April 11th, 2009
11:06 AM ET
9 years ago

GOP: Budget creates 'mountains' of debt

(CNN) - Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty charged that President Obama’s budget “creates mountains of new debt that will ultimately require higher taxes on all of us and our children.”

“I think that's wrong. Families are hurting now and small businesses can't create new jobs soon enough. Isn't it time we stopped working for the government and that government started working for us?” Pawlenty said in the weekly Republican address.

Noting that this isn’t a “Republican versus Democrat debate,” Pawlenty said he thought Obama’s proposals to eliminate capital gains for small businesses and lower taxes for the middle class were good ideas.

“But the budget that Congress is considering doesn't provide that tax relief,” the Republican governor said.

Pawlenty offered what he called a “novel ideal of the federal government.”

“Instead of collecting more taxes and then redistributing them through more federal programs, why don't you just let us keep more of our money in the first place?” he said.

“I urge President Obama and the Democrat-led Congress to let hardworking American families keep more of what they earn by cutting taxes and reining in spending. It's just common sense,” he added.

Full remarks after the jump


“Hi, I'm Tim Pawlenty, Governor of Minnesota.

“This weekend, my wife Mary and I are finishing up our tax returns – just like I'm sure many of you are.

“It's a time when a lot of us look at our family's finances and ask some pretty tough questions, like are we saving enough for our kids' college? Will we be able to retire at a normal age? And what might happen if the recession gets worse, like it has over the last 2 months, when over 1 million Americans lost their jobs?

“I know for a lot of folks, the answer to these questions are pretty grim these days. Nationwide, unemployment is at a 25-year high as companies lay off employees or go out of business altogether. It's at times like this when families – and businesses – feel a need to hold on to every dollar they can.

“But think about this: according to the non-partisan Tax Foundation, the average American has to work from January 1st until this Monday, April 13th just to earn enough money to pay all their taxes for the year – that's just two days before taxes are actually due, on April 15th.

“And then consider this: If the Democrat majority in Washington gets its way, most family's tax burdens will be even higher.

“Now this isn't a Republican versus Democrat debate. I thought President Obama's proposal to eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses was a pretty good idea. And his pledge to lower taxes for middle class Americans was something Republicans whole heartedly supported.

“But the budget that Congress is considering doesn't provide that tax relief. And rather than eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses immediately so they can create jobs right now, their budget keeps those taxes high until after President Obama's term in office. And most concerning, this budget creates mountains of new debt that will ultimately require higher taxes on all of us and our children.

“I think that's wrong. Families are hurting now and small businesses can't create new jobs soon enough.

“Isn't it time we stopped working for the government and that government started working for us?

“Here's a novel idea for the federal government: instead of collecting more taxes and then redistributing them through more federal programs, why don't you just let us keep more of our money in the first place?

“The federal government should keep a lid on taxes, control government spending, and borrow less – rather than increase the size and scope of the federal government so much that Washington is guaranteeing future tax increases. And while they're at it, they should also focus on making government work better, not making it bigger.

“It's time to prioritize spending, cut taxes to help families pay their bills and stimulate job creation. And let's get control of our national debt, so future generations aren't burdened with unbearable taxes.

“I urge President Obama and the Democrat-led Congress to let hardworking American families keep more of what they earn by cutting taxes and reining in spending. It's just common sense.

“I'm sure you will agree, especially on April 15th when your taxes are due.

“Thank you for listening and have a blessed Passover and Easter.”

Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (157 Responses)
  1. Gorefan

    The only quote missing from Gov. Pawlenty's statement is "Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?"

    April 11, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. Larry

    I'm so excited about the new way to fix the economy!!! The government just spends more money than what it can ever take get back to balance the budget--and we are fixed!!!! Brilliant !!!

    April 11, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  3. Mississippi Mike

    Long-term government debt is far worse for the future of the economy than a temporary downturn. We sold the future for the benefit of today, unfortunately, we aren't seeing any benefits today.

    April 11, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  4. TVuong

    Heck, I don't like the spending when we are in debt already either. However, when people are hurting, you help. Either it's survival of the fittest – let people who can't take care themselves just wither away and die, or ... we are in this boat together, so we need to pull together and help one another. I prefer the latter philosophy, and I am happy to have a president with this kind of philosophy. People adjust themselves to the situation. After this, they'll save more, get rid of their debts, take less risks, and we'll grow stronger. People takes risks because people feel secured in their jobs. This is not the case now. It's unfortunate that it takes a crisis to teach us a lesson, Why beating ourselves over this? Just learn the lesson and improve.

