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Taxpayer's Tab Issue #23

September 13, 2012

 

 

 

Vol. 3 Issue 23 September 13, 2012

 

Virginia Senate Race: NTUF Study Finds Nearly $100 Billion Difference Between George Allen and Time Kaine

Today, National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF) released candidate studies revealing the bottom line net cost of all the campaign proposals being made by the two major candidates in Virginia's U.S. Senate race. Former Governor Tim Kaine's plans would add an estimated $1.28 billion to the federal budget; and former Senator George Allen seeks to cut $97.74 billion. Compared to the current fiscal year's outlays, Kaine's annualized average would represent an increase of 0.04 percent, while Allen's would represent a decrease of 2.7 percent.

 

"During campaigns it can be difficult to decipher the rhetoric and assess what a candidate will really do once in office, and what the end result will be for taxpayers," said NTUF Senior Policy Analyst Demian Brady. "Our study can help citizens to understand the fiscal implications of the promises they keep hearing on the campaign trail."

Here are the major fiscal proposals from these candidates' agendas:

George Allen:

  • Repeal "Obamacare." Allen's vow to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act makes up the vast majority of his health care related budgetary reductions with $64 billion of savings in year one and $319 billion over five years.
  • Roll back discretionary spending to 2008 levels. This equates to $26.2 billion in savings, year one.
  • Prevent pay increases for Congress and federal employees. This could save as much as $3.5 billion in the first year alone.
  • Spend $2.7 billion on veterans programs. Allen seeks a number of measures related to veterans like efforts to clear up backlogged VA claims. His plan to provide concurrent benefits makes up the bulk of his proposed spending on this area at $13.5 billion over five years.

Tim Kaine:

  • Reform "No Child Left Behind." The estimated $500 million cost of the main component of this proposal would provide federal cash for testing currently funded by the states.
  • Create an Infrastructure Bank. The current iteration of this concept would cost $302 million in its first year and $1.51 billion over five years.
  • Fund clean energy and smart grid technologies. Kaine's proposal mirrors the CLEAN Act which awards grants for development of these technologies costing $120 million a year.
  • Boost spending on Technical Education. In particular this refers to the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. Kaine seeks additional funding of $141 million annually for this program.

Aside from $100 billion in contrasts, Kaine and Allen agree on one major cost saver: drilling for oil off the Virginia coast. Allen’s energy plan is much broader, including more exploration than just Virginia, and would save an estimated $298 million ($102 million through drilling expansion). Kaine's plan only includes issuing new leases in Virginia. Legislation resembling his proposal would send 50 percent of funds from new leases to the U.S. Treasury, and 25 percent to the Commonwealth, though the exact cost is unknown.

For the study, NTUF gathered information from the campaigns and media coverage on any proposals by the two leading Virginia Senate contenders that could impact federal spending. Cost estimates for these items were verified against independent sources such as the Congressional Budget Office, and through NTUF's BillTally system, which since 1991 has tracked all spending bills in Congress.

NTUF identified 24 items in Tim Kaine's platform that could affect federal outlays, six of which would increase spending, none of which would decrease spending, and 18 of which could not be quantified with reasonable precision. George Allen's agenda included two proposals to increase expenditures, 10 to lower them, and 16 with impacts that could not be pinpointed.

Brady noted that the large number of "cost unknown" items was due to lack of specificity in the candidates' platforms. Allen, for example, pledged to "work with the states" in promoting science, math, engineering, and technology education," without indicating whether he intended to expand the number or funding of federal programs in this area. Kaine made reference to reducing "waste, fraud, and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid," which has a potential for major savings; however, he did not provide details of the resources he would direct toward this initiative.

Brady concluded, "Like many residents across the country, Virginians will be inundated with crafty messaging about important issues in coming months, but they won’t necessarily hear about the numbers behind those words. NTUF's studies are designed to provide some fiscal sunlight amid the 'fall squalls' of campaign season."

Break Down of Proposed Spending by the Two Virginia Senatorial Front Runners
(in millions of dollars)
Proposal Category
Unknown
Economy, Transportation, and Infrastructure
$302
Unknown
Education, Science, and Research
$641
($400)
Energy, Agriculture, and the Environment
$120
($35,970)
Government Reform
Unknown
($63,835)
Health Care
Unknown
Unknown
Homeland Security and Law Enforcement
$50
Unknown
National Defense and International Relations
Unknown
$2,704
Veterans
$167
($237)
Miscellaneous
Unknown
($97,738)
Total
$1,280
Source: NTUF Virginia U.S. Senatorial Candidate Spending Analyses of George Allen and Tim Kaine, BillTally System

Note: NTUF's analysis of the Virginia candidates' agendas is one of several the group is currently conducting. Contests are being selected on factors such as geographic diversity, political significance as rated by outside groups and analysts, and the level of specificity in the candidates' platforms.

   

Support NTUF and Receive a Special Gift!

Want to help NTUF pave the way to economic freedom? Consider making a tax-deductable contribution.

NTUF provides taxpayers, policymakers, and experts with timely research on government spending and the issues that make a difference in the lives of every American.

Help us keep a tab on Congress and, while supplies last, NTUF will send you a copy of our exclusive interview with Milton Friedman.

Make your tax-deductable contribution to NTUF today!


 We Want You!

NTUF is looking for fall and winter associate policy analysts to participate in our internship program. Associates assist with BillTally research and other policy projects. Academic credit is possible. Email questions to ntuf@ntu.org. To apply visit our internship page. Join us and help keep a tab on Congress!


 NTUF On The Air

NTUF Senior Policy Analyst Demian Brady discussed Congress's preoccupation with re-naming post offices on August 24th. Listen to him here on Speaking of Taxpayers. Read about the number of government building re-naming bills in the August 23rd Tab here.

On the August 31st edition of Speaking of Taxpayers, NTUF Policy Analyst Dan Barrett compiled Congressman and GOP Vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan's career spending proposals. Listen to him here. You can also check out his post on Paul Ryan here.


Missed an Issue?

Issue 22 - Aug 23
BillTally Update & "No Cost" Bills

Issue 21 - Aug 10
Milton Friedman Celebration

Issue 20 - Aug 2
Project Rebuild Act

Issue 19 - July 26
How Much Would "Obamacare" Repeal Save?

Issue 18 - July 20
Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act



About NTUF

The National Taxpayers Union Foundation is a research and educational organization dedicated solely to helping citizens of all generations understand how tax policies, spending programs, and regulations at all levels affect them now and in the future. Through NTUF's timely information, analysis, and commentary, we're empowering citizens to actively engage in the fiscal policy debate and hold public officials accountable every day.

NTUF is a 501(c)(3) research and education organization. Donations are deductible for personal income tax purposes. Please make a donation today to help further NTUF's mission of research and education!

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to aid or hinder the passage of any legislation or as a comment on any Member's fitness to serve.

 

 



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