State of Virginia Archives: on Budget & Economy


Pat McGeehan: Real crisis is $17T in debt and future unfunded liabilities

In October, the US Congress again raised the debt limit. Much of the media immediately praised the action, as the shut-down "crisis" was finally over, and the government re-opened for business. However, little attention was given to the real crisis.

Within 24 hours of this debt resolution sailing through the Congress, over $350 billion were borrowed--and the government's debt now officially stands well over $17 trillion. This is to say nothing of the untold trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities the American taxpayer is expected to cover well into the future. As staggering as these numbers may be, very few in Washington DC understand the magnitude of this national dilemma.

This predicament grows even more dangerous [because the] deficit is no longer coming from real "borrowed" money. Very few foreigners are loaning money to the American government now; the largest buyer of American debt has now become the Federal Reserve.

Source: McGeehan in Huntington News: 2014 West Virginia Senate race Dec 8, 2013

Pat McGeehan: The Fed printing money for debt causes inflation

Where is all of this "borrowed" money coming from in Washington? Over the past several years, the largest buyer of American debt has now become the Federal Reserve, our country's central bank. To permit the federal government to desperately cling to spending money it doesn't have--last year alone, the Federal Reserve purchased over 75% of all US Treasury bonds. What does this mean?

When the Fed steps in as the "lender of last resort", and buys US government debt, new dollars are being created out of thin air. In essence, the only thing the Fed does have at its disposal is the printing-press, and this has become the new norm in Washington.

Turning to the printing-press has real consequences for the average American: massive devaluation of the dollar. As more dollars are printed-up by the Federal Reserve, the average American will find that their purchasing power will go down. This can already be seen--at the grocery store or the gas pump. In a way, this represents a tax. The inflation tax

Source: McGeehan in Huntington News: 2014 West Virginia Senate race Dec 8, 2013

Mark Warner: Sequester was stupidest way to cut; shutdown cost even more

Q: Where do you think the economy is headed, in the wake of the federal shutdown?

WARNER: Well, I think we need to step back a moment and say we just went through an awful period for our country. [The federal shutdown] actually increased the deficit. You can't start and stop the largest enterprise in the world, the federal government, without adding costs. We've actually built in higher interest rates because any time we get close to a potential default, we're going to have higher T-bill pricing. That passes through to mortgage costs, car loans, student loans. We ought to at least first make sure that we actually operate the government for a year going forward with a solid budget and find ways to alleviate some of the damage also being done by sequestration, which is this automatic spending cuts which was the stupidest way possible to go about cutting government. There were really no winners. I mean, our country took an economic hit, and a confidence hit.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2013 series: 2014 Virginia Senate race Oct 20, 2013

Tim Kaine: Tea Party's reckless economic policies create uncertainty

Tea Party activist Jamie Radtke hit the former one-term senator for voting to add an expensive prescription drug program to Medicare and backing No Child Left Behind, two initiatives sought by Republican President George W. Bush. "Tim Kaine will not run to the right of me on spending," Radtke said, subtly criticizing the budgets Allen voted for during his previous Senate term.

Kaine's campaign responded to the repeated criticism following the debate. "Virginia voters heard the Tea Party contenders push reckless economic policies that would damage Virginia's economy, create more uncertainty for our businesses, and make our nation less globally competitive," a Kaine spokeswoman said.

Source: Washington Examiner on 2012 Virginia Senate debate May 25, 2012

Jamie Radtke: Congress should have reformed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

According to Radtke, auring his Senate term, Allen "voted for every single spending bill, added $3 trillion to the national debt, and he voted for his own salary increase when we were deficit spending. He took money from Fannie and Freddie Mac and refused to support reform, and we're still reeling from that, even today. And he voted for the largest expansion of entitlements since Lyndon Johnson's Great Society." Allen stuck to what he called his "positive agenda," focusing on small business and job creation. He said he'd support "policies that actually make it easier to invest and create jobs, including simple, fair and competitive tax laws, reasonable regulations, affordable, plentiful American energy, and empowering education opportunities that will send a message to the world that America is open for business again."
Source: The Virginian-Pilot on 2012 Virginia Senate debate May 12, 2012

Jamie Radtke: Focus on cutting spending; Allen voted to spend trillions

Radtke railed against Allen's time in Washington from 2001 to 2007 and blaming him for deficit spending. "We cannot return a politician like George Allen who voted for trillions of dollars in spending and spent our children's money," Radtke said. "We need someone who is going to focus on cutting spending in these serious times."

Allen didn't respond to any of his opponents attacks personally. Instead, he defended his term by pointing out proposals to curb spending by supporting a line-item veto, and introducing a balanced budget amendment. He said the economy was out of control "because of the overspending, over-regulating big government policies of President Obama, Tim Kaine and the Washington liberals."

Source: Hampton Roads Daily Press on 2012 Virginia Senate debate May 11, 2012

Jamie Radtke: We need someone who is going to focus on cutting spending

Radtke railed against Allen's time in Washington from 2001 to 2007 and blaming him for deficit spending. "We cannot return a politician like George Allen who voted for trillions of dollars in spending and spent our children's money," Radtke said. "We need someone who is going to focus on cutting spending in these serious times."

Allen didn't respond to any of his opponents attacks personally. Instead, he defended his term by pointing out proposals to curb spending by supporting a line-item veto, and introducing a balanced budget amendment. He said the economy was out of control "because of the overspending, over-regulating . big government policies of President Obama, Tim Kaine and the Washington liberals."