    There will always be a subset of people who are fearful, however seeing people in pain increases your compassion, and I believe at this time, the compassion will win over. What do your want your role be at this time in history ... whether you are being helpful, stand in the way, or stay be the sideline ... at this time of crisis. It reveals the character within you. It's true that crisis teach us the most powerful lesson.

    April 11, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  5. Craig H Easton, PA

    The answer to your question Governor is very simple. If we let people keep their taxes, and spend it themselves, then 1% or so of the population will get the benefit of an enormous amount of wealth and the country as a whole won't. Gazillionairres may ro may not work hard for their money, but do so do most of the rest of us. Just as many hours and just as much physical or mental effort just as many sacrifices. But through luck, skill, or the benefit of inherited wealth, the top 1% get the inordinate share of the income. Luck and inheritance shouln't mean anything in this country and while skills should be rewarded, making the most of what skills one has should be worth more. So does that make me a socialist? So be it.

    April 11, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  6. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Typical Republican response when they have NOTHING to substitute for the presidents budget!

    April 11, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  7. Enlightened Voter

    When the rethuglicans gave bush a blank check to invade Iraq, bankrupt this country and rebuild Iraq, it was okay but when Obama tries to rebuild this country, you know America, the rethuglicans balk and then call it socialism. It's hypocrisy at its best.

    April 11, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. Peter

    Sir !Minnesota Gov. Tim , I have heard that song before! and you know what? the effect of that song is I'm jobless. Gop tried the song for the last eight years the only people who benefitted were Black Water, Bush, Cheney and the Saudi family!!. Please change the tune and make us a new song!!

    April 11, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  9. blkftbear

    President Barack Obama, When he was running for President, the platform, was Change not more of the same. Unfortunately for Governor Pawlenty and the Republican Party his idea is more of the same. The rich get richer, and eliminates the middle class. The Republican Party are so afraid of the President's stimulus plan, because if it works, the Republican Party is doomed. When 2012 Presidential Race comes around, whoever runs, will have to put down all that President Barack Obama efforts of putting Americans back to work. The President of the United States, being elected on January 20th of 2009, being left with plenty of issues to deal with for the United States. The Republicans have an uphill battle to overcome, to get the Democrats out of the White House. All I have to say to the Republican Party, Good Luck.

    April 11, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  10. JonDie

    1981-1989: Ronald Reagan and the mostly Republican-controlled Congress create more debt than all previous presidents combined.

    2001-2009: George W. Bush and the mostly Republican-controlled Congress create more debt than all previous president combined.

    So Pawlenty is right, it is not a Republican vs. Democrat debate. But to say the GOP offers anything 'novel' is a bald-faced lie of a demagogue.

    April 11, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. go away mongers -Ventura CA

    The war in Iraq and Afganistan are now on the "books"- this was a load of debt unaccounted for. We now get to hear the Party of No yell tax & spend Liberal while 66% of this Nation agrees with President Obama. They have been out-of-touch with Americans for a very long time.
    Keep yelling- you show yourselves for what you are!

    April 11, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  12. Jatovi, NC

    The GOP needs to come up with an economic plan rather than complaining and trying to use the same fear tactics. The notion that tax cuts fix all is silly. I think it is very funny that the example that tax cuts are good is to point out the Regan cut them. What they fail to point out is that after Regan cut taxes he consistently raised them.

    April 11, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. Stella

    I think it is sort of funny that the Governor thinks by saying he and his wife were doing their taxes just like the ordinary people would be. I don't understand their problem with a little higher taxes on the "rich". They have so many places to hide money without paying taxes on it. They are able to deduct everything and anything. Their businesses can make a profit and they can take losses on their taxes. C'mon, give us a break. Why don't the Republicans show line by line how they can better the President's budget?

    April 11, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  14. MNJohn

    Maybe a word about Mr. Pawlenty from a life-long Minnesotan. Around here he's known as "No New Taxes" Pawlenty. To make sure no new taxes would be needed to cover the cost of highway infrastructure, he put his Lt Governor in as MNDOT's Adminstrator in 2003. One of the costs she cut was several consultant's recommendations that the I-35 bridge in downtown Minneapolis be thoroughly inspected. Obviously it wasn't really necessary – as the cost was in the low six digit numbers. Well the world knows the result – 13 people dead – dozens permanently disabled. The current theory is that it was a bridge design flaw - and perhaps that was but most experts agree that the ramifications of the 'flaw' could have been detected prior to collapse.
    What was Mr. Pawlenty's response at the time – "I will now support a gas tax increase". But when the dust cleared, the bodies removed – guess who returned to "no new taxes"? Had it not been for a few thoughtful members of his own party, his veto of the gas tax would have held. His party's response – they poured money and ads into making sure these members of his own party "wouldn't be around to do that again" after the next election.
    And now he's offering budgeting advise to Obama!!!

