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For Tonight’s Virginia Senate Debate, Question Candidates’ Agendas


Dan Barrett
October 8, 2012

Tonight, George Allen and Tim Kaine will once again face off in a televised debate. As the two hopefuls prepare for next round of rhetoric of who has the better resume and why either man would be a better Senator for the taxpayers of Virginia, it is important to consider the facts that were compiled by NTU Foundation in our line-by-line report of the candidates.

Key Facts:

Former Senator George Allen:

  • Net Proposed Agenda: -$97.74 billion (savings)
  • Top Spending Increase Item: Provide Concurrent Military Retirement Benefits, $2.7 billion annual cost
  • Number of Spending Increase Proposals: 2
  • Top Spending Decrease Item: Repeal the Affordable Care Act, -$63.9 billion annual savings
  • Number of Spending Decrease Proposals: 10
  • If Scored, Unknown Cost Item Likely to Make Largest Impact: Block-Grant Medicaid, a possible savings
  • Number of Proposals Having Unknown Budgetary Effects: 16 (59% of total proposals)

Former Governor Tim Kaine:

  • Net Proposed Agenda: $1.28 billion
  • Top Spending Increase Item: Eliminate Unfunded Mandates in No Child Left Behind, $500 million annual cost
  • Number of Spending Increase Proposals: 6
  • Top Spending Decrease Item: None
  • Number of Spending Decrease Proposals: 0
  • If Scored, Unknown Cost Item Likely to Make Largest Impact: Allow for Prescription Drug Price Negotiation, a possible savings
  • Number of Proposals Having Unknown Budgetary Effects: 18 (75% of total proposals)

In both studies, one of the surprising discoveries was the lack of specifics given to citizens on how Allen and Kaine would achieve some of their policy points. NTUF was unable to match a majority of proposals with nonpartisan third party sources or calculate the item by consulting budget documents. Because of this gap in knowledge, voters are not fully informed on the goals and possible costs of either candidate’s plans. Question one of the debate should be a request for a full and verifiable net spending total of Allen and Kaine.

However, the candidates do not entirely have conflicting policies on how to improve the economy and the efficiency of government. Allen and Kaine have proposed:

  • Increasing Domestic Energy Exploration and Extraction
  • Investing in Alternative Energy Sources and Technologies
  • Securing the Border

To study up on the Virginia Senate race and what both men bring to the table, check out NTUF’s release of the studies, which summarizes the totals and what the agendas could mean for the federal government. You can also look at NTUF’s line-by-line analysis of George Allen and Tim Kaine to see how the Foundation scored clearly defined items and why we could not determine the impact of others.


 

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