Independence Virginia PAC: “No Surprise”

An ad from Independence Virginia PAC, a Bob Perry-backed super PAC formed to oppose Virginia Senate candidate Tim Kaine (D), suggests taxes proposed by the former governor are to blame for the rise in unemployment rate during his tenure, and claims Kaine “left Virginia with a $4.2 billion deficit.” In reality, Kaine balanced the budget before leaving office, even though the state’s revenues suffered due to the recession, which was also responsible for driving up the unemployment rate both in Virginia and nationally. The taxes Kaine proposed while in office, meanwhile, were primarily ideas on how to pay for much-needed transportation upgrades that the state’s GOP wanted to finance with long-term borrowing, and despite the ad’s use of a poorly worded debate statement, Kaine does not currently support raising taxes on low-income earners.

Kaine Proposed Tax Increases To Pay For Transportation Upgrades That Virginia’s GOP House Wanted To Finance With More Borrowing

Kaine’s Proposal Raise Taxes To Pay For Transportation Upgrades Contrasted GOP-Controlled Virginia House’s Idea To Borrow Money. From the Washington Times: “While most Virginia governors have enjoyed several weeks to offer amendments, Mr. Kaine was given the tentative budget about 10 days before the end of the fiscal year. The more than 150-day budget deadlock centered on how to generate new money for the state’s overcrowded roads and mass transit system. The House wanted to use part of the state’s projected $1.4 billion surplus and free up additional money in the General Fund through long-term borrowing. The Senate and Mr. Kaine wanted to raise as much as $1 billion a year in new taxes. In the end, the two-year proposal provides $568 million in new money for roads — $339 million of that is contingent upon a long-term revenue source being established before Nov. 1. The General Assembly agreed to take up transportation in a special session this fall.” [Washington Times, 6/27/06]

  • Largest Of Tax Increases Kaine Proposed Over His Tenure Were Aimed At Funding Transportation. From PolitiFact: “Kaine led the state from 2006 to 2010. Katie Wright, Allen’s director of communications, sent us a breakdown of supposed tax-increases advanced by Kaine. The largest proposed hikes, from 2006 through 2008, were aimed at raising money for Virginia’s overcrowded roads. […] By our count, Kaine proposed raising about $4 billion in new taxes — $1 billion in 2006, $1.1 billion in 2008 and $1.9 billion in 2009. Of those increases, the 2008 plan represented a second attempt to raise new road funding, and the 2009 proposal would have been partially offset by a $650 million reduction in local car taxes.” [, 4/16/11]
  • Virginia GOP Wanted Kaine To Borrow Money For More Transportation Spending. From the Virginian-Pilot: “Gov. Timothy M. Kaine’s proposals for spending a $1 billion budget surplus received a lukewarm reaction Friday from top Republicans, who are girding for an election-year battle. Transportation remained the focus of disagreement. The Democratic governor wants to spend half the surplus on road and rail projects. Some Republicans said that is too little and chided Kaine for refusing to borrow money to ease congestion. […] Republicans, under pressure to find consensus on the state’s transportation gridlock, said they are disappointed that Kaine doesn’t want to borrow money for roads. They noted that the governor is backing new debt for sewage plant upgrades and a new prison in Southwest Virginia. […] Kaine said environmental programs and prisons are financed with income and sales taxes, which can be used to pay off debt on capital projects. He said he cannot support borrowing for roads until lawmakers agree on new long-term revenues to pay off the bonds. Virginia relies on gas taxes – a declining source of revenue – to pay for new roads.” [Virginian-Pilot via Nexis, 12/16/06]

Blaming Kaine For The Global Recession? Virginia’s Unemployment Rate Mirrored National Trends

Virginia’s Unemployment Rate Followed Same Trajectory As National Unemployment Rate During Kaine’s Term. The following graphs, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, chart the unemployment rates in Virginia and nationally from the beginning of 2006 through the end of 2009:

National Unemployment Rate:


Virginia Unemployment Rate:


[, accessed 10/17/12;, accessed 10/17/12]

Recession Officially Ran From December 2007 To June 2009, Making It The Longest Since World War II. From the National Bureau of Economic Research: “The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research met yesterday by conference call. At its meeting, the committee determined that a trough in business activity occurred in the U.S. economy in June 2009. The trough marks the end of the recession that began in December 2007 and the beginning of an expansion. The recession lasted 18 months, which makes it the longest of any recession since World War II. Previously the longest postwar recessions were those of 1973-75 and 1981-82, both of which lasted 16 months. In determining that a trough occurred in June 2009, the committee did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity. Rather, the committee determined only that the recession ended and a recovery began in that month.” [, 9/20/10]

  • Recession Resulted In 8.3 Million Job Losses. According to the Associated Press, “the Great Recession killed 8.3 million jobs, compared with 1.6 million lost in the 2001 recession.” [Associated Press via Yahoo! News, 5/4/12]

Bush Recession Was So Severe That Economy Was Still Shedding Over Three-Quarters Of A Million Jobs Per Month Through First Few Months Of President Obama’s Term. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy shed 839,000 jobs in January 2009, 725,000 in February 2009, 787,000 in March 2009, and 802,000 in April 2009, for a four-month average of 788,250 lost jobs per month. [, accessed 5/3/12]

When The Recession Devastated Revenues, Kaine Cut Billions To Balance The Budget

Virginia “Experienced Serious Budget Shortfalls” Because Of The Recession, But They Were Closed By The Time Kaine Left Office. From “Virginia adopts a new budget every two years, and amendments are added to it in the odd year to square the numbers. There’s no question that Virginia experienced serious budget shortfalls during the recession due to much lower-than-anticipated revenues. But the shortfall was closed by the end of the biennium. The same Virginian-Pilot story in which Kaine talks about a $3.7 billion shortfall, notes that the stimulus provided $1 billion in budget relief, and that lawmakers were forced to cut $2.7 billion to balance the budget, as required by the state constitution. Responding to the ad on Nov. 10, Kaine told WVEC ABC 13: ‘I left office with two balanced budgets that I submitted because you have to, by law, submit balanced budgets.’” [, 11/15/11]

