In his Sunday sermon, RTD columnist Jeff Schapiro offered his assessment of the fallout from the Fairfax debate between George Allen and Tim Kaine. As is always the case with Jeff, he believes George came out with new problems to face, new hurdles to overcome, even bigger questions to answer.
Same chorus, different day.
But, remarkably, Jeff also managed to stick his keyboard stiletto into Tim Kaine’s back:
The usually disciplined Kaine opened himself to a fresh attack by Allen, saying he’d consider a minimum income tax for all Americans. Kaine later made matters worse, claiming he wasn’t committed to the idea; rather, that he’d think about it. In politics, when you’re explaining, you’re losing.
Perhaps grasping just how deep a hole Kaine was digging for himself on the matter of taxes for all, the Washington Post, Roanoke Times and that clean-up hitter for the left, PolitiFact, came to Kaine’s rescue.
Or tried to. Kaine never elucidated a tax ‘em all position on his website, they write, so it’s not a real issue. George Allen is all gauzy generalities and no substance. Or the kicker, from PolitiFact unsurprisingly, Kaine doesn’t have a plan to raise taxes on everyone and anyone who says otherwise is lying.
This is hogwash.
Kaine’s statement in Fairfax last week was eerily similar to a statement he made just 72 hours after winning the 2005 election:
Kaine, refusing to rule out higher taxes for roads and mass transit, said he has started conversations with some of the moderate Republicans who broke with their party to back Warner’s $1.4 billion tax increase for schools, police and social services.
“It will require a bipartisan coalition,” Kaine said of a remedy for the lumbering transportation bureaucracy that has been beset by cash shortages and construction delays.
He refused to rule out higher taxes for roads and transit. Just as, last week, he declared he was open to the idea of an income tax for everyone.
Tim Kaine is still using the same weasel words he used seven years ago.
Not to test PolitiFact’s ability to view and understand video tape, but let’s go back just a bit further in Kaine’s past to the debate between him and Jerry Kilgore in October, 2005. Around the 24:15 mark, Kilgore made it clear that Tim Kaine, based upon his past history, would do whatever he could to raise Virginians’ taxes. Kaine’s rebuttal?
“There you go again, Jerry, making stuff up. You’re not fit to be Governor if you make stuff up on this stage.”
Kilgore was right and it was Kaine who was making stuff up (the less generous would call it “lying”). To my knowledge, Kaine has never apologized for misleading the voters on that one.
Nor will he. Doing so would destroy the narrative he’s trying to create — and the press is trying to buttress — that he has no plans to raise taxes, really. But he’s open to suggestions if it means keeping the Leviathan afloat and well-fed.
Just like he was three days after the 2005 election.
And yes, within a week or so of taking the oath as Governor, Kaine proposed hiking taxes to address the crisis in roads and transit. And he kept trying to raise those taxes right until he handed over the keys to the mansion to Bob McDonnell.
Now he wants to take his schtick national, and apply his magic, tax-hiking touch to everyone — including, we can infer, those who haven’t got two pennies to rub together.
The Sheriff of Nottingham would be proud of you, Mr. Kaine…