Tim Pawlenty Embarrases Himself On The Budget
The Daily Caller, the new Huffington-esque website fronted by Tucker Carlson, today includes a piece by Minnesota Governor and potential Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty that shows he's not ready for prime time when it comes to the federal budget.
Pawlenty complains about federal spending and then says that federal cuts to Medicaid will make the budget problems in states like his worse. Presumably that means that he doesn't want Medicaid to be cut.
Pawlenty complains about federal spending without referencing any of the other federal dollars his own state gets. This includes the emergency funds Washington provided and he accepted with open arms when the I-35W bridge collapsed in 2007.
He complains about federal spending being too high last year but then endorses a amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would allow a balanced budget amendment to be suspended in times of national emergency...like the recession that existed last year.
He talks about spending for unfunded liabilities without any reference to the revenues that will be collected over the same period.
But the real indication that Pawlenty and the federal budget don't mix is this paragraph:
Balancing the budget will require some tough decisions. Congress must reduce discretionary spending in real terms, with exceptions for key programs such as military, veterans, and public safety. The Congress must also reject costly new spending initiatives, like new health care entitlements.
Someone needs to tell Pawlenty that discretionary spending except for "military, veterans, and public safety" is less than $400 billion a year. A real reduction of, say 10 percent (a ridiculous amount but use it for simplicity sake) would save a little more than $40 billion from the baseline and that doesn't come close to doing what needs to be done.
In addition, rejecting "costly new spending initiatives" isn't the same as paying for the old ones, like Medicare and Medicaid, that are the real budget problems.
Finally, there's this: "States across the country are making difficult choices to balance their books." Does that include California, where the governor's hard choice is to demand billions in additional aid from the federal government?
Is this the best that Pawlenty can do? Is this what The Daily Caller thinks is worth publishing?