  • Kaine Had Proposed Even More Difficult Cuts Before Federal Stimulus Money Came Through. From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “States were seriously considering even more severe cuts than were enacted in such services as health care, education, and public safety prior to passage of federal stimulus legislation. Those cuts very likely would have taken place in the absence of the federal aid. […] In both New York and Virginia, major cuts that had been proposed before the federal assistance was made available were never enacted. Virginia is using the fiscal assistance to keep open three facilities serving persons with mental health needs, reverse a planned cut in Medicaid payments to hospitals, lessen a reduction in aid to universities that almost certainly would have led to large tuition increases, avoid a major education budget cut, and avoid a funding cut that would have resulted in the loss of an estimated 310 deputy sheriffs’ positions. The governor had proposed these cuts before the federal funds became available. […] The legislature likely would have approved the governor’s proposed cuts had recovery act funding not been available. In fact, there is good reason to think it would have gone even further. Between December 2008 (when the governor outlined his proposals) and March 2009, the Virginia revenue forecast was revised downward even further by over $800 million. The legislature also rejected the governor’s proposal to raise the cigarette tax. Thus, the federal recovery funding helped to avert not only the governor’s proposed cuts, but also the additional cuts that would have resulted from the further decline in the revenue forecast and the legislature’s decision not to raise the cigarette tax.” [, 6/29/09]

Kaine Proposed A Tax Increase As Part Of A Plan To Close Budget Holes. From the Roanoke Times: “Not a single member of the House of Delegates voted for former Gov. Tim Kaine’s plan to increase Virginia’s income tax and eliminate the personal property tax on vehicles. But that didn’t stop delegates from waging a protracted partisan floor fight on the issue this afternoon. The House voted 97-0, with one member abstaining, to kill former Democratic governor’s tax plan. Kaine floated the plan last month to help close a two-year, $4.2 billion budget shortfall. The tax increase would have generated $2 billion in revenue. Republicans declared Kaine’s proposal dead on arrival last month but they refused to allow the bill’s sponsor, Del. Bob Brink, D-Arlington, to withdraw the measure when it reached the floor this afternoon. Instead, they forced Democrats to choose between supporting a tax increase or rejecting a key component of a budget plan offered by the former governor and chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Brink asked to withdraw the bill, saying Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell has made it clear he would veto any proposed tax increases.” [Roanoke Times via Nexis, 1/21/10]

Kaine Said He’s Open To Tax Discussion – Not That He’s Pushing For Higher Taxes On The Poor

During A Debate, Kaine Said He’d Be “Open To A Proposal That Would Have Some Minimum Tax Level For Everyone.” From a debate between Virginia Senate candidates Tim Kaine and George Allen:

DAVID GREGORY (MODERATOR): Do you believe that everyone in Virginia should pay something in federal income tax?

TIM KAINE: Well, everyone pays taxes, I mean, the statistics that have come out–

GREGORY: I’m asking about federal income taxes.

KAINE: I would be open to a proposal that would have some minimum tax level for everyone, but I do insist, many of the 47 percent that Governor Romney was going after pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than he does.

[Kaine-Allen Debate via, 9/21/12]

Kaine Clarified That He Does Not Favor Increasing Taxes On Low-Income Americans. From The Hill: “After the debate, Kaine sought to clarify his remarks by arguing that he was saying he didn’t want to take any proposals off the table, not that he supported tax increases on low-income earners — a view expressed more often by conservative Republicans like Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) than any Democrats. ‘David asked me a question which is, would I be open to a discussion about something broader like that, and I said sure, I’d be open to it. It shouldn’t be news that somebody wants to go into the Senate that is willing to start with a position of openness and a dialogue,’ he told The Hill before pointing to his own record as evidence that he didn’t support raising taxes on low-income earners.” [The Hill, 9/20/12]

Independence Virginia Almost Entirely Bankrolled By Swift Boat Backer Bob Perry

Swift Boat Backer Bob Perry Is Single Biggest Funder Of Independence Virginia. According to data from the Sunlight Foundation, Bob Perry has donated a total of $1 million to Independence Virginia during the 2012 cycle. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Perry “contributed heavily to George W. Bush’s previous election efforts and was one of the chief donors for Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.” Contributions to Independence Virginia PAC from other donors total $87,500, including $10,000 from Foster Friess. [, accessed 10/17/12; Richmond Times-Dispatch, 10/15/12]

Independence Virginia Put $1.25 Million Into Anti-Kaine TV Ads Running In October. According to data form the Sunlight Foundation, Independence Virginia PAC’s largest independent expenditure has been a $1.25 million purchase of broadcast and cable advertisements running between October 16 and October 23. [, accessed 10/17/12]

[NARRATOR:] It’s no surprise that Tim Kaine now wants seniors and middle-class families to pay new taxes. As governor, Kaine pushed for billions in new taxes. Unemployment more than doubled. And Kaine left Virginia with a $4.2 billion deficit. Tim Kaine won’t strengthen the economy or reduce the debt. [KAINE CLIP:] “I would be open to a proposal that would have some minimum tax level for everyone.” [NARRATOR:] Kaine’s reckless agenda will make things worse, and you’ll get stuck with the bill. Independence Virginia PAC is responsible for this advertising. [Independence Virginia PAC, 10/16/12]