DNC Rapid Response - Fact Check: Tim Pawlenty at AFP

Please see the below fact check on Tim Pawlenty’s misleading rhetoric about his fiscal record as Governor of Minnesota at the Americans for Prosperity forum in Manchester, NH:

PAWLENTY RHETORIC: We have a government that was fighting recently about whether $3.65 billion or $3.7 billion. The problem was, they were only taking in $2.20 trillion.”

REALITY: PAWLENTY LEFT MINNESOTA WITH A PROJECTED $6.2 BILLION DEFICIT

When Pawlenty Left Office, Minnesota Faced A $6.2 Billion Deficit For The 2012-2013 Biennium.  [Minnesota Public Radio, 12/2/10]

  • “Minnesota's Projected Budget Deficit Shrank By A Fifth To $5 Billion … State Economist Tom Stinson Attributed The Improvement To Federal Action That Helped The Economy, Including A Payroll Tax Cut And Delay In A Capital Gains Tax Hike.” [Associated Press, 2/28/11]
  • Minnesota’s Budget “Deficit Is Nearly 13 Percent Of The State's General Fund.” [Associated Press, 2/28/11]

Star Tribune’s Lori Sturdevant: “No Other Governor In Minnesota's 152-Year History” Besides Pawlenty “Has Handed His Successor A $6.2 Billion Deficit Forecast.”  [Lori Sturdevant op-ed, Star Tribune, 12/4/10]

PAWLENTY RHETORIC:We cut spending and brought it below zero for the first budget cycle in our 150 year history.

REALITY: PAWLENTY’S CLAIM THAT HE CUT SPENDING IN REAL TERMS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 150 YEARS IS “BARELY TRUE”

Politifact: Pawlenty’s Claim That He “Cut Spending In Real Terms For The First Time In 150 Years” Is “Barely True.” [Politifact, 4/12/11]

  • Politifact: “The 2010 General Fund Budget Year (Which Starts July 1, 2009), Was Not The First Year Spending Dropped. Spending Also Dropped In 2009, 2004, 1986 And 1983, Although It Was Up For The Two-Year Cycles That Included Those Years.” [Politifact, 4/12/11]
  • Politifact: “We Should Note That The 2010-2011 Budget Biennium Was Helped By A Few Factors” Including $2.3 Billion In Stimulus Money And More Than $3 Million In K-12 Funding Shifts. [Politifact, 4/12/11]

PAWLENTY RHETORIC: “We cut taxes over my eight years as Governor.”

REALITY: UNDER PAWLENTY, MINNESOTA SAW MILLIONS IN STATE AND LOCAL TAX INCREASES

“During Pawlenty’s Tenure… State And Local Tax Rates Have Increased For 90 Percent Of Minnesotans, While Tax Rates For The State’s Wealthiest, Those Earning More Than $130,000, Have Decreased.” [MinnPost.com, 2/15/10]

Cato Institute: Despite Pawlenty’s Campaign Pledge Not To Raise Taxes, Pawlenty “Backed A $200 Million Tax Increase On Cigarette Consumers In 2005 And A $109 Million Corporate Tax Increase In 2008.” [Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors, The Cato Institute, 10/20/08]

… ESPECIALLY PROPERTY TAXES

“During Pawlenty’s Tenure, Property Taxes Have Increased By $3 Billion, Or 65 Percent.” [MinnPost.com, 2/15/10]

August 2002, Pawlenty: “You Can’t Run Around The State And Say I’m Not Going To Increase Taxes And Then Cut LGA In A Way That Drives Up Local Property Taxes.” [Associated Press, 9/29/06]

2002: Pawlenty Said, “You Know, You Can’t Run Around The State And Say ‘I’m Not Going To Increase Taxes’ And Then Cut LGA In A Way That Drives Up Local Property Taxes. I Know That.” [Mankato Free Press, 8/8/09]

… AND FEES WENT UP BY OVER $1 BILLION

“During Pawlenty’s Tenure… Fees Have Doubled, Reaching A Total Of $1.25 Billion.” [MinnPost.com, 2/15/10]

WCCO’s Reality Check: “You Are Paying Billions Of Dollars More In Fees On A Long List Of Items, Including Cigarettes, Parking Tickets, Marriage Licenses, Building Permits, Court Cases, College Tuition And Hundreds Of Other Higher Fees On Pawlenty’s Watch.” [WCCO, 5/18/10]