Reaganite: Pawlenty's "transparently phony" on balanced budget
Republicans are fond of invoking the late Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican. By that measure, Bruce Bartlett is a first-rate apostate. Not only is the former Reagan administration domestic policy advisor dumping all over another Republican today, but he's dumping all over one of our Republicans, Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
The crap hit the fan when Politico gave Pawlenty free space this morning to once again advance his pithy "Ponzi on the Potomac" routine, including his call for a federal balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Bartlett, writing on the Web site Capital Games and Gains, slammed Pawlenty as "not ready for prime time. He may think he has found a clever way of appealing to the right wing tea party/Fox News crowd without having to propose any actual cuts in spending, but it isn't going to work. It's too transparently phony even for them."
Like all Republicans these days, Pawlenty wants to have it every possible way: complain about the deficit while ignoring everything his party did to create it (Medicare Part D, two unfunded wars, TARP, earmarks galore, tax cuts up the wazoo, irresponsible regulatory and monetary policies that created the recession that created the deficit, etc.), illogically insisting that tax cuts are a necessary part of deficit reduction, and never proposing any specific spending cuts. The only specific thing Mr. Pawlenty is capable of proposing is a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. It's hard to know where to begin in explaining why this is such an irresponsible idea, but I will try.