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. katiec

    The republicans never cease to amaze me. They spent our taxpayer dollars like there was no tomorrow, excluding the true cost of the wars from the deficit figures, and continue on with their old unworkable, irreresponsible quest for tax cuts for big corporations and the rich.
    They do not have a clue or care about what is best for our country
    and middle class America.
    You would think with their continuing decline in popularity, they
    would eventually open their eyes and realize their hypocrisy is
    not working and the American people are not supporting them
    or their ridiculous solutions. But, no, they continue on with their
    party first, politics as usual that almost destroyed our country.

    April 11, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  2. republicans hate america

    I have asked before and I will ask every time these hypocrites the same question. where was the rush limbaugh party outrage when Bush squandered our wealth murdering civilians overseas?

    April 11, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  3. David

    You are way wrong. Just to say tough the republicans point of view. This close mildness is what got us where we are. I hope that your childish views don’t blur the true meaning of America, “all people have different views and we need to respect and work with them." Isn't that the change you voted for? I know I did, but am still waiting to see any of it.
    Further, Obama just requested an additional 83 million to fund the war in Iraq also. Obama sold us on stopping the war in Iraq and stopping funding wars in Iraq. Don't you see that this is the opposite of what he is doing?
    Hopefully you will leave your childish ideology behind also. We did need change but not this way. When is Obama going to unite America? If America is divided, then we will not be able to unite the world.

    April 11, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. Sammy

    It's the usual spending and taxes argument, so no big deal. But his comments include little about the problems that got us here and what to do about them. At this point in time I dont care who created the mess we are in. I am interested in how to fix the system. Lowering taxes and spending keeps more money in peoples pockets and that is always good, but it doesnt fix anything.

    April 11, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. Willy G

    What these Republicans do not want you to remember is that the foundation for this mountain of debt was firmly established by the rubber-stamo GOP-controlled Congress and George w. Bush.

    April 11, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  6. Michael

    Pawlenty and the rest of the GOP remain blissfully ignorant of the fact that most of us are, unlike them, neither wealthy nor secure. We struggle to fit food and health insurance into our meager incomes with enough left over for housing that Pawlenty would disdain to spend a night in.
    The GOP will have a chance at a comeback when they start genuinely representing the interests of the 95%, not just using deceptive rhetoric meant to lull us into more years of virtual serfdom.
    The GOP thinks it is up against the Democratic Party. They have not yet realized that real democracy is finally coming to the USA.

    April 11, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  7. Susan

    Take it from someone who lives in Minnesota – Tim Pawlenty doesn't know what he's talking about. Like most Republicans, his rallying cry of no new taxes has resulted in huge burdens on local governments. We live in a moderate home in Minneapolis. But due to Pawlenty's policies, the tax burden has shifted from the state to the cities and our property taxes are just about killing us! In the meantime, under Governor Pawlenty, our state has gone from being one of the best places to live in terms of education, healthcare and life-style, to being a middling sort of Midwestern fly-over zone. And yet, he continues to boast about never raising taxes! Good grief!

    And I hear he has national political aspirations! Don't fall for his rhetoric, people!!! Up here, we have taken to callying him "Pawlenty of Nothing"!

    April 11, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  8. Bev - NYC

    Governor the middle class is getting a tax cut. Given the losses sustained in the market last year I doubt anyone has to worry about Capital gains. Please educate yourself read something other that the Repub talking points. Save your hot air governor!! When the voters in Minnesota relocate to another state to seek employment, and your state goes deeper in the hole due to further losses in revenue I hope you have a good commercial set up.

    April 11, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. CAW in MD

    Okay, math clue for the people who think that Obama spent in three months what Bush did in 8 years. Average US budget each year across Bush's 8 years - roughly 2.8 trillion dollars. 2.8 trillion by 8 years is over 22 trillion dollars. Obama has not spent 22 trillion dollars in three months. So simmer down.

    Now, business clue for those of you that think Obama is spending too much. Go to Wikipedia. Look up "return on investment". Try to understand the big words. Yes, Obama is spending money now (the investment part) to reduce costs in the future. The ROI is when we will have saved enough money to cover the investment we've put in.

    Final point - Pawlenty is whining about having to raise taxes if we enact this budget. If we do nothing, we will still have to raise taxes, because health care and entitlement costs will eat the budget in the not too distant future (not to mention paying off a 10 trillion dollar debt that accumulated before Obama took office). So the debate isn't about raising taxes or not, the debate is since we're going to raise your taxes, what are we going to spend it on? I like Obama's answer. I've yet to hear a serious Republican suggestion.

