BY WESLEY P. HESTER
The fact that the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate has yet to offer a 2012 budget is a “major problem,” says Democratic Senate candidate Timothy M. Kaine.
In a CNBC interview Monday, Kaine was asked if there wasn’t a certain level of hypocrisy in Democrats’ withering criticism of House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s plan with no plan of their own to offer.
“I don’t disagree with you that the absence of a budget is a major problem,” answered Kaine, the former Democratic National Committee chairman, adding that “there is a very serious problem with Washington…not doing what it needs to do.”
But Kaine was also critical of Ryan’s plan as it relates to entitlements.
“The Medicare and Medicaid proposals are not cost reducers, they’re just cost shifters,” he said, commenting that the proposals would put Medicare cost growth on the shoulders of seniors and Medicaid cost growth on the shoulders of states.
And while Kaine stressed the need for a long-term debt and deficit reduction plan, he disagreed with Republicans that it must be tied to the looming debt ceiling vote.
“You shouldn’t use political brinksmanship gimmicks to try and solve important problems,” he said.