Friday, June 10, 2011

Pawlenty's Pander

Reaction to GOP Presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty's completely unserious economic proposal has been swift and from all sides. He proposes cutting taxes on the top bracket to 25% and all other brackets to 10% while eliminating capital gains taxes.

Andrew Sullivan:

But Pawlenty's economic plan, presented yesterday, is to enact tax cuts three times larger than Bush's. When one realizes that he is regarded as one of the more serious candidates, one wonders if the Republican degeneracy is actually intensifying. In this period of massive debt, Pawlenty's position is to gut revenues even more - and balance them with spending cuts that could never overcome massive public resistance. Is it still GOP orthodoxy that the answer to any economic problem - even a collapse in federal revenue - is cutting taxes? The mind reels. Look: you simply cannot be in favor of debt reduction and massive tax cuts - on top of Bush's bankrupting decade - at the same time. And if you think simply cutting taxes works miracles, what happened in the last decade? Even before the implosion, growth rates were mediocre.

Ezra Klein:

Pawlenty promised that substantially cutting taxes would increase economic growth by 150 percent and reduce the deficit by 40 percent. Some hard truth. Next you'll deliver the bad news that if I stop paying my mortgage, my income will grow twice as fast, the bank will pay off half my loan and I'll be able to use the savings to redo my kitchen. Or perhaps you'll sit me down to explain the bad news that eating more pie will stimulate my metabolism and help me lose weight.

Ross Douthat:

Whereas Ryan actually took the entitlement bull by the horns, Pawlenty seems to use his supply-side growth projections as a substitute for Medicare reform instead of adding them on as gravy. Reading it, you would think that the Bush economy was a huge, roaring success, since Pawlenty has little to say about the pocketbook issues that helped elect Barack Obama in the first place (wage stagnation, health care costs, etc.). And reading the excited reception that the speech is getting from movement organs, it’s clear that a great many conservatives have learned next to nothing from the trends that turned them out of office just a few short years ago.

--Ballard Burgher

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