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Tim Pawlenty Offers a Google Test

Republican presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty offered up an innovative way to cut government waste and spending last week.  He called it the “Google Test.”

“We can start by applying what I call ‘The Google Test,’ he said, according to CNN Money.  “If you can find a good or service on the Internet, then the federal government probably doesn’t need to be doing it.”

Needless to say, you can find every conceivable good or service via the Internet.  And Pawlenty certainly left himself an out with the word “probably.”  But he did give a few concrete examples of what he would rid the government of (and he was correct, you can find all of these things if you google them).

He said that the U. S. Postal Service, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and the Government Printing Office should all be cut.  He noted that those organizations “were all built for a time in our country when the private sector did not adequately provide those products. That’s no longer the case.”

Craig Jennings, director of federal fiscal policy at OMB Watch, a budget watchdog group, allows that Pawlenty’s approach was an “interesting strategy.”  But he also noted that one could find investigators online as well as private labs that test food products — so does that mean that the FBI and the FDA should be done away with?

Perhaps a “Google Test” should be done on Tim Pawlenty.  If we googled the former Minnesota governor, what would we find?

First, we might find that as governor, Tim Pawlenty was not the economic wizard he would want voters to believe he is. He left the state of Minnesota with a $5 billion deficit.  According to John Avlon’s investigations at The Daily Beast, not only did he detract from the previous governor’s headway in returning the state to a more secure bond rating status, but he also repeatedly cut personal taxes while allowing property taxes and “user fees” to increase by $2.5 billion.  When asked if Pawlenty had actually left the current governor a deficit of $5 billion, the Minnesota Taxpayers Association answered with a direct, “Yes.”

Then we might find that as a presidential candidate that he’s rather good at wordsmithing.  Besides the “Google Test,” he came up with “Obamneycare,” which he shared with Fox News to describe President Obama’s national health care reform and its ties with his competitor for GOP presidential nomination, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, and the health care legislation passed when he was governor.  However, when confronted by CNN’s John King during the New Hampshire Republican Presidential Debate on Monday, Pawlenty hedged and equivocated, saying he was only using the president’s characterization of his health care reforms.  Romney stood there the entire time with a smug look on his face while Pawlenty squirmed verbally.

So if you can google these things about potential Republican nominee Pawlenty so quickly, by using his own test, does that mean that the government probably does not need to be involved with him?

    4 Responses to “Tim Pawlenty Offers a Google Test”

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    3. says:

      . I can totally usradntend someone thinking about the enormous emotional and financial personal cost of running, especially when you’re tired and your family is kind of tired of having to do the politics thing for a long time. Thing is, there’s lots of people who consider running for political office and even come close, but end up not doing it because the effort just seems too high but it’s not like it’s just two groups of people, one of which always knew it’d run and the other which never would. More a spectrum, with a lot of people who come close but there’s sudden family issues or they just get tired. Obvi the people who do run have ambition that outweighs those costs, but that doesn’t mean the cost doesn’t exist. I’d much rather have someone super-ambitious that acknowledges that cost rather (as self-righteous as it is) than someone who just continues spouting non-sense (I was inspired by [insert made up story about some 90 year old great-grandmother who wants conservative values to be protected from onslaught of liberal fascism so she can bake cookies for her great grandchildren without being taxed for it]) or is so blinded by ambition that they don’t care about the personal cost to their family (which obviously is every politician with a zipper problem).

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