Pawlenty’s Google test will cut everything

There’s a reason kids are taught not to run with scissors: it’s dangerous and people can get hurt when the implements of cuts get carried away. Unfortunately this is a lesson that Tim Pawlenty never learned and now the rest of the country is going to get hurt by his reckless and slapdash style of cuts to programs that benefit working American families. No doubt the top line story is going to Pawlenty’s nonsensical “Google test”:

There are some obvious targets to cut. We can start by applying what I call “the Google test.” If you can find a good or service on the Internet, then the federal government probably doesn’t need to offer the same good or service.

Uh, what? Eddie Vale of Protect Your Care points out what the consequences of this are:

I can Google ‘seniors’ and ‘health care’ does that mean Pawlenty would completely end Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security? I can Google ‘veterans’ and ‘hospital’ does that mean Pawlenty would dismantle the VA system? I can Google ‘pharmacy’ does that mean no senior citizen or child would ever get assistance with their medicines from Pawlenty? These may seem like idiotically stupid questions, but, are necessary since Pawlenty is going to give a speech to demonstrate his qualifications to be leader of the free world by basing his policy agenda off what he can find on the internet.

“It’s also pretty sad and pathetic how quickly the regular blue collar guy veneer has fallen off as he rushes to cry crocodile tears over class warfare while taking away health care from seniors and kids to pay for tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires and big oil.

“Finally, for those of you who are more visual learners, here’s an animated version of this statement –

Heh, well played Mr. Vale. Pawlenty’s speech makes the example of the Post Office – that’s right, Pawlenty wants to privatize the Post Office. Now I don’t know if Pawlenty gets special discount rates from anti-union FedEx, but I don’t know of any private shipping company who can send a letter for $0.44. Just because there are private companies that exist on the internet (and in real life!) who provide similar services, doesn’t mean it is economically sensible for the government to stop providing those services affordably. And as Vale points out, this can be said literally everything the government does. It’s on the internet! The Google will cut it all!

Additionally, Pawlenty’s plan includes:

  • Cut corporate taxes by 57% and make sure not to cut subsidies to Big Oil
  • Huge new tax cuts for millionaires
  • Eliminate taxes on capital gains, dividends, and the estate tax (all taxes which essentially only apply to millionaires)
  • A constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget, with a budget cap of 18% GDP (forcing huge cuts in health and social programs)
  • Raise the Social Security retirement age (aka huge cuts)
  • Cap and block grants for Medicaid (aka huge cuts)

Pawlenty’s plan is ideologically extreme, going at least as far if not farther than the budget authored by Paul Ryan and passed by House Republicans. Pawlenty’s plan cuts Social Security and Medicaid and would have to dramatically cut pretty much every other non-military program in the federal budget to make up the massive gap between the level of revenue his tax cuts would bring in and the current spending, which is at 25% of GDP.

What’s most infuriating about this isn’t that Pawlenty is seek to destroy the entire social fabric of the American republic, a system of governance and societal support that has taken developed and thrived over the last century. Rather, what’s so sickening about Pawlenty here is that he is proposing massive tax cuts for the wealthy and massive spending cuts to programs that benefit working, middle class Americans – essentially facilitating what would be hundreds of billions of dollars in wealth transfer from the middle class to wealthy elites – and he has the temerity to claim that it is Barack Obama who is guilty of class warfare. You’ve got to be kidding me, Tim Pawlenty. Clearly class warfare is going on here, but it is Pawlenty who is perpetrating it at the expense of our grandparents, our parents and our children.

Originally posted at AMERICAblog Elections: The Right’s Field

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