I love this take from Michael Tomasky, on Pawlenty's laughable economic plan:
One hardly knows where to start with it. Probably with the assumption that we can reach 5 percent growth for 10 straight years—when from 1947 to 2010, the average has been 3.3 percent. This is a contemptible piece of nonsense, but at least it’s not really harmful. What would be harmful are Pawlenty’s tax proposals, which soak the poor and reduce the burden on the rich more nakedly than any Republican plan I have ever seen. He would eliminate—completely!—the capital gains tax and the estate tax. Of course he’d massively lower income-tax rates. Oh, and he’d get rid of loopholes. (Yeah, sure.) Of course the little schlubs would keep paying those payroll taxes, but I suppose he hopes they can be distracted with some Jesus talk.And at least some Minnesota residents (and TIME readers) believe Pawlenty was anything but a terrific governor:
[T]he bilious idiocy of Pawlenty’s numbers shows just how far removed from economic reality this country is getting to be. The Republicans have lost any connection to earth, and the Democrats are afraid (with a few noble exceptions) to tell the American public the truth. In such a context, erstwhile conservative Republican Ben Bernanke emerges as a courageous truth-teller for saying something as simply and obviously true as that enacting sharp spending cuts now will hurt the economy. Time was when Republicans listened to the Fed chairman. But these days I guess he’s a socialist, too.
Your article on ex-governor Tim Pawlenty left me flabbergasted and angry ["Mr. Nice Guy," May 30]. As a Minnesota resident, I can assure you his appeal is not in "the middle" here. The poor, the old, veterans and schoolchildren all suffered under his stewardship, and the "fees" imposed to generate revenue (Pawlenty didn't call them taxes) didn't help. Pawlenty is an aw-shucks, smooth-talking panderer whose regular-guy image masks craven opportunism.According to Republicans, our deficit is #1 priority and yet Pawlenty was pretty abysmal on this front while governor. Not surprising.
Kimberlee Remus, WOODBURY, MINN.
When Pawlenty took office, Minnesota was prosperous and comfortable. It is now broke and angry. It's not true that he "cut taxes and reined in spending." He just created a massive tax shift from income taxes to property taxes, while spending down every savings account and rainy-day fund the state had. Pawlenty couldn't get elected dogcatcher here. Please don't wish him on our country.
Peter Hill, MINNETONKA, MINN.