    April 11, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  15. John from California

    The republicans want to continue borrowing to pay for their own pork barrel projects like the F-22 fighter that has no practical application in today's world but, spend money on helping the middle class recover from the pillaging of the republicans and the shrill cry's of "the sky is falling" appear all over the conservative media.

    The republicans need to get over the fact that they lost the last election and stop the shrill whining. The American people don't believe in their "trickle down" economic theory any longer so, get on board with the President and help him fix your mistakes.

    April 11, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. Dave NYC

    Gov. Pawlenty, you party fed us those lines for the last 8 years and look where it got us.

    Tax cuts for Wall St Execs are PART OF THE PROBLEM, do you think Americans are too stupid to notice you tried that tactic on us already?

    Republicans are starting to sound like a broken record!

    April 11, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. mandennis

    Do you really think unfunded tax cuts (while all things are the same) do not create deficits? and you think you can make up for your tax cuts by cut backs on education, health, energy and environment while leaving defense as your only spending priority. that says a lot of your budget too.
    translation – Look Ma, I know I cannot pay your medical bills, my son's college tuition, but oil from the Middle East is kinda cheap. But tell you what, we got less debt and have you seen the brand new armoured tank I got for us.

    April 11, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  18. white woman in Hawaii

    Is cutting taxes the only this the GOP can come with? We need better and more innovative ideas than that. I am tired of heaing this same old stuff from the right wing. Cutting taxes for the rich people in this country will only make the richer, it will do nothing to help create jobs. This govenment spending is esssential to stimulating the economy, as most economists agree.

    The GOP had their turn over the last 8 years, and they screwed things up big time, so now shut up and let Obama and the Democrats try things their way. You might be suprised, it just might work! Stop slamming the President, he has only been in office for three months, it will take a bit longer to fix Bush's blunders and catastrophic mistakes than 3 months. I am so tired of the party of "NO".

    April 11, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  19. johnnyboy

    i love how "fed up" loves how us dems love to criticize.anyways, its not the spending, its the hypocrisy. you people rail against spending unless its for the wealthy cause we all no how much you people need the money.

    April 11, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  20. Sue - OH

    This coming from the Governor of MN where the Senate race held in November is still not over.......C'mon Timmy, if you want us to take you seriously....fix the problems in your own backyard before you enter the National scene.

    Some of these posters here forget that the Republican party was in the majority for the last 10 years. 90% of the bills the Democratic controlled Congress of the last 18 months were Vetoed by their beloved GWB. Get a clue. Do some research. Nimble minds of the moment....

    April 11, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  21. Oh Pawlenty

    A picture is worth a thousand words. Sadly, in this one, and perhaps a result of his pathetic utterance, it seems his RIGHT side may have suffered a slight stroke. Hope not though.

    April 11, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  22. lou

    If God can run the entire world on 10% why does the government need more?

    April 11, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  23. michaelam

    Here we go again! Another GOP Governor with higher political aspirations spewing the same caca (tax breaks) that got us into this mess. People, wake up! Trickle Down Economics only lines the pockets of the rich while the rest of us get, tinkled on! Very simple......This philosophy has been recycled over and over again for 28+years and it has been a collasal failure! As long as my tax dollars are "ear marked" for investment in THIS country, so be it!

    April 11, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. Jon -

    It seems disingenuous to say that Republicans have not offered a very reasonable alternative budget to the President's massive spending proposal. Congressman Ryan and his constituents have clearly done that. Granted Republicans as well as democrats are at fault for the immense spending which has occurred and Bush was obviously no fiscal genius. What is relevant is what we do now; the budget proposed by the President is a massive shift in power from the people to the government, it clearly creates a mammoth socialistic regime and will fundamentally cripple the incentives necessary for individuals to be willing to assume sufficient entrepreneural risk to innovate and grow the economy to sustain the spending proposed.

    April 11, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  25. Molly Weasley

    So, Gov. Pawlenty, why don't you sign the certificate so your legally elected second senator, Al Franken, can get to Washington to help work on the economy?

    April 11, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
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