Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pawlenty: Economic Mission Accomplished

Former full-term Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has a message for the Republican presidential hopefuls: the Republican mission of creating a double-dip recession has been accomplished. Pawlenty is already attempting to blame the President for the recession his colleagues have been working towards.

The GOP playbook has been ratcheting up the war on jobs, beginning with Mitch McConnell's admission that the primary Republican motivation was to see the economic recovery fail. The House GOP has been taking the stuffing out of economic recovery programs, cutting jobs and mortgage modification programs. National Republicans have orchestrated a campaign to take capital out of the economy when the only evidence-based economic models would suggest that we need more money in the economy.

Republicans are scrambling to come up with a rationale for how the job-killing Republican agenda isn't the one killing jobs. Tim Pawlenty's move is certainly a novel one, blaming the coming double-dip recession on inflation. Of course, inflation is at historic lows, but Pawlenty still believes that "fiat money" is to blame for the as-yet imaginary recession. Since inflation is the only immediate harm of "fiat money," the complaint is completely vacuous. If Pawlenty's complaint is that pumping money into the economy will increase the deficit, there's a simple solution to the long-term problem that captures the short-term benefit of spending money for the macroeconomy. It's called raising revenue, especially on those who have benefitted the most from the last thirty years of widening income inequality in America.

But the Republican party is interested in neither actual problems nor serious solutions. As long as the super-elite aren't responsible for the resources, talent, and energy that they extract from society, the likes of Tim Pawlenty will be happy.

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