Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty will deliver a major economic speech in Chicago where he plans to paint President Obama as the “champion practitioner of class warfare.” Dubbing his plan a “Better Deal,” Pawlenty will take on “President Obama’s big government and heavy handed regulations” with fresh, new ideas that will spur Americans “to innovate, invest, compete, and create new businesses and jobs.” In Pawlenty’s world, this translates into a complete elimination of capital gains, dividends, interest income and estate taxes. He would lower taxes on corporations from 35% to 15% and “sunset” all government regulations unless Congress votes to keep them. As TP Economy editor Pat Garofalo explains, Pawlenty “is basically doubling down on the failed economic policies of the last Republican administration, only going for tax cuts that are much bigger than anything President Bush ever got through Congress.”
Of course, Pawlenty will have a hard time proving “that his plan would not explode” an already growing deficit, “given that cutting rates so steeply could prompt a fall-off in tax revenues.” Seemingly undeterred by this nightmare scenario, Pawlenty will present the lynch-pin of this “Better Deal” — something he dubs the “Google Test”:
“If you can find a good or service on the Internet, then the federal government probably doesn’t need to be doing it,” Mr. Pawlenty says. “The post office, the government printing office, Amtrak, Fannie [Mae] and Freddie [Mac], were all built in a time in our country when the private sector did not adequately provide those products. That’s no longer the case.”
A quick test-run of Pawlenty’s big idea reveals a small hiccup. Under the Google Test, the government would no longer need to pay for U.S. soldiers, military weapons, the FBI, law enforcement, firefighters, food safety, road construction, arbitration, Social Security, and Medicare.
As Protect Your Care Communications Director Eddie Vale pointed out, “I can Google ‘seniors’ and ‘health care’ does that mean Pawlenty would completely end Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security? I can Google ‘veterans’ and ‘hospital’ does that mean Pawlenty would dismantle the VA system? I can Google ‘pharmacy’ does that mean no senior citizen or child would ever get assistance with their medicines from Pawlenty?”
Not only is basing an entire deficit plan off of an internet search strikingly naive, it is not even novel. Political Wire’s Taegan Goddard notes that former Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith (R) “called the same principle a ‘yellow pages test‘ more than 15 years ago in the pre-Google era.” Perhaps Pawlenty should have run this plan through his preferred search engine. If he’s not sure how, here’s a little help.