Pawlenty Proposes Obama Go to “Econmic Rehab” and Lays Out His Own Recovery Plan

Bookmark and Share   In a perfectly timed speech, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty capitalized on the irrefutable evidence and increasingly undeniable sentiment that President Obama is mishandling the American economy.

Appearing at The University of Chicago’s Harris School, a location that’s just a few steps away from the University that President Obama and his soon to depart chief economic adviser Austan Goolsbee taught at, Pawlenty became the first candidate in the 2012 Republican presidential field to actually act like a candidate for President as he laid out his plans to revive the U.S. economy. He began his almost 45 minute appearance which included questions and answers, by slamming the President and claiming that President Obama needs to enter “economic rehab”.

“President Obama is satisfied with a second-rate American economy, produced by his third-rate policies. I’m not” said Pawlenty

From there Pawlenty presented a Reagan-like, limited government approach to our economic woes that included proposals to eliminate the U.S. Postal Service, Amtrak, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The former two term Governor’s plan also calls for what he called a “simpler, fairer and flatter tax code” that would eliminate capital gains, estate, and dividends taxes, and include only two tax rates. One of 10% and the other of 25%. Individuals earning up to $50,000 or a joint income up to $100,000, would pay 10% while those with incomes above that would be taxed at 25%. Under Pawlenty’s plan, those who currently do not pay any income tax, will continue to not pay any.

Other aspects of Pawlenty’s economic reforms were actually quite bold for a politician seeking support from voters. He proposed expanding presidential powers. That is a move that many limited government, TEA movement activists may initially view as a power grab that is antithetical to their cause. But Pawlenty’s proposed expansion of presidential power is a request to have Congress give the executive branch emergency powers only to freeze spending.  According to Pawlenty, “If they won’t do it [freeze spending] — I will,”. The Governor also declared his supports for the creation of a Medicaid block grant program that would cap the amount of money states receive for the health benefits for the elderly, and much to his credit, he courageously endorsed raising the retirement age of Social Security recipients.

That last point is something which few politicians who want to win an election are brave enough to propose, but for many people, the fact that he did endorse such a move, demonstrated that maybe Tim Pawlenty is one of those few political leaders who will actually say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done. Isn’t that part of the reason why many are still clamoring for Chris Christie to jump in to the Republican presidential contest? The consideration of raising the age of SSI recipients is always a controversial one. However, it is nonetheless an unmistakably necessary move in light of the need to keep that program solvent, the need to get entitlements under control, and the increasing life expectancy rate of society.

The scheduling of Pawlenty’s speech, be it through good strategic instinct and timing or just plain luck, was impeccable. It came on a day when the news of President Obama’s mishandling of the economy was unavoidable. Facts, figures and polls all presented themselves today in a way that even the lamestream media could not avoid turning in to headlines. A new Washington Post/ABC news poll that found that by a margin of 59 to 40 percent, Americans disapprove of the President’s handling of the economy, the President’s Chief economic adviser announced he is resigning, and if the news wasn’t grim enough, a new study of businesses found that once Obamacare kicks in, 1 in 3 businesses will stop offering health benefits. So much for the President’s promise that under Obamacare, you will be permitted…. “permitted”….. to keep your current health insurance plan. The perfect timing of Pawlenty’s speech came at an optimum moment to exploit all these findings.

The speech Pawlenty gave and proposal he offered were in many different ways promising. While it could have easily gone much further with such proposals as a total flat tax that would offer one rate for one nation, and for other measures such as a balanced budget amendment, the plan was solid and a total reversal from the failed Keynesian path the President has put us on. It had much to offer not just for the fiscal conservative base of the Party that Pawlenty desperately needs to win over, but for the important limited government independent voters as well.  As for the delivery of the speech, it proved that Pawlenty can articulate his vision for the nation, and that he is capable of taking the bull by the horn and leading. So far, on the issue of the economy, he is the first 2012 candidate to provide such leadership.

All in all, today was a good day for Tim Pawlenty. Unlike the announcement of Rick Santorum’s presidential candidacy from the day before, Pawlenty had the fortune of not being stepped on by the breaking news of a scandal, like Weinergate and the conditions were right for his message to resonate. Most of all, today Pawlenty took his first real step towards going from being the candidate to support if your first choice doesn’t run, to being someone who could be considered a first choice in his own right. He was poised, presidential, confident, and seemed to have a command of the issue. And on another positive note, Pawlenty managed to weave into his presentation, an important theme that continues to point out the sense that President Obama is out of touch with both the American people and the purpose of government In America.

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