Facing the Nation

Gov. Pawlenty and Sen. Klobuchar were on a bipartisan pre-election panel on Face the Nation. In general, a dud.

Pawlenty summarized the election thus:

“Of course, the issue is jobs in the economy, but that’s the great debate and which is the Democrats’ view of it is to do that through government and more stimulus-style spending to have government-centric approaches to solutions like health care, drag it into Washington D.C., top down command and control government bureaucracies running systems and the Republicans and conservatives are making the case that doesn’t work, hasn’t worked, won’t work. And we have to stimulate the private economy. We’ve got to do things to encourage investors and small business leaders and people who are going to grow jobs by reducing tax burdens, reducing costs and reducing government spending. It’s two very different world views. And frankly, the American people has heard those arguments and they’re saying through this election as you’ll see on Tuesday, we agree with the Republicans on this one.”

TPaw also repeated a recent Repub theme, in which they call for an honest conversation about cutting entitlement programs, but don’t propose any actual specific cuts.

Sen. Klobuchar expressed the prevailing view that Dems will probably hang onto a tiny majority in the Senate. She expressed no opinion on the House (I didn’t hear anyone other than Dem national chair Tim Kaine predict that the Dems would hang onto their House majority). But Klobe did acknowledge back-handedly that the Dems will not be able to able to get much done next year without finding common ground with Repubs. Her phrase for that, a variation of which she has used elsewhere recently, is to redefine political courage as the courage to compromise:

“I think courage is not necessarily going to be standing up alone in the coming years. It’s going to be standing next to someone you don’t always agree with to work for this country.”

On cutting government, she noted that the bipartisan panel on that topic will report its recommendations soon. She also talked about some possible compromises on what to do about the expiring Bush tax cuts:

“There’s two proposals out there, Bob. One is that we could continue the two hundred fifty thousand and above tax cuts for– the Bush tax cuts, for another year or two and then phase them out, or we could immediately say for people making over a million dollars, your tax cuts are done. You get them up to a million and then you go back to the Clinton levels. I just don’t think that that is going to disrupt or economy.”

The full transcript is here.

Comments (15)

  1. Submitted by Patrick Steele on 11/01/2010 - 09:31 am.

    All fear-mongering hyperbole aside, I wish that the Governor would explain how a slight reduction (or prevention of a slight increase) in tax rate is going to cause businesses to hire when there is not demand. IBM announced $10B in stock buybacks last week, yet has laid off many employees this year including some in Rochester. 2010 has been a very profitable year for many businesses, yet job growth is modest at best. We’re continually told by the right that cutting taxes means more jobs, yet never are we offered evidence to support that. The broken record approach does not work on the logic-driven.

    Furthermore, if if Mr. Pawlenty believes that Democrats are having their philosophy rejected because they are not making gains for a third consecutive election cycle (at the mid-term of a Democratic President, a traditional time to lose seats) he has not observed much political history.

  2. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/01/2010 - 09:37 am.

    Problem is, the historical record says that tax cuts DON’T stimulate the economy (the old and discredited supply-side approach), while judicious tax increases DO, since they end up funding service programs which put money in people’s hands, which they in turn spend.
    The worst thing is a tax cut for the rich, since they are LEAST likely to spend it (they already have plenty of disposable income).

    The last comparable meltdown (the Great Depression) proved this, as did 1980 (Reagan’s initial tax cut on election resulted in the economy tanking; when he raised taxes two years later it recovered.

    All ‘facts’ are not created equal.

  3. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/01/2010 - 09:39 am.

    And of course TPaws’s tax cuts were also accompanied by a contraction of Minnesota’s economy.

  4. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 11/01/2010 - 10:16 am.

    Although I much admire Ms. Klobuchar, I fear she reflects the fundamental inability of most Democrats to comprehend the level of psychological dysfunction of their Republican counterparts.

    The current crop of Republicans in Congress are psychologically incapable of compromise. To expect them to be able to do so is to be taken advantage of. Their idea of “compromise” is for Democrats and independents to give them absolutely everything they want.

