Sunday, July 24, 2011

Anwar Richardson School of Economics Award: Tim Pawlenty

Anwar Richardson School of Economics Award is given to people that make economic claims that have no basis in reality. The award is named after sports writer Anwar Richardson making up stories about Brett Farve becoming a Tampa Bay Buccaneer and the economic impact Farve would have on Tampa. Richardson wrote these stories without citing any sources.

Tim Pawlenty is getting plenty of attention for calling President Barack Obama a "chicken." Pawlenty played chicken when Candy Crowley pointed out that "cut, cap and balance" is not going to pass in the Senate. Pawlenty avoids answering what concessions he would make in order to get the debt ceiling raised.

CROWLEY: Sure, but where would you -- what I'm asking is where we -- I think we know what you would push for, where would you compromise? Because "cut, cap, and balance" is not passing the Senate. You have to come up with something. And so I guess my question is, where do you -- where's the give here, if there is? Because you have to get it passed the Senate and the Senate is controlled by Democrats?

PAWLENTY: Yes. Well, first, let's -- I do want to say, let's remember how we got here. President Obama took office with a $500 billion or so deficit, and he ran it up the deficit to $1.5 trillion -- excuse me, $1.5 trillion.

CROWLEY: Can I just interject that he inherited two wars. He inherited an ongoing prescription drug plan that was passed under the Bush administration, and a recession that went deeper and deeper.

Troop levels are down in Iraq. Obama has increased combat operations in Afghanistan. Obama also authorize the use of airstrikes in Libya. Three wars cost money. Best of all is Pawlenty dodges the question of how he would break the Congressional gridlock on raising the debt ceiling. For someone who is questioning the courage of the President, Pawlenty isn't displaying his own courage.

Pawlenty repeats the line that Obama inherited a $500 billion deficit from President Bush.

PAWLENTY: The two wars were taking place under President Bush at a larger level in Iraq. So, again, when President Bush left office there was a $500 billion deficit. Now it's about $1.5 trillion under President Obama's watch. He tripled the deficit of this country.

Actually, Obama inherited a $1.2 trillion deficit from Bush. From the CBO January 2009 report.

CBO projects that the deficit this year will total $1.2 trillion, or 8.3 percent of GDP. Enactment of an economic stimulus package would add to that deficit. In CBO’s baseline, the deficit for 2010 falls to 4.9 percent of GDP, still high by historical standards.

Pawlenty is off by $700 billion from the CBO deficit numbers. The fact that Pawlenty repeats this means it is a talking point. Pawlenty receives a Joy-Ann Reid Award for knowingly lying. I could buy Rick Santorum being too stupid to know the real deficit numbers. Pawlenty does not get that free pass.

Pawlenty's support for the "cut, cap and balance" bill shows how unserious he is. It is impossible to get a balance budget amendment into the Constitution before August 2nd. It doesn't matter to Pawlenty because he refuses to acknowledge reality.

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