Because Republicans are judged by different standards, Tim Pawlenty’s proposal that “The GOP should lead efforts to cut up the nation’s credit card and commit to a balanced federal budget” will do absolutely nothing to harm his support among the business community or the notion that electing idiots like him to office will bolster economic growth. But it’s important to recognize that this neo-Hooverite agenda would, if enacted, likely plunge the world economy into a serious Depression.
At a time of economic slowdown, tax revenues will fall. Pawlenty would have the federal government offer no aid to state and local governments, forcing them to slash services and raise taxes, further deepening the slowdown. And then we’d need to cut the federal budget sharply, even further deepening the slowdown. And then next year tax revenues would come in even lower, and we’d need another round of counterproductive cuts. It’s just staggering that a leader who’s generally regarded as less economically bonkers than your average conservative would put this forward as the centerpiece of his economic vision.