DNC - Pawlenty's Economic Record: An Epic Failure of Leadership

Governor Pawlenty drove up property taxes and tuition and left Minnesota with a historic $6 billion deficit

St. Paul, Minn. (June 7, 2011) —Today, Minnesota’s former governor, Tim Pawlenty, released his economic policy plan in a speech in Chicago, IL. Minnesota DFL Chair Ken Martin released this statement:

“The last person qualified to be speaking about an economic plan for the United States is our former governor, who left his state in a fiscal and economic mess. Tim Pawlenty’s time in office was an epic failure of leadership. His policies were devastating for Minnesotans, downgraded our bond rating, and stalled our economy.

“If you want to see what Tim Pawlenty’s reckless economic policies will do to the country, look no further than what he did to Minnesota: higher property taxes for small businesses and middle-class families, cuts to special education and services to seniors, students who are less prepared for college and paying more in tuition, and a historic $6 billion budget deficit. That’s no plan for economic recovery – it would only spell disaster for the United States.”

Background:

PAWLENTY LEFT MINNESOTA WITH A PROJECTED $6.2 BILLION DEFICIT

  • ·         Pawlenty Left Office With Minnesota Facing A $6.2 Billion Deficit. [Minnesota Public Radio, 12/2/10]

 

  • ·         “Pawlenty is the First Governor In Minnesota’s History To Hand His Successor A $6.2 Billion Deficit Forecast.” [Editorial, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 12/4/10]

 

PAWLENTY WAS A FAILED STEWARD OF THE BUDGET, FAILED TO PROTECT MINNESOTA’S CREDIT

  • ·         Minnesota’s Fiscal Health During Pawlenty’s Tenure Was “Like A Continuing Drama Of Plugging One Hole Just In Time To Confront Another.” “[Editorial, St. Paul Pioneer Press, 2/16/10]
  • ·         Under Pawlenty, Minnesota Lost Its Perfect Bond Rating For The First Time Since 1997. “Minnesota dropped from the elite class of states with perfect credit ratings Monday when it was downgraded by one of three Wall Street bond houses, a change that will increase the cost of borrowing money. Moody’s Investors Service moved the state from Aaa to Aa1.” [Associated Press, 6/16/03]
  • ·         Moody’s Shifted Its Outlook On Minnesota’s Credit Rating To Negative “Due To Ongoing Fiscal Weakness And Heavy Reliance On One-Shots To Balance Its Books.” “The state is especially vulnerable to ongoing fiscal weakness due to its depletion of reserves and reliance one-time measures like bill payment delays, fund transfers, and federal stimulus funds to erase $4.6 billion of red ink going into the current budget cycle, straining the state’s liquidity and limiting its options.” [The Bond Buyer, 2/10/10]

PAWLENTY POLICIES DROVE UP TAXES ON THE MIDDLE CLASS AND SMALL BUSINESSES, CUT VITAL SERVICES

  • ·         “During Pawlenty’s Tenure…State And Local Tax Rates Have Increased For 90 Percent Of Minnesotans.” [MinnPost.com, 2/15/10]
  • ·         Under Governor Pawlenty, Property Taxes Were Up By Nearly $2.7 Billion. Under Pawlenty, total statewide property taxes have increased by nearly $2.7 billion from 2003 to 2009 or 53.8 percent. [Minnesota House Research Department, Property Tax Simulations – 9A6, 1/7/10; 8A4, 1/8/10; 7A5, 9/27/07; 6A5, 8/18/06; 5A4, 9/19/05; 4C6, 12/29/04; 3G1, 8/26/03]

·         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]