George Allen On The Budget

ALLEN DID NOT CUT STATE SPENDING

PolitiFact: Allen’s Claim That He Reined In State Spending Is False. “Republican George Allen is promising his unrelenting effort to curb federal spending if he’s elected to the U.S. Senate next year. He says he’ll bring to Washington the same kind of ‘sweeping reform’ he brought to Virginia as governor from 1994 to 1998. His campaign web site says that when Allen was governor, ‘He challenged critics and sentiment that suggested it couldn’t be done, reining in government spending and substantially reducing the size of the state workforce’…Allen could accurately say he fought to curb spending. But Allen says he reined it in. That creates an impression the bottom line shrank or was stunted in growth. We rate the statement False.” [PolitiFact Virginia, 9/12/11]

Virginia’s Budget Grew 40.7% During Allen’s Term As Governor. “When Allen took office in January 1994, he inherited an overall $14.7 billion budget for the state fiscal year that started the previous July 1. At the end of his term in January 1998, he left behind a $20.7 billion proposed budget for the fiscal year that started the following July 1. That means Allen endorsed $6 billion in additional spending when he was governor — a 40.7 percent increase.” [PolitiFact Virginia, 9/12/11]

General Fund Spending Increased 45.6% Over The Course Of Allen’s Term. “The general fund was almost $6.8 billion when Allen took office. At the end of his term, he proposed a $9.9 billion general fund budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1998. That means Allen endorsed $3.1 billion in additional general fund spending when he was governor — a 45.6.percent rise.” [PolitiFact Virginia, 9/12/11]

The Increase In Spending Under Allen Was Average For Virginia Governors. “Although 45.6 percent general fund growth under Allen may sound gigantic, in reality, it’s about average for a Virginia governor. The general fund budget has grown by 479 percent over the last 30 years, from almost $2.7 billion in 1981 to almost $15.5 billion this fiscal year. Many factors explain the expansion: population has grown, creating greater revenues and a greater demand for services; Medicaid costs have increased dramatically, often by 10 percent a year; and inflation.” [PolitiFact Virginia, 9/12/11]

ALLEN REFUSES TO GIVE A STRAIGHT ANSWER ON WHETHER HE SUPPORTS RYAN BUDGET PLAN

Allen Gave Non-Answer On Whether He Would Vote For The Ryan Plan: “If I Were A U.S. Senator, Yes, I Would Vote Yes Or No On It.” “In Virginia recently, Senate candidate George Allen spent an interminable nine minutes during a TV interview, dodging a question about how he would have voted on the issue. ‘I’m telling you what I’m for. If the people of Virginia hire me on to fight for them and their values in the United States Senate, they can look at our blueprint,’ he told a local reporter last week. ‘I’m running my campaign. I like my ideas. To the extent they merge in with others, that’s good.’ Pressed further, Allen said, ‘I’m not a U.S. senator. If I were a U.S. senator, yes, I would vote yes or no on it.’” [Politico, 6/23/11]

Allen Called The Ryan Plan “A Good Start.” “Eric Cantor replied “yes” when asked after a luncheon speech in his hometown of Richmond if Republicans running for the Senate in 2012 should support the Ryan budget and its overhaul of Medicare. That specifically puts the heat on fellow Virginia Republican George Allen, who is running next year to reclaim his old U.S. Senate seat. Allen has called the Ryan plan ‘a good start,’ but has not embraced it.” [Washington Post, 6/9/11]

Allen Refused To State If He Was In Favor Of The Ryan Plan And Told A Reporter “I’m Not Going To Tell You.” “Allen puts up with questions about the Ryan plan, but won’t tell any reporter, specifically, how he would cast his vote…’I’m not going to tell you,’ Allen said stopping short before re-grouping, and responding ‘I’m going to tell you what I am for.’ As soon as I began a lengthy exchange on the Ryan plan, Allen made sure I knew what he thought about the line of questioning. ‘You can ask for the Democrats, they like playing politics,’ he said.” [NBC 12, 6/16/11]

Allen Dodged Endorsing The Ryan Plan, Claiming “I Am Not A U.S. Senator.” Allen said, “I am not a U.S. Senator…If I were a U.S. Senator I would have to vote yes or no.” [NBC 12, 6/16/11]

Allen Said The Ryan Plan Was “Very Thoughtful.” “Former Gov. George Allen offered some praise Wednesday for the GOP budget plan championed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., but stopped short of saying he would support it if elected to the U.S. Senate. ‘I’ve commended Congressman Ryan. I think it’s a very thoughtful plan,’ Allen said during an interview before a closed-door campaign event in Albemarle County.” [The Daily Progress, 6/29/11]

