The former Minnesota governor laid out an aggressive plan to cut taxes and reduce spending
Harnessing Reaganomics to the Internet revolution, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty laid out his economic vision for the nation -- and his potential presidency -- on Tuesday at the University of Chicago, a bastion of conservative economic academia.
Pawlenty outlined an approach to fiscal issues that closely tracks the fiscal austerity program of House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., but his ambitious program of tax cuts exceeds almost every other proposal under consideration. Combined with a business-friendly regulatory policy, Pawlenty says his plan is the path to growth levels not seen since the early '80s.
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Although Pawlenty includes predictable campaign criticisms of President Obama's "class warfare" and highlights the failure, so far, of the president's economic policies to bring about a substantial recovery, the speech largely focused on making the case that Pawlenty can stand toe-to-toe with Obama -- and near-term rivals like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney -- on economic issues that dominate voters' minds.
Offering a "Better Deal," a construction in the economic messaging tradition of Democrats beginning with Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, Pawlenty promised a target of 5 percent yearly economic growth, which hasn't been seen in the United States since the economy expanded at a 7.2 percent clip in 1984. To his benefit and likely no accident, his prescription of how to equal that achievement is similar to the policies of then-President Reagan.