Remember that recovery summer we were supposed to be enjoying…last year? Well, with news of an impending double-dip recession, more Americans than ever, a whopping 89% to be exact, have a negative view of the economy.
Enter Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.
The Republican presidential candidate came to President Barack Obama’s backyard and delivered his first major policy speech at the University of Chicago. Pawlenty came out swinging, leveling charges that the Obama administration is playing class warfare and killing job growth with over-regulation. His plan, titled “A Better Deal”, focuses on a combination of tax reforms and spending caps to boost economic growth.
Some highlights from the Pawlenty plan include:
-Cutting the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%
-Replacing the individual tax system with two brackets to create a flatter and fairer tax structure
-Passing a balanced budget amendment that would cap spending at 18% of GDP
-Ratifying free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama
The emerging narrative from Democrats and those in the mainstream press on Kathy Hochul’s upset win in the NY-26 special election this week is that this race was a referendum on Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan for Medicare. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid proclaimed that “the people of America resoundly spoke in rejecting the Republican plan to end Medicare” and New York Senator Chuck Schumer declared that “…[T]his election was a strong referendum…”
But remember back in 2010 when Scott Brown captured Ted Kennedy’s seat and Republicans handed President Obama a midterm “shellacking” over his unpopular health care reform legislation? Democrat leaders were singing a different tune then:
“Well, I think that this election was about 9.5 percent unemployment. It wasn’t a referendum on health care reform.” –House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, NPR (01/05/2011)
“This is a choice, a clear choice, not a referendum.” –Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine, Meet the Press (10/31/2010)
“I think we’d be misreading the election if we thought the American people want to see us for the next two years relitigate arguments that we had over the last two years.” –President Barack Obama (11/03/2011)
“The election [to fill Edward Kennedy’s Senate seat in Massachusetts] on Tuesday was a message that we need to focus on jobs and the economy. It definitely was not a referendum on health care reform.” –Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (02/05/2010)
“[T]he Republicans would like this to be a referendum. It’s not going to be a referendum.” –White House advisor David Axelrod, National Journal (01/11/2010)
So for those on the left, elections are only referendums when they win.