Saturday, July 23, 2016

From the Archives: Tim Kaine argues for balancing individual liberties, communal responsibilities

Publisher's note: This article was originally published on on July 3, 2011. The publishing platform was discontinued July 1, 2016, and its web site went dark on or about July 10, 2016.  With the impending nomination of Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) as the vice presidential running mate of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, I am republishing this piece in an effort to preserve it and all my other contributions to since April 6, 2010. It is reposted here without most of the internal links that were in the original.

Tim Kaine argues for balancing individual liberties, communal responsibilities

Former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, who is also the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is currently a candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator Jim Webb.

On July 2, Kaine came to Crozet, in western Albemarle County, to celebrate Independence Day two days early: marching in a parade and speaking at a festival at Claudius Crozet Park sponsored by the local volunteer fire department. Kaine’s likely Republican opponent in the 2012 election, former Governor and Senator George Allen, was also present, and the two men described each other as “competitors and friends.”

Just before the formal program began, Kaine spoke to the Charlottesville Libertarian Examiner about current issues, including the impending congressional vote on raising the national debt ceiling, and what he hopes to bring from Virginia to the national stage.

Debt ceiling limit

“My assessment of the situation” with regard to the debt ceiling vote, Kaine said, “is I can’t believe they let it get as close as they have. You shouldn’t be playing brinksmanship with things like threatened government shutdowns or threatened default on debt payments.”

Even so, he added, “we’ve got to find a resolution. I think the resolution is one where we increase the debt ceiling limitation but in exchange we have to do a combination of significant cuts [and] finding more revenues.”

To get more revenues, he explained, will require “closing loopholes on certain businesses and individuals that don’t need them.”

That should be followed by making “more investments in transportation and education to grow the economy. That’s the best anti-deficit strategy of all.”

Getting libertarian votes

Asked how he would appeal to libertarian-minded voters in the coming election campaign, Kaine said that he would talk about his record.

“I am very much a supporter of individual liberties,” he explained, adding that “yet we’re in this mixture, where we have individual liberties -- and that’s the great thing about our country -- but we also have communal responsibilities. Just trying to find that right balance is important.”

Kaine noted that “we do pretty well on that in Virginia. My basic campaign message is, ‘America has challenges, Virginia has answers,’ so I’ll be talking about the way we do it here in Virginia.”

From Virginia to D.C.

The former governor gave three specific ways that he plans to take lessons learned in Virginia to the national level.

George Allen and Tim Kaine, July 2, 2011
First, with regard to the “challenged economy,” he said, the way Virginia “went from low income to high income [was] by going from low education to high education. Education innovation is the best economic development and jobs strategy.”

The second lesson is “fiscal responsibility,” he said, explaining that “I had to make more cuts than anybody who’s ever been governor -- but there’s a right way and wrong way to do it. No across-the-boards, don’t shred the safety net, and don’t do the kind of gimmicks like default on the debt payment stuff. Just make hard decisions.”

The third thing he offered is that, in Virginia, “we have some balance and civility. We still listen to each other instead of just trying to out talk each other, and that’s what I want to take” to Washington.

Kaine may still face a primary challenge for the Democratic Senate nomination from Third District Representative Bobby Scott, who announced on July 1 that he is delaying his decision on whether to get into the race. Former Governor Allen also has several challengers for the GOP nomination, including Tim Donner, David McCormick, and Jamie Radtke.

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Suggested Links

At his 17th Shad Planking, George Allen lays claim to a ‘libertarian streak’
Va. Senate candidate Jamie Radtke hopes her message resonates with libertarians
Virginia GOP Senate candidate David McCormick touts his business experience
Virginia Congressman Bobby Scott weighs in on budget’s ‘tough choices’
Senator Jim Webb talks about U.S.-Korea free trade and stability in Asia

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