    April 11, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  10. Farnk, Las Vegas

    Typical GOP line. Cut spending, cut taxes and everything will be fine. All these GOP people where nowhere to be found when Bush put us in this mess, when he tripled spending, cut taxes and drove the country into recession. Still the GOP can't figure out why they got kicked out of office. Your policies don't work! Things will get better after the 2010 elections because they'll be even less of the GOP in office. The republican party will look more like a republican group. 2010 can't get hear soon enough.

    April 11, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  11. catmom

    You know, what you never hear Republicans say is how for the first time since we went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan that that expenditure is included in the budget. Republicans never seem to consider our children or grandchildren when hiding the true cost of the two wars we are currently engaged in. But of course it seems to be okay by them to spend trillions fighting wars rather than spending that money on its own citizens here in the United States.

    April 11, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  12. TM

    Yes, Pawlenty, but where were you when we were told that an unnecessary war was going to paid for itself? Millions and millions of dollars thrown away, spent on foreign lands. Now that something is being done for US citizens you're all "outraged"

    Also, weren't some in your part of the belief that deficits were "manageable?"

    April 11, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. Russia Watcher

    Wouldn't it make more sense if the GOP was more honest and said,
    "this budget makes MORE mountains of debt. Even more than we made in the last irresponsible 8 years."
    Of this budget is actually trying to "spend money to make money" so to speak.

    April 11, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  14. ib

    I don't think most Americans support this spending to no end policy. I didn't support it under Bush and I do not in no way support what Obama is doing. The people in this country have forgot what it is to do for themselves. All people want now is to blame Bush for everything and have the goverment to hand everything else to them. Most of them don't want to work for anything. Hang your head in shame.

    April 11, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. Lionnel

    Debt, more debt, higher inflation and worse and worse deficit, period.

    April 11, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  16. Julie

    Here's a great tax idea that seems fair: all individuals/married people above the poverty level and all businesses large and small pay 10-15% in taxes with absolutely no deductions of any kind for any expenses for any one of the above groups. You earn income for the year, you pay taxes on it and it's up to you to control your own costs and expenses to improve you profits. It would make for a very simple tax system, everyone would know the rules, no loopholes to jump through, or doubts of what you owe. Of course there would be a whole new line at the unemployment office though and there would be a lot of politicians on both sides scrambling for special interesting campaign money.

    April 11, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  17. shannon

    As a Minnesotan, I never thought I would agree with Tim Pawlenty, but i do. For all of you saying "well Bush spent too" I hope you're not parents. When your child comes home after doing something wrong, and says "well so and so did it to", you'll probably say, oh that's ok than.

    April 11, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  18. Jeanne

    Maybe some of you who think the government spending 3X more to get us out of a recession should take a basic economics class. The government (D & R) need to reduce spending. They are the most ineffecient business ever. If you think you want Government run health care, talk to Europeans (in Ireland, they have a huge payroll deduction – for those who work- for their health care, but can't get in to the public system because of waiting lists and so have to buy private insurance too).

    Why do you think it's my responsibility, as a taxpayer, to take care of those unwilling to be productive?

    April 11, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  19. C W

    Good thing Dan from Texas doesn't have any more power than the ability to type at his computer. Boy, are you a numbskull when it comes to the economy!

    Bet you vote Republican, too ....

    April 11, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  20. flybyshoeing

    Bob said "By the way, the previous mountain of debt was all approved my a Congress with a Democrat majority. When will people see that the problem is not D or R? It's Government!!! "

    So in the first sentence you blame the Democrats and in the second you blame the Government. Which is it? Are you saying that the 5 trillion deficit was accumualted in the last 2 years of the Bush Admin?

    There was a 112 % increase in Republican filibusters during those last 2 years. President Bush never vetoed a bill unitl the last 2 years. I guess I don't see where you are coming from.

    April 11, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  21. Maggie

    Finally a voice of reason is heard. IUf all the dems thinks that more debt reduces debt thye need to go back to grammer school and review their math.

    April 11, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  22. CA Senior

    The degree of denial on the part of Republicans about their traditional
    ways of getting Americans to the poor house is astounding. We are in a time unlike any other time in our history and the old ways do not fit anymore. Have you read Basevich, THE LIMITS OF POWER?

    April 11, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  23. John from California

    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 the "trickle down" economic theory any longer so, get on board with the President and help him fix your mistakes.

    Republican presidents from Reagan on have relied on deficit spending to bring about "happy days" while passing on dept to future Americans now, with the mountain of debt amassed by the republicans weighing us down, they want to get fiscally conservative again.

    April 11, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  24. Hammer

    If the banks are in the condition of near failure as the taxpayer has been told why does the Obama have to force them to take the bailout money? Could Obama,Geithner,Reid,Pilosi and company have made a big mistake?

    April 11, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  25. John from California

    The governor sounds just like a conservative that is, he likes things just the way they are right now with the rich getting all the breaks and middle class going deeper in dept.

    April 11, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
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