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Pawlenty talks tax cuts, swerves clear of Bush years

Income tax cuts for the wealthy will liberate the U.S. economy to create jobs and generate revenue and shrink the deficit. That line has become a policy standard on the right and a talking point repeated on stumps all across the nation. It is a cornerstone of the GOP Ryan Budget plan being pushed on Capitol Hill. Yet analysis and statistics and personal anecdotes pile high and deep against that tack as an effective real-world national economic policy. GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor who led the state down a path toward deficit swampland, is the latest to try to rework history to suit the tax-cut narrative. As Dave Weigel at Slate points out, Pawlenty's recent big economic speech twists and turns and makes a dead stop at the Bush years, when "tax cuts for the wealthy" national budget policy went into full effect and revenues plummeted and the deficit skyrocketed and the economy withered.