Tim Pawlenty on Government Reform
Republican MN Governor
To help balance the budget, Pawlenty would cap federal spending at 18% of GDP. Since spending is projected to be about 24% of GDP this year, reaching Pawlenty's target would require about $1.1 trillion in annual spending cuts. He provided no clear roadmap of how to reach that level of spending cuts, but said he would apply a "Google Test": if a good or service can be found on the Internet, the government probably shouldn't be doing it. But Pawlenty's suggestion to eliminate federal ownership of the Postal Service , Amtrak, and the Government Printing Office would have limited effect on the deficit. The postal service is part of the federal government, but the Treasury doesn't fund it.
The big spenders in Washington have us on a course of trillion dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see. It's not a matter of right versus left. It's a matter of 6th grade mathematics. It isn't going to work. It's irresponsible, it's unsustainable and it's reckless.
The naysayers say "we can't cut spending; we have to raise taxes." I drew a line in the sand and said, "Absolutely not. We're going to live within our means just like families, just like businesses, just like everybody else."
It wasn't easy. I set a record for vetoes in my State. Vetoed billions of dollars of tax and spending increases. Had the first government shutdown in Minnesota's history. And, in the last budget period, I cut spending in real terms for the first time in the history of my state. The federal government should do the same.
Pawlenty accepted the fine as a "fair compromise." Public response, however, was mixed, as many saw the ruling as anything but fair. They were unfamiliar with the strange campaign finance laws, which appeared a rather brazen affront to the First Amendment.
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