Republican presidential contender and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty may have been expecting a friendly reception when he sat down for an interview this morning with Fox News’ Chris Wallace. But he didn’t get one. The Fox host hammered Pawlenty on his recently released — and fantastically unrealistic — economic plan, which slashes taxes for corporations and millionaires while assuming unrealistic growth estimates.
Pawlenty’s plan would cost $7.8 trillion, or triple the size of the Bush tax cuts, and explode the deficit. Furthermore, his plan’s incredulously assumes 5 percent growth for 10 years in a row while eliminating revenue. As Wallace pointed out, there have only been two times in recent history when the U.S. has achieved 5 percent growth — and they both came after tax increases. Pawlenty seemed stumped by how to respond to this ugly truth about his so-called “pro-growth” plan:
PAWLENTY: We have achieved 5 percent growth twice in the recent history of this country. Once under Reagan, once under Clinton. Now was it sustained for 10 years in those circumstances? [...]
WALLACE: But governor, is it declinist to doubt the 5 percent number or is it just a realist to doubt the 5 percent number? You talk about the fact that for a few years in the 80s and a few years in the 90s that we did have average 5 percent growth – or close to it, it was 4 point something. But the fact is, the difference is, in both of those occasions that was coming directly out of a recession, not after a year, a year into a weak recovery. And actually, in both of those cases, it came after a tax increase, not a tax cut.
PAWLENTY: But Chris, as I said — this is an aspirational goal.