Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty wants to be known as a truth-teller and a bold ideas candidate who proposes innovative ideas to practically solve America’s economic problems while staying true to conservative principles.
On Tuesday, Pawlenty went to President Obama’s home court in Chicago and blistered Obama for his economic failures.
Said Pawlenty: “The President is satisfied with a second-rate American economy. Produced by his third-rate policies. I’m not.”
Pawlenty then said “President Obama is a champion of class warfare” who, after being “elected with a call for unity and hope” has spent three years dividing our nation and fanning the flames of class envy and resentment to deflect attention from his own failures and the economic hardships they have visited on America.”
Pawlenty said that “class warfare is not who we are.”
“I come from a working class background. I didn’t grow up with wealth. But I’ve never resented those who have it,” Pawlenty said.
Pawlenty then proposed solutions of his own to grow the economy by an optimistic five percent.
Pawlenty said that the post office, the government printing office, Amtrak, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “were all built for a different time in out country when the private sector did not adequately provide those services,” and “that is no longer the case.”
Pawlenty said he would apply “The Google Test” to cut unnecessary programs.
“If you can find a good or service on the Internet, then the federal government probably doesn’t need to be doing it,” Pawlenty said.
According to Pawlenty, “the same competitive efficiency that revolutionized America’s private sector over the last three decades should at long last be applied to every corner of the federal bureaucracy as well.”
“It is no longer enough for government to go on a diet, government needs to hit the gym,” Pawlenty said.
Pawlenty noted that he went to Iowa and said ethanol subsidies needed to phased out, went to Florida and said the retirement age needed to be raised for the next generation while cost of living adjustments for social security need to be means-tested, and went to Wall Street to say the “era of bailouts–carve-outs–and handouts had to end.”
Pawlenty said “the recession may have changed our economy, but it didn’t change our character” and “the United States is still home to the most dynamic and entrepreneurial people in the world.”
Pawlenty also called for the reduction of corporate taxes, a fairer and flatter system on individual tax rates that would be 10 percent and 25 percent
Said Pawlenty: “”Under my plan — those who currently pay no income tax would stay at a zero rate. After that — the first fifty-thousand dollars of income or one-hundred thousand for married couples — would be taxed at 10%. verything above that would be taxed at 25%. That’s it.”
Pawlenty then called for a constitutional amendment that requires a balanced budget and caps federal spending as a percentage of the economy.
“A balanced federal budget shouldn’t be a political sound bite,” Pawlenty said. “The best way, and possibly the only way — to ensure fiscal discipline is to put the Congress in a spending straightjacket.”
More than any other candidate so far this cycle, Pawlenty has been out in front with the boldest, most concrete plans and solutions to solve some of the country’s problems.