Friday, October 24th, 2014

Tim Kaine highlights his, Obama's successes in DNC speech

U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine delivered a seven-minute speech at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night.
U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine delivered a seven-minute speech at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night.

U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine addressed the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night. Many of his statements were familiar to PolitiFact Virginia. Here’s our review:

Claim: "We went from 25 months of job losses to 29 straight months of private-sector job growth"

Figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that seasonally-adjusted private sector employment began going up in March 2010 and has been on the rise since. The latest BLS report was released in July, marking the 29th straight month of increase.

Prior to that, there had been a 25-month streak s of losses in the seasonally-adjusted totals of all jobs in the U.S. -- including private sector and government positions. The number of jobs began  falling in February 2008 and continued going down through February 2010. Obama was inaugurated in January 2009.

Claim: "We cut taxes for 95 percent of American families."

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or stimulus package, did give tax cuts to the vast majority of working Americans. The law reduced payroll taxes, which allowed workers to keep more of their paychecks. The annual savings amounted to $400 for single workers and $800 for couples in the stimulus package, which was extended to the end of 2012. The independent Tax Policy Center determined that 94.3 percent of workers would receive the tax cut.

Claim: Republicans would "turn Medicare into a voucher system."

GOP vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan proposed a plan in 2011 to revamp Medicare that he called "premium support," but was the same thing as a voucher. The plan would have changed Medicare for those younger than 55 from a program that pays doctors and hospitals for services to one in which the beneficiaries would be paid an amount  by the government they could use toward purchasing private insurance.

An update Ryan plan would allow beneficiaries to choose between the payments or a plan that has defined benefits, acting like traditional Medicare. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has endorsed the concept.

Claim: "When I was governor...we were named most business-friendly state, best managed state and best state to raise a child."

Kaine was governor from 2006 to 2010. In 2008, Virginia was one of three states to receive an A- rating for its management by Governing Magazine. It was the top rating given that year. Forbes Magazine rated Virginia the best state for business from 2006 to 2009.  The claim about Virginia being the best state to raise a child comes from a 2007 report by Education Week and the Pew Center on the States.

It should be noted that Virginia has received similar awards under other governors. Many of the conditions cited for Virginia’s strength, such as a solid tax base, existed long before Kaine came to office.