At the White House press briefing yesterday, press secretary Jay Carney dismissed Tim Pawlenty’s plan to grow the economy by 5 percent annually.
“With regards to 5 percent growth, we couldn¹t agree more; that would be very beneficial to the economy. We think providing expansive tax cuts to the wealthy — which we did in the last term and added tremendously to our debt and resulted in this President inheriting a massive deficit and debt in 2009 — [is] probably not the best approach,” Carney said.
This morning, former deputy press secretary Bill Burton also criticized Pawlenty’s plan. “Pawlenty’s economic plan which can be boiled down to ‘let’s grow the economy at 5%,’” Burton said on Morning Joe. “You think [Austin] Goolsbee and [Gene] Sperling are sitting around the White House like ‘oh, why didn’t we think of that.’ I mean it’s not pie in the sky, it’s a whole floating bakery, there’s no plan that goes with the idea that you can actually do that.”
Team Pawlenty fired back this afternoon.
“Obama’s economic team doesn’t have a plan, so their spokespeople attack ours,” said Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant in a statement. “The idea that they don’t believe in the American people enough to say that we can grow the economy at 5 percent GDP really says everything. You have to wonder if in fact Obama’s grand plan is that we don’t grow at all — and if so — he and the central planners are doing a great job of that.”