Government Bytes


Virginia Candidates Fail to Give Details in Final Debate

by Dan Barrett / /

Perhaps it was how debates are moderated or how the candidates were coached, but in the final debate in which George Allen and Tim Kaine could detail their proposals, taxpayers were left with the same questions on the proposals of both candidates. The hour long televised debate, held on the Virginia Tech University campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, was another display of what the candidates did in the past and why they feel they are the best man for the job but offered Virginians only arguments, not the plans they have if they win in November.

To highlight each of their plans, NTUF conducted a comprehensive study of Allen’s and Kaine’s proposed spending agenda:

If the candidates wished to clarify their positions through more detailed explanations of their spending proposals, here are some questions we should have heard last night. Candidates are welcome to answer these questions so that taxpayers are more informed on the issues.

Former Senator George Allen:

  • On energy, you have said that you would "encourage technologies that will continue to advance the use of coal to generate clean, affordable electricity… ." Would you clarify exactly how you would achieve greater clean-coal use? The Clean Coal Power Initiative was funded with $800 million in 2009 and 2010 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act but no new funding has been requested or approved since.
  • Also on energy, you stated that the "federal government should allow spent nuclear fuel reprocessing and recycling, and safe production methods of nuclear power." How you would you increase nuclear power production? Traditionally, the federal government provides nuclear power producers with high subsidy rate loan guarantees and the government seeks $770 billion in 2013 for nuclear research and development. Is this the same path you would use for your policies?
  • On veterans claims, you want to "work to eliminate the backlog of BA claims and to streamline the application and appeals process" for veterans. Would you seek to increase the funding for and workforce of the Department of Veterans Affairs or do you think the streamlining would not require new funding?

Former Governor Tim Kaine:

  • On housing reform, you seek to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. What would your preferable reforms look like? What would Fannie and Freddie still do after the reforms and what might be the associated costs with the transition?
  • On education, you have said that you "will ensure teachers have access to the professional development and certification programs … ." What new measures and spending would you push for to achieve this goal? Are there any proposals in the current Congress that you would support if elected Senator?
  • On health care, you would "work to continue to squeeze out the unacceptably high costs in the health care system by cutting back on administrative spending … ." The Affordable Care Act requires administrative simplification through Medicaid and subsidies for the state health exchanges, generating an estimated $5.2 billion five-year savings. What else, if anything, would you push for as Senator?

To Both of the Candidates:

  • On border security, both of you have voiced support for a secure border. With much of the initial 651-mile border fence completed or scheduled to be finished, what, if any, further measures would you support related to border fencing, technology, or personnel?
  • Perhaps most importantly, do you have an outline or report on your plans regarding entitlement reform? If there is a proposal in Congress that you largely agree with, what are the particular points that you would change? Under your plans, when would entitlements be either self-sufficient or solvent in the long-term?

 You can watch the full debate here.