Retraction: Tim Pawlenty is not a moderate

I take back what I wrote about Tim Pawlenty being one of the relatively sane Republican candidates.  Here’s what he said in a recent speech.

Tim Pawlenty

I propose just two rates, 10% and 25%…..A one-third cut in the bottom rate….And a 28% cut in the top rate to spur investment and job creation. In addition, we should eliminate all together the capital gains tax, interest income tax, dividends tax and the death tax.

….Once we unleash the creative energy of America’s businesses, families and individuals as we did in the eighties and nineties, a booming job market will reduce demand for government assistance. And rising incomes will increase federal revenues….5% economic growth over 10 years would generate 3.8 trillion dollars in new tax revenues.

Notice how he favors those who get their income from owning financial assets over those who get their income from work.

Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, it was plausible to think that cutting taxes for corporations and extremely wealthy individuals might generate investment and economic growth that would benefit everyone.  But this has been tried for 30 years, and it hasn’t worked.

Furthermore there never has been a 10-year period since World War Two in which the United States enjoyed 5 percent annual economic growth.  Such rates of growth are possible only to countries such as China which start from a low economic base.

The economist John Maynard Keynes favored governments running budget deficits when times were bad in order to stimulate the economy.  But he also favored running budget surpluses when times were good.  If you refuse to pay the normal expenditures of government in good times and bad, you’re not saving the taxpayers any money.  They’ll have to pay eventually – and with interest!

Pawlenty also proposes raising the Social Security retirement age,  repeal of the new health care reform and financial regulation laws, gutting the Environmental Protection Agency, eliminating all federal regulations not specifically authorized by Congress and shutting down the U.S. Postal Service.

Kevin Drum summed up Pawlenty’s speech very well.

The pander quotient in Pawlenty’s speech is just off the charts.  It’s less a speech than a series of Reagan-era applause lines bulked up on steroids and then stitched together for public consumption. …

… After a few years of skirting dangerously close to reality, I guess it’s once again official Republican dogma that tax cuts pay for themselves and then some.  Glad to see they can still kick it old school. 

… It looks like the battle of the GOP “adults” — Romney and Pawlenty — is taking shape.  Romney lately seems to be hedging a bit toward non-insanity, hoping that there’s still a majority in the Republican Party that isn’t quite willing to sail completely over the Palin/Beck/Limbaugh cliff into fairyland.  Pawlenty, conversely, is going all in.  If you believe in faith, freedom, and that old-time supply-side black magic, he’s your man.

via Mother Jones.

The most favorable way to look at Pawlenty’s remarks is to recall that while he was a very conservative Governor of Minnesota, he did not bankrupt the state nor carry out all the radical policies he ran on.  American politics is in a sorry state when you hope that candidates don’t really mean what they say.

Click on “A Better Deal”: Governor Tim Pawlenty’s Economic Policy Remarks for the full text of Pawlenty’s speech from his campaign web site.

Click on Tim Pawlenty wiki for his Wikipedia biography and record as Governor of Minnesota.

Click on Tim Pawlenty and the Old-time Supply-side Black Magic for Kevin Drum’s complete post.

Click on Pawlenty Growth Rate: Too Good to be True for analysis by Andrew Paveltev on the Frum Forum web site.

Click on Tim Pawlenty’s dubious economic assertions for a report by Glenn Kessler,  who writes the Washington Post’s Fact Checker column.  He awarded Pawlenty two Pinocchios for his untruths.

One Response to “Retraction: Tim Pawlenty is not a moderate”

  1. Why President Obama could lose in 2012 « Phil Ebersole's Blog Says:

    […] 6/17/11]  Click on Retraction: Tim Pawlenty is not a moderate for my second thoughts about his […]


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