Source: Hampton Roads Daily Press on 2012 Virginia Senate debate May 11, 2012

George Allen: FactCheck: Vvoted against the Alaskan Bridge to Nowhere

Allen said: "When I was in the Senate, I was one of about a dozen who voted against that Bridge to Nowhere."

Allen has said before that he took a stand against the now infamous earmark for a $225 million bridge connecting the city of Ketchikan, Alaska to the Island of Gravina, which has 50 residents.

In July 2005, Allen voted for a $286.5 billion transportation bill that included money for the Bridge to Nowhere. But funding for the Alaska bridge came to less than one tenth of 1% of the overall cost of that overall highway bill, which passed by a 91-4 vote.

The bridge came up again later that year. Allen supported an amendment to another transportation appropriations bill that would redirect part of the funding for the Alaskan span to rebuild a hurricane-damaged bridge near New Orleans. The amendment failed by an 82-15 vote. We rated Allen's claim that he was among a small minority who voted against the Alaskan bridge True.

Source: PolitiFact.com 2012 Senate FactCheck: Virginia debate Apr 30, 2012

George Allen: No future debt-limit increases until spending is restrained

Allen said the country's economic and fiscal climate is different than it was when he voted for debt limit increases during his Senate term. "The credit-worthiness of America for the first time in our history has been downgraded. The annual deficits are now over a trillion dollars every single year. When I left the U.S. Senate, the annual deficit was about $160 billion." Allen said he would not support future debt-limit increases unless they come with "concrete ironclad spending restraints."
Source: The Virginian-Pilot? on 2012 Virginia Senate debate Apr 29, 2012

George Allen: Stimulus spending failed to create promised jobs

Radtke lambasted Allen during the debate for his Senate spending record. "When I left the Senate, the annual deficit was about $160 billion, on the course to getting to a balanced budget," he said afterward. "Talk about how much of spending is being borrowed, and the estimates are about 33 cents of every dollar is being borrowed. In 2006, it was 5.9 cents--an exponential increase in spending. This stimulus spending was promised to create all these jobs and has not."
Source: Washington Times on 2012 Virginia GOP primary Senate debate Apr 28, 2012

Jamie Radtke: If we do not deal with spending, nothing else matters

Tea Party activist Jamie Radtke lambasted Mr. Allen during the debate for his spending record in the U.S. Senate--as she has done since entering the race. "If we do not deal with spending, nothing else matters," she said, alluding to Mr. Allen when she blasted "fiscal irresponsibility of career politicians in both parties who say they're for a balanced-budget amendment but then turn and vote for trillions of dollars in spending."
Source: Washington Times on 2012 Virginia GOP primary Senate debate Apr 28, 2012

Tim Kaine: I cut state spending $5B while investing in infrastructure

During a discussion on the tax code, Allen proposed a "freedom to choose" flat tax, in which people could choose either a flat tax--though Allen stopped short of naming an exact rate, or which deductions might still exist--or the present tax code, if they thought they could get a better deal by itemizing various deductions. Allen predicted that over time, most people would migrate to the flat tax. For his part, Kaine pointed out that Allen was unable to come up with a number.
Source: Eric Kleefeld reporting on 2012 Virginia Senate debate Dec 7, 2011

Joe Manchin III: CAREFULLY plan stimulus: in planning mode; not panic mode

We have CAREFULLY planned our stimulus spending--reaching the most West Virginians we can with the money we have been provided. West Virginia is a top state for putting stimulus dollars to work on our highways and for building water and sewer lines.

Ou

Source: West Virginia 2010 State of the State Address Jan 13, 2010

Bob Wise: Limit capital assistance find to new businesses

I ask for some important economic development legislation this year: the long-awaited reform of the West Virginia Capital Company Act. The Legislature created this act to stimulate new businesses. But many well-established companies, that could have obtained funding in the traditional marketplace, have tapped this fund, and tapped West Virginia taxpayers. This has gone on too long. The bill before you will restrict this money to creating new jobs and new opportunities.
Source: 2001 State of the State Address to West Virginia Legislature Feb 14, 2001

Bob Wise: The cupboard is bare, despite national economic growth

Ladies and gentleman, the cupboard is bare. Despite the 3% budget cut which I was forced to impose on the first day of my term, we are looking at a state budget with minimal growth for the next year.

We’re paying the price for some reckless decisions by state government. We have about $9 million in unpaid phone bills, some of them three years old. There have been massive overcommitments on highway projects that we must now fund. The contingency fund that we need to keep in reserve for emergencies has been depleted-along with several other funds.

We are now at what appears to be the waning days of the longest period of economic growth in our nation’s recent history-and West Virginia has precious little to show for it. I am presenting a budget that is in balance, a budget with no fat, no frills, and no nonsense. It is a budget that makes tough decisions. It is a budget that says the irresponsible practices that got us in this situation will not be tolerated again.

Source: 2001 State of the State Address to West Virginia Legislature Feb 14, 2001

  • The above quotations are from Commonwealth of Virginia Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Budget & Economy.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2012 Presidential contenders on Budget & Economy:
  Democrats:
Pres.Barack Obama(IL)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)

Republicans:
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Third Parties:
Green: Dr.Jill Stein(MA)
Libertarian: Gov.Gary Johnson(NM)
Justice: Mayor Rocky Anderson(UT)
Constitution: Rep.Virgil Goode(VA)
Peace+Freedom: Roseanne Barr(HI)
Reform Party: André Barnett(NY)
AmericansElect: Gov.Buddy Roemer(LA)
Please consider a donation to OnTheIssues.org!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
E-mail: submit@OnTheIssues.org
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Jan 11, 2014