Allen Embraced Most Of The Ryan Plan, But He Would Not Say If He Supported The Medicare Reforms. “Running for U.S. Senate in a state like Virginia that prides itself on its fiscal restraint, Republican George Allen and Democrat Tim Kaine are trying to avoid being drawn into the political mudslinging on Capitol Hill over how to get federal spending under control. Allen is embracing parts of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s plan to trim the federal deficit by about $6 trillion over the next 10 years, including tax cuts, dramatic reductions in federal spending and Ryan’s proposal to convert Medicaid, the federal-state program for low-income residents, into a block program run by the state. But Allen has remained mum on Ryan’s proposed reforms to Medicare, which would convert the popular program to a voucher system.” [The Washington Examiner, “Allen, Kaine Playing it Safe on Budget Plans,” 5/26/11]

Ryan Budget Ended Medicare, Would Potentially Double Costs for Seniors.  The GOP budget included proposals to convert the federal share of Medicaid to a block grant to states. It also called for converting Medicare for persons currently younger than 55 into a “premium support system” through which the government would pay private insurance companies directly for each enrollee. The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reported that “The Ryan budget plan would cut federal spending on Medicaid, which provides health care for the poor, and begin distributing money by block grant to states. The plan would do away with Medicare’s direct payment for health care for seniors, replacing it with a voucher system in which recipients choose private insurers. The Congressional Budget Office found that part of the plan, which would take effect in 2022, could nearly double out-of-pocket costs for seniors.” In an April 7th, 2011 editorial, the Newark Star-Ledger warned that Paul Ryan’s plan would “end Medicare as we know it.” [Vote 77, 5/25/2011; Ft Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, 4/16/2011; Newark Star-Ledger Editorial, 4/7/2011]

Former McCain Economic Advisor: 1.7 Million few Jobs Under Ryan Plan. According the Mark Zandi of Moody’s, a former economist for the McCain 2008 Presidential Campaign, the Ryan approach would result in 1.7 million fewer jobs, including 900,000 next year, than is the case under the president’s proposal. [Moody’s Analytics, 4/14/11]

Cut, Cap and Balance

Allen Signed The “Cut, Cap And Balance” Pledge. A press release from Allen stated: “Today, George Allen signed the Cut, Cap and Balance Pledge—a promise to oppose any increase in the national debt limit without first meeting the following three conditions: Cut—Substantial cuts in spending that will reduce the deficit next year and thereafter. · Cap—Enforceable spending caps that will put federal spending on a path to a balanced budget. · Balance—Congressional passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution—but only if it includes both a spending limitation and a super-majority for raising taxes, in addition to balancing revenues and expenses.” [Roanoke Times, Blue Ridge Caucus Blog, 6/20/11]

Cut, Cap, & Balance Bill Would Kill 700,000 Jobs, Mandate Severe Cuts to Social Security and Medicare. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the measure would not directly cut Medicare or Social Security but “it would be inconceivable…that policymakers would meet the bill’s severe annual spending caps through automatic across-the-board cuts year after year… Reaching and maintaining a balanced budget in the decade ahead while barring any tax increases would necessitate deep cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.” In addition, The immediate $111 billion reduction in spending would equal 0.7% of the 2012 projected gross domestic product and “and would thus cause the loss of roughly 700,000 jobs in the current weak economy, relative to what the number of jobs otherwise would be.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 7/15/11]

According to the CBPP, Only Arch-Conservative Republican Study Committee’s Budget Would Have Met Cut, Cap & Balance Requirements; Budget Would Severely Cut Medicare and Medicare; Would Have Raised Retirement Age to 70. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “the only budget that comes close to meeting the requirements of these constitutional amendments is the Republican Study Committee budget, which eliminates 70 percent of non-defense discretionary funding by 2021, contains deeper Medicare cuts than the Ryan budget, cuts Medicaid, food stamps, and Supplemental Security Income for the elderly and disabled poor in half by the end of the decade, and raises the Social Security retirement age to 70.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 7/15/11]

Center On Budget and Policy Priorities: Cut Cap and Balance Would Cut Programs for Poor While Protecting Tax Breaks and Tax Subsidies for Wealthy and Powerful. According to The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “The bill overturns a feature of various bipartisan budget laws over the past quarter century, by subjecting programs for the poorest Americans to the specter of meat-axe across-the-board cuts. It does so even as it protects tax breaks and tax subsidies for the wealthy and powerful by erecting a constitutional barrier to any measure that would raise any revenue.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 7/15/11]

ALLEN REPEATEDLY VOTED TO RAISE THE DEBT CEILING

The Washington Times: “Mr. Allen Has Experience With The Federal Debt Ceiling, Having Voted Four Times To Raise It To Support Spending Plans Of President George W. Bush.” According to Washington Times: “Mr. Allen has experience with the federal debt ceiling, having voted four times to raise it to support spending plans of President George W. Bush.” [Washington Times, 5/29/11]