Former Democratic Virginia Gov. and current Senate candidate Tim Kaine on Wednesday pledged his support for federal workers at a town hall in Arlington.
At the event — sponsored by the American Federation of Government Employees, National Treasury Employees Union, National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association and other groups from the Federal-Postal Coalition — Kaine said that waging war against public workers “is not a management model that works.”
“You and I both know that some — for one reason or another — want to make public employees the all-purpose punching bag in American political life,” Kaine said. “That, I find revolting. Those who would perpetuate the notion that public employees are somehow not willing to sacrifice, they haven’t been paying attention. Public employees have sacrificed a lot. Pay freezes happen at all levels. The right attitude is, thank you so much for hanging with us.”
Kaine also said that as the government tries to cut its costs and reduce the deficit, federal employees can help find savings and inefficiencies. And he reiterated his party’s position that deficit reduction must come from a combination of budget cuts and revenue increases, through increased taxes for the wealthy.
He also said he is “agnostic” on outsourcing some federal jobs to the private sector, although he said inherently governmental jobs should always be done by federal employees.
And Kaine feels the Defense Department needs to do more to operate more efficiently and restructure its bases. He said the Pentagon still has many European bases that reflect a 1950s force structure that today is far out of date.