Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty Doesn't Know Any Economics

It is appropriate for reporters to call attention to statements by politicians are that strange or wrong. Reporters had no problem going on at great length about then Senator Obama's reference to "bitter" white working class voters.

In the same vein, the NYT should have pointed out that Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty was not making sense when he complained about the stimulus package:

“We’re going to take a dollar from you in the private sector, bring it into government, spin it around, take 5 to 20 percent for overhead, and redeploy it into the private economy and call that growth.”

Of course the government is not taking money from the private sector. The stimulus cut taxes. The borrowing also did not pull money away from the private sector, banks have more than $800 billion in excess reserves and interest rates are at historically low levels. In other words, Pawlenty's comments indicated that he either didn't know what he was talking about or didn't care. The new story should have pointed this out to readers who may not be as familiar with economics.

--Dean Baker

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