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As Paul Ryan defends budget plan in tonight's debate, pressure increases on George Allen to have an opinion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 11, 2012
Contact: Anna Scholl (434) 218-2113 anna@progressva.org

As spotlight turns to Ryan's budget plan in tonight's debate, pressure increases on George Allen to come clean on where he stands

Allen has repeatedly refused to tell Virginians where he stands on the Ryan-Romney budget plan 

In advance of tonight's Vice Presidential debate in Danville, KY, ProgressVA called on George Allen to level with Virginians on his stance on Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney's budget plan. Allen has repeatedly refused to take a position, even telling a reporter in June, "I'm not going to tell you." A new report from Center for American Progress Action Fund and ProgressVA found that the Ryan-Romney plan would increase taxes and health care costs for middle class families across the Commonwealth.

"Virginia voters deserve to know where the candidates stand on the Ryan-Romney plan to voucherize Medicare and raise taxes on middle class families to pay for even more tax breaks for the 1%," said ProgressVA Executive Director Anna Scholl. "If we can't count on George Allen to stand up for Virginia families while he's running for office, how can we ever trust him do it if elected?"

The new report from Center for American Progress Action Fund and ProgressVA found that the Ryan-Romney plan would cost current seniors $11,000 more in out of pocket costs and raise taxes middle class Virginia families by $2,000. Those increased taxes would subsidize an estimated $2.3 billion tax cut for Romney's biggest donor alone.

Even while refusing to comment on the budget plan put forth by his ticket-mates, Allen has touted a plan to cut spending and rein in the deficit by repealing Obamacare. Unfortunately for Allen, independent fact checkers have determined his budget reduction and deficit reduction plan actually increases spending and the deficit while also repealing commonsense health care protections like coverage for preexisting conditions.

BACKGROUND:

Allen Has Repeatedly Refused To Answer Specific Questions On Support For Ryan Budget. August 2012: "In Danville Thursday, a local television reporter asked Allen: 'I was reading [about] your support of Paul Ryan's plans to turn the Medicare system into what people are saying [is] a voucher system. Can you explain that a little bit?' 'I think your assertion's incorrect,' Allen shot back quickly. 'The Ryan plan - this is mostly from my opponent on all of that - the Ryan plan is a comprehensive big plan. The part of it that has to do with Medicare has been changed from whatever he had originally. Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, and he have come up with - I haven't had a chance to look at their latest permutation from it. But we do need, in my view, to save Medicare for those who are presently on Medicare or soon will be on it.'" [Washington Post, 8/11/12]

Allen Gave Non-Answer On Whether He Would Vote For The Ryan Plan: "If I Were A U.S. Senator, Yes, I Would Vote Yes Or No On It." "In Virginia recently, Senate candidate George Allen spent an interminable nine minutes during a TV interview, dodging a question about how he would have voted on the issue. 'I'm telling you what I'm for. If the people of Virginia hire me on to fight for them and their values in the United States Senate, they can look at our blueprint,' he told a local reporter last week. 'I'm running my campaign. I like my ideas. To the extent they merge in with others, that's good.' Pressed further, Allen said, 'I'm not a U.S. senator. If I were a U.S. senator, yes, I would vote yes or no on it.'" [Politico, 6/23/11]

Allen Refused To State If He Was In Favor Of The Ryan Plan And Told A Reporter "I'm Not Going To Tell You." "Allen puts up with questions about the Ryan plan, but won't tell any reporter, specifically, how he would cast his vote...'I'm not going to tell you,' Allen said stopping short before re-grouping, and responding 'I'm going to tell you what I am for.' As soon as I began a lengthy exchange on the Ryan plan, Allen made sure I knew what he thought about the line of questioning. 'You can ask for the Democrats, they like playing politics,' he said." [NBC 12, 6/16/11]

Allen Dodged Endorsing The Ryan Plan, Claiming "I Am Not A U.S. Senator." Allen said, "I am not a U.S. Senator...If I were a U.S. Senator I would have to vote yes or no." [NBC 12, 6/16/11]

Politifact Rated "False" Allen's Claim That Repealing Obamacare Would Save $1 Trillion. "Allen, in describing how he would cut debt, said repeal of the health care act would "save $1 trillion over a 10-year period." The three studies he cites from conservative analysts don't put the debt reduction anywhere near $1 trillion -- the closest he gets is $701 million in a report commissioned by the House Republican leadership. And a report by the nonpartisan CBO says the repeal of Obamacare would increase debt by $109 billion over 10 years. We rate Allen's claim False." [Politifact Virginia, 10/8/12]

According to "TheReal Cost of the Romney-Ryan Plan to Virginians":

  • Middle-class Virginians would pay more in taxes while millionaires would pay less. Millionaires in the state would receive an additional $87,000 in tax breaks under the tax plans of Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan, while middle-class families would pay up to $2,000 more in health care taxes and $1,066 more in taxes on their mortgages.
  • Seniors in Virginia would lose health care benefits and pay more. Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan would force seniors in the state to pay at least $639 more for their prescrip­tion drugs each year. At the same time, the Romney-Ryan plan to turn Medicare into a voucher system would cost current seniors at least $11,000 more in out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Severe cuts in veterans' health services. The Romney-Ryan budget would require cuts that would slash Veterans Affairs discretionary spending by nearly 20 percent. More than 85 percent of Veterans Affairs discretionary spending supports medical care; such a cut could have a significant impact on the 820,000 veterans in Virginia, including the 130,000 veterans who receive care in Virginia's VA Medical Centers each year.

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ProgressVA is a multi-issue progressive advocacy organization dedicated to engaging citizens from across the Commonwealth around issues of immediate state and local concern. www. ProgressVA.org