- Pawlenty hopes to grow the economy by 5 percent for ten years. (He added, "This is not some pie-in-the-sky number," and that "it's been done before," citing Reagan's presidency, where the economy grew by 4.9% for less than four years.)
- The top tax rate would be cut by 28%.
- The corporate tax rate would be cut from 25% to 15%.
- A bevy of other taxes should be done away with entirely, including the estate tax and the capital gains tax.
- Government spending should be capped at 18% of GDP.
- All of this, he claims, will boost the economy and ultimately increase tax revenues, resulting in deficit reduction.
Is there anyone out there who believes that these numbers are plausible? It's like he pulled them out of a hat. Doesn't it bother anyone that the Second Most
I guess part of the problem here is that these sort of Right-Wing Pipe Dream Plans (RWPDPs? They're prevalent enough to need an acronym) are presented as the right pole in a bipolar debate. Meanwhile, the Democratic plan (maybe the president's budget? Or possibly one of the marginally-more-progressive think tank proposals) is presented as the left pole. So everyone naturally assumes the two things are equivalently reasonable.
The solution, then, is to propose a left-wing alternative of the Pawlenty plan. Given that doing such a thing requires zero budgetary or economic expertise, I think I'm up to the task. So without further ado, here's the Official 4:17 AM Economic Growth Plan for a Brighter and More Prosperous America of the Future Where It Is Morning:
- Social Security will begin paying benefits at 45, down from 65.
- The corporate tax rate will be quadrupled.
- The estate tax will be applied three times: first at the drafting of the will, secondly upon death, and thirdly at the exact moment that the dearly departed's body is lowered into the earth.
- All income past the first $1,000,000 will be taxed at 100%, except for that of bankers, oil executives, military contractors, and small business owners. Theirs will be taxed past the first $150,000.
- A floor will be placed on federal spending, requiring a minimum of 44.452% of GDP be spent by the government every year. Any unspent money under the floor will be distributed at homeless shelters.
- Medicare and Medicaid will be expanded to include the purchase of hybrid cars, Apple products, and organic granola as legitimate medical expenses. The cost of these items will be kept down because the government has the clout to negotiate better bargains with carmakers, granola producers, and Apple.
- The direct investment in the economy envisioned by this plan will grow the economy by 5% a year.
- Increased tax revenues will eliminate the deficit by year 2025.