Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Top GOP Economists Call Pawlenty’s Economic Plans ‘Impossible’ | The Blaze

Top GOP Economists Call Pawlenty’s Economic Plans ‘Impossible’ | The Blaze

Tim Pawlenty is getting blasted for his economic proposals. But thecriticism is coming from somewhere you might not expect: he’s taking fire from some Republican economists.

The former lawmaker and 2012 presidential hopeful has drawn criticism from across the political spectrum for an economic plan that experts call impossible and unrealistic.

Pawlenty’s plan includes cuts to the federal budget and reforms to America’s tax system. At the center of his blueprint is a goal of five percent economic growth annually for a decade. While this sounds like a worthwhile benchmark, experts claim that the numbers simply don’t add up. According to TPM, Pawlenty explained why he’s aiming for such a high growth rate:

“Growing at 5% a year, rather than the current level of 1.8%, would net us millions of new jobs. Trillions of dollars in new wealth. Put us on a path to saving our entitlement programs. And balance the federal budget.”

Millions of new jobs, increased revenues, saving entitlements and balancing the budget are all politically-savory explanations, but experts fail to see realism in Pawlenty’s proposed methodologies. TPM has more:

“The trend growth rate is not going to be 5% in the United States,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin, director of the CBO under President Bush and a top GOP advisor, told TPM. “The market just doesn’t support that. It just doesn’t.”…

Rudolph Penner, CBO director under Ronald Reagan and a longtime budget hawk, said that high growth for an extended stretch coming out of a deep recession was not impossible, but took strong exception with Pawlenty’s rhetoric on the deficit…

“As an example, cutting just 1% of overall federal spending for 6 consecutive years would balance the federal budget by 2017,” he said.

“It’s totally unrealistic,” he said. “It sounds great: 1% a year, that‘s trivial isn’t it? But the trouble is underlying it you have health costs growing like crazy and you have Social Security growing fairly rapidly under current law. To get a 1% total cut is just extraordinarily difficult to do.

While some economists are less-than-impressed, The Wall Street Journal feels differently:

Among GOP Presidential contenders, Tim Pawlenty is offering the most ambitious reform agenda so far, and his economic address yesterday continued the trend. While details remain to be filled in, the former Minnesota Governor is rightly focusing on a growth revival that ought to define the 2012 campaign.

When it comes to the five percent goal, Pawlenty has acknowledged that it is a lofty one. He says, “I know this is a big goal for the country, but I want to set a positive one.”

Earlier today, he appeared on FOX News to discuss the plan, saying that “…it’s a stretch goal, it’s an aspiration, but it’s an aggressive goal…I don‘t buy the fact that we’re just going to be average…I don’t think we want an anemic America.” Watch the interview below:

In a separate appearance on CNBC, Pawlenty commented on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, saying that, as president, he would not nominate Bernanke to a third term:

“I opposed his appointment last time, so it wouldn’t be hard for me to oppose his reappointment next time, and I don’t think he should continue in that position.”

You can watch this interview below as well:

Pawlenty’s economic plan has been bold thus far. Whether his words will resonate with the American people is yet to be seen, but so far economists, even those from his own party, haven’t jumped on board.

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