HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) sat down with 10 On Your Side Thursday to talk about anything we wanted to talk about, and we had a long list: the presidential campaign, the tax plans (that will save you or cost you money) and even the fate of Bob McDonnell.
It was a spirited Q and A.
Senator Warner knows tax numbers because he sits on the Senate Finance, Senate Banking and the Senate Budget Committees.
Sen. Warner calls the election between Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton the most important election of his life time.
“What you hear from Trump is again, a lot of blather, a lot of Wouldn’t this be great?’ But with no balanced financial background, and with no balanced sheet approach,” Warner said.
Warner says Clinton’s tax plan is better, because it won’t add $11 trillion in debt like independent tax groups say Trump’s plan will. Warner says that can help Hampton Roads’ defense.
“Sequestration comes around because we don’t generate enough revenue, and we’ve never done entitlement reform,” Warner said.
Neither candidate does much to reduce taxes for middle-income families, and we asked Warner why Clinton isn’t doing that.
“I would love to see some additional tax relief through tax reform, but if you are going to cut for somebody else you have to find a way to pay for it.”
Trump cuts the top income tax bracket from 39.6 percent to 33 percent, which increases after tax income on the wealthiest up to 5.3 percent. Clinton would raise taxes on the richest, and that would reduce their after tax income by 5 percent.
Trump would also cut the Corporate Tax Rate from 35 percent to 15 percent. Clinton would leave it where it is.
Clinton is also for closing Wall Street loopholes, which Trump’s Hampton Roads Chairman calls the height of Clinton hypocrisy.
“That is outrageous…the chance of her biting the hands that feed her, and her family. Come on! We’re not talking about her campaign account, this her personal bank account…and why hasn’t she fought for that before? How long have they been in power? When she was a U.S. Senator from New York, why didn’t she put that bill forward then? Did she ever propose that then? Of course not.”
10 On Your Side asked Warner about this: A national NBC poll found only 11 percent find Clinton honest and trustworthy. WAVY’s Andy Fox asked Senator Warner, how do you explain that 11 percent don’t trust her?
“Look, I think she brings the experience that the American people will move forward with her,” Warner said. “I trust Hillary to be a great President, and I am going to support her, and I am going to urge my friends to support her.”
Andy Fox also asked Warner whether the federal government should continue prosecuting former Governor Bob McDonnell after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned his corruption convictions, sending the case back to the lower court for a possible new trial. Warner is with McDonnell on that.
“I think this process should come to a conclusion,” the senator said. “I think Bob McDonnell and his family have paid their dues, and have gone through an extremely challenging time… and I think he has paid his dues.”
Warner also said Congressman Randy Forbes losing re-election hurt Hampton Roads seniority, but life goes on and the fight for defense continues.