This picture of our Governor Tim Pawlenty barely missing that ball reminds me of his current thoughts on Macro- economics.
Poor Governor Pawlenty; not only does he miss the opportunity to be the Republican Super Hero here in St Paul by being Sen John McCain’s choice as Veep, but he’s now getting compared to being a dumber choice for the position as a V.P. than Caribou Barbie herself.
The GOP ignored Pawlenty during the recent Republican Governors Association (RGA) and desperately turned towards Sara Palin during the in Miami just a few weeks ago. Not only was our own Tim Pawlenty “out of focus”, he was completely Out of Touch. The scene in Miami was so bad that Republican Governor Rick Perry (R-Texas) practically pushed Palin off the stage less she make a bigger idiot of herself.
And where was Pawlenty? Minnesota’s favored dimpled-donned fearless leader during that big bash in Miami?
He was MIA, like a Republican draft card. He is the sitting Chair of the National Governors Association you know. That trumps Rick Perry, Sarah Palin as well as Rot-Gut governor in Illinois, Rod Blagojevich.
In a piece Governor Pawlenty wrote for Politico entitled: “Cut up the credit cards“, our very own Governor proves his lack of economic intelligence by trying to invigorate the failing Republican Party:
Republicans should push for the enactment of an amendment to the United States Constitution requiring a balanced federal budget. This initiative is based on the common sense, kitchen table logic that most Americans and businesses live by. They expect the same from their government but haven’t been getting it lately.
Passing this amendment will be no small task…. Getting it done will require a two-thirds vote by both houses of Congress, followed by ratification by three-fourths of the states.
While daunting, this effort will unify and energize Republicans. It will require the GOP at all levels to be engaged in a common sense agenda that is compelling, conservative and that will positively transform America.
In Political Animal of The Washington Monthly, Steve Benen fired off:
This is so blisteringly stupid, I find it hard to believe an elected official would actually put his name on it. Maybe the Politico is playing a practical joke on Pawlenty, in the hopes of making him appear like a fool.
It’s no practical joke, It is, indeed, our idiotic Governor in Chief. Let’s all remember Pawlenty Economic initiative like, oooh… say: “Naming your Lieutenant Governor to be head of Minn Dept of Transportation so the state can save $108,000 annually.” In the world of Economics, an annual $100,000 is a drop in the bucket, but to Governor Pawlenty, it’s “Coupon Sunday!”.
Governor Pawlenty is not the Brain Trust that Republican some folks think.
Benen goes on and slams the Governor on two points:
I honestly don’t know where to begin in responding to such an insane policy prescription.
- The first point, of course, is that trying to balance the budget in the midst of a financial crisis is the exact opposite of what every sane person realizes we need — a government stimulus to help spur the economy. Why would Pawlenty recommend slashing hundreds of billions of dollars in government spending right now?
- Second, that the Minnesota governor sees a similarity between an individual family’s budget and that of the United States government suggests he has a child-like understanding of economic basics.
Governor Pawlenty isn’t alone in this line of thinking. Republican Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina told the Wall Street Journal:
When times go south you cut spending,” Gov. Sanford said. “That’s what families do, that’s what businesses do, and I don’t think the government should be exempt from that process.”
The idea these Republicans are pushing right now is that they’re against these federal bailouts and believe the financial crises can be resolved by spending cuts and reducing government. It’s exactly what Herbert Hoover did while dipping dangerously close to a depression – he cut everything off and we finally landed in the ditch wildly known as “The Great Depression”. (Hint: “You give money out, boys. Lots of it…The more you give out, the more people will spend it!”)
Republican Governors are facing the same problem everywhere: Lack of cash. Going against their genetic makeup by raising taxes, they’ve finally had their “Come to Jesus” by raising Sin Taxes on cigarettes. Governors Charlie Crist (R-FL) and Haley Barbour (R-MS) both have proposals to do just that. Pawlenty? Well, he’ll bitch and crab about Obama’s offer to help states and local municipalities, but he’s still planning on heading back to St Paul to demand the DFL kiss his ass by hacking away at LGA’s (Local Government Authorities) and the (Twin Cities) Met Council.
The second part of Pawlenty’s comment is equally stupid. I’ll agree with Steve Brenen that Publius described it best by noting:
This is of course dead wrong — and confuses microeconomics with macro, as any student of Econ 101 could tell you. The micro-considerations of an individual family or business has nothing much to do with what governments need to do to get the larger economy moving again. (Or just go read someone who actually knows what he’s talking about – Krugman). Even worse, it’s often affirmatively harmful to adopt microeconomic solutions to macroeconomic problems. Hoover: Ain’t that the truth.
Is it any wonder we’re having this financial crisis?
Republican President Ronald Reagan kicked off the modern Neocon movement with two simple statements:
- The government isn’t part of the problem, the government is the problem!
- The most terrifying words you’ll ever hear are: “Hello, I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
Since then, the hatred toward the United States Government, US Government departments, US Government programs and US Government workers that have been under attack by the Republican Party ever since. The problem is obvious: Even the GOP doesn’t understand end of the line. Grover Norquist, the “Field Marshal” for Bush’s tax-cuts once said:
“My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”
…And with Governor Pawlenty, his hatred for our government gave us thirteen Minnesotans drowned in the Mississippi under the rubble of what used to be “Interstate 35-W”. Who needs a bathtub when you have a river that’s right handy?
Pawlenty needs to find a new way to be that “Rising Star” from within the GOP, and he needs cook up a whole new kettle of fish as Ronald Reagan did so eloquently thirty years ago. Until then; trying to sound like an expert on Macroeconomics simply isn’t working in his favor. He’s presenting a very stupid argument on Politico and the rest of the mass media is mocking him publicly. And their heckling, I can only hope, includes their pity on the rest of us Minnesotans who have to live under this stupid Governor of ours.
Alaskans’ might have a smarter governor than we have, although I cringe at the very thought.
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