BY WESLEY P. HESTER
Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Timothy M. Kaine is today touring the state with U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., in support of his just-released economic plan, a document that will serve as a central component of his campaign.
Kaine’s “A Vision for Our Economic Future” was rolled out Wednesday morning shortly after Kaine and Warner held an event in Norfolk, the first of three stops to promote the plan with the other two in Arlington and Richmond.
The plan focuses on growing business and jobs, building a “talent economy” and balancing the budget through a balanced approach to deficit reduction, including increased revenues and strategic cuts.
In it, Kaine, a former governor, looks to promote short-term job growth by easing access to capital for businesses, making infrastructure investments, increasing exports and providing research and development incentives. In the long term, he focuses on education investments and talent recruitment strategies.
To harness the nation’s debt problem, Kaine recommends closing tax loopholes and allowing Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest American to expire while making strategic cuts, including to defense and Medicare.
“I ultimately would close the gap with two to three dollars of cuts for every dollar of revenue,” Kaine said in a call with reporters.
The campaign of Republican rival George Allen, who last June presented his own economic plan, a “Blueprint for America’s Comeback,” blasted Kaine’s plan.
“It took a year, but Chairman Tim Kaine has finally put on paper what Virginia families already knew – he wants to raise taxes on families and small businesses; supports counterproductive energy policies which allow Washington to pick the winners and losers; wants more failed stimulus spending and thinks Obamacare is a ‘great achievement’ which puts heavy burdens and mandates on individuals and small businesses alike,” said Allen campaign director Mike Thomas.
Kaine will tour Virginia in support of the plan for the next two weeks.
Last week, Kaine was named the Democratic nominee in the race to fill the seat being vacated by U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va.
On the Republican side, Allen is looking to win his old Senate seat back, facing three challengers for the GOP nomination: tea party activist Jamie Radtke, Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, and Chesapeake minister E.W. Jackson.
Allen’s “Blueprint” proposes reducing the U.S. corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, suggests a flat income-tax option, cutting federal spending to 2008 levels, banning earmarks, a balanced-budget amendment, fewer environmental and other regulations and a repeal of the health-care overhaul among other things.