in order striking down ban on handguns in public
- DeSean Jackson working on offensive cohesiveness with Redskins teammates
- Ohio sheriff sends bill to Mexico for cost of jailing illegals
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq