Republican presidential aspirant Tim Pawlenty might have expected a friendly reception on Fox, but Chris Wallace wasn’t tossing softballs. Pawlenty’s economic plan would cost $7.8 trillion, tripling the cost of the Bush tax cuts; slash the top income tax rate, and explode the debt even further–while supposedly achieving 5 percent growth. Wallace pointed out that that the periods referred to that achieved such growth included tax increases. Pawlenty objected that his proposal was “aspirational” and "achievable" and that liberals don’t like it. Wallace still wouldn’t let him off the hook, pointing out that both liberal and conservative commentators find his plan unrealistic. Watch:
Pawlenty: We have achieved 5 percent growth twice in the recent history of this country. Once under Reagan, once under Clinton. Now was it sustained for 10 years in those circumstances? No, but keep in mind Reagan in those early years we didn’t have 5% growth. We had 7%, so this idea we can’t do it in America. Hogwash. I believe in the American people. I believe if you unleash the private economy in this country, we can do this. Now we have also made it such that if the numbers don’t hit 5%, they’re a little lower than that, the plan still works. So I don’t buy this defeatist declinist Obama attitude that America should just accept its place as an anemic lagger. That’s not America. That’s not the America I grew up in, and that’s why we need a new president.
Wallace: But governor, is it declinist to doubt the 5 percent number or is it just a realist to doubt the 5 percent number? You talk about the fact that for a few years in the 80s and a few years in the 90s that we did have average 5 percent growth – or close to it, it was 4 point something. But the fact is, the difference is, in both of those occasions that was coming directly out of a recession, not after a year, a year into a weak recovery. And actually, in both of those cases, it came after a tax increase, not a tax cut.
Pawlenty: But Chris, as I said — this is an aspirational goal. I think it’s an achievable goal…Others think it is a good plan. Of course, the conservatives like the plan. The President Obama and the liberals don’t. That’s predictable.
Wallace: Sir, there are a lot of conservatives who doubt the number, and if you don’t get your 5% growth, which you now say is aspirational, then it means a bigger deficit. (h/t: Politicus USA)