GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, laid out an ambitious and unusually specific plan to get the economy going again:
“Growing at 5 percent a year rather than the current level of 1.8 percent would net us millions of new jobs, trillions of dollars in new wealth, put us on a path to saving our entitlement programs,” Pawlenty said in his first detailed speech on economic policy since he formally declared his White House ambitions a little over two weeks ago.
The economy averaged 4.9 percent growth between 1983 and 1987, and grew at a 4.7 percent rate between 1996 and 1999. A sustained annual growth of 5 percent for a decade would be unprecedented in modern times. . . .
Pawlenty said such growth eventually would translate to $3.8 trillion in new tax revenue that would reduce the deficit by 40 percent.
Pawlenty’s plan also would simplify individual tax rates to just three options and cut taxes on business by more than half. His cuts go further than House Republicans’ recent proposal, which the Tax Policy Center said would cost about $2.9 trillion over the next decade. . . .
In a speech heavy on specifics, Pawlenty proposed a three-tier income tax system:
• The estimated 45 percent of U.S. households that did not pay income taxes in 2010 would see no change in their tax rates.
• Individuals would pay 10 percent tax on the first $50,000 of income. Couples earning $100,000 would also pay that rate.
• “Everything above that would be taxed at 25 percent,” Pawlenty said.
He said he wants to cut business taxes from the current rate from 35 percent to 15 percent, and he called for dismantling vast pieces of the government.
“We can start by applying what I call the Google Test,” he said. “If you can find a service or a good on Google or the Internet then the federal government probably doesn’t need to be doing that good or service. The post office, the government printing office, Amtrak, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were all built for a different time in our country and a different chapter in our economy when the private sector did not adequately provide those services. That’s no longer the case.”
Democrats are savaging the plan, calling it “ridiculous.” But what do you think?