    Of course after you do so, they’ll STILL find a way to attack you as if you had opposed them every step of the way and never, ever, acknowledge that you played any roll in passing exactly what they wanted to pass in the first place (which may be fortunate, I supposed, since what they’ll want to pass will only be designed to further enrich the already fabulously wealthy and continue their 30-year project to strip the poor and middle class of their income, their assets, and any hope they ever had of comfortable retirement.

  5. Submitted by John E Iacono on 11/01/2010 - 01:28 pm.

    (#4)Greg Kapphahn says:
    “Their idea of “compromise” is for Democrats and independents to give them absolutely everything they want.”

    Very likely learned from the way their dem brethren have thought and acted for the past four years.

  6. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/01/2010 - 02:11 pm.

    John–
    Please note that Bush’s tax cuts and Medicare reform were passed with bipartisan support.

  7. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 11/01/2010 - 02:21 pm.

    The problem with the Democrat argument is that it originates with the assumption that our incomes belong to the government by default.

    They don’t.

    The proper default position is that the money American workers earn is theirs, and that the government is not entitled to anything….we the people agree to fund our government so that it can carry out it’s constitutionally mandated functions.

    Being rich does not somehow make a government shakedown morally, or constitutionally acceptable.

    The Democrat party may remember that some day, but given the direction it’s headed these days I have my doubts.

  8. Submitted by chuck holtman on 11/01/2010 - 06:43 pm.

    No, Mr Swift (#7), there is no proper “default” position for who owns the money individuals earn. (And of course your straw argument that Democrats believe incomes belong to the government is silly; no Democrat believes that.) There cannot be a market without market failure, and it is pure ideology to say that the level of wages/salary/capital income a person commands for whatever he/she does or makes reflects the operation of a pure market, reflects how others value what he/she has done/made, or meets any other cogent ethical criterion for saying it belongs to them. Endless examples can be cited of folks who’ve become enormously rich by damaging others and folks who have contributed greatly to others’ welfare for a pittance. Our current system (such as it is) for determining wages/salary/capital income is practical and to some degree a decent first cut. But it is sound only when used in conjunction with a secondary redistributional mechanism (such as tax rates). I agree with you that “soak the rich” is not in itself a persuasive argument (ethically or pragmatically), but there is a thoughtful, ethical and pragmatic basis for redistribution via a steeply progressive tax rate. No politician resists the “It’s your money!” rhetoric, for obvious reasons – no politician ever suffered from pandering to voters’ image of their own self-worth or their selfishness. But that doesn’t mean the rhetoric is true.

  9. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 11/01/2010 - 07:51 pm.

    America is strong because its government has been weak both by constitution and by tradition. America succeeds because Americans succeed, not because of governments.

  10. Submitted by Peder DeFor on 11/02/2010 - 09:03 am.

    No predictions post? I was kind of hoping for one.

  11. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/02/2010 - 10:00 am.

    I predict that no one will be happy with the results.

  12. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/02/2010 - 10:02 am.

    Mr Schulze–
    Read the Articles of Confederation.
    THAT was a weak government; the present Constitution was a reaction to it. A weak government was tried and failed.

  13. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/02/2010 - 10:03 am.

    Mr. Steele–
    The answer is supply-side economics.
    Some Republicans are still preaching it.

  14. Submitted by John E Iacono on 11/02/2010 - 11:41 am.

    (#6) Paul Brandon says: John–
    “Please note that Bush’s tax cuts and Medicare reform were passed with bipartisan support”.

    Please reread my post and note that I said “the past FOUR years. Things have changed since the tax cuts, and I never saw a dem that would vote against an unfunded benefit.

  15. Submitted by John E Iacono on 11/02/2010 - 11:42 am.

    As for tax cuts don’t help the economy:

    Presumably this is to be taken to mean that tax increases do not hurt it.

    Let’s try taxing everyone at 100% and see what happens to the economy.

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