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Pawlenty on Minnesota Budget Deficit

May 06, 2011 at

Please see below for a fact check of Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s comments during the Fox News Presidential debate tonight on his record handling the deficit as Governor of Minnesota.

PAWLENTY'S RHETORIC: “This idea that there's a deficit and I left it in Minnesota is not accurate.”

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]

“Gov. Mark Dayton… Says He Inherited A ‘Horrendous Fiscal Mess’ And Poorly Managed State Agencies” From Pawlenty.” [Associated Press, 2/9/11]

REALITY: PAWLENTY ONLY PLUGGED MINNESOTA’S BUDGET HOLE WITH TEMPORARY FIXES

Under Pawlenty, Minnesota “Tried To Stop The Financial Bleeding With An Assortment Of Band-Aids, From Payment Delays To One-Time Federal Windfalls Of Cash. Now That Bag Of Tricks Is Just About Empty.” [Star Tribune, 1/5/11]

Rochester Post-Bulletin Editorial: “It's Absurd That Pawlenty Is Boasting About Leaving Minnesota With A Balanced Budget And ‘Money In The Bank.’ …The Fine Print Should Disclose This Surplus Wouldn't Exist Without Federal Stimulus Dollars And A $1.4 Billion Loan From Minnesota's Public Schools.”  [Rochester Post-Bulletin, 12/6/10]

MinnPost:  Minnesota Was Second Among States “That Relied On One-Time Fixes To Close Their Budget Gaps For This Fiscal Year” According To The National Conference of State Legislatures Because “Pawlenty… Relied On One-Time Solutions To Close 41 Percent Of The State’s Gap.” [MinnPost.com, 2/2/10]

REALITY: PAWLENTY USED STIMULUS MONEY TO BALANCE HIS BUDGETS

Pawlenty “Opposed The Stimulus But Accepted The Funding.” [Politico, 4/10/09]

Pawlenty On Stimulus Funding: “We’re Not Bashful About Accepting Our Share Of The Money… If You’re Paying The Tab For The Pizza, It’s Ok To Have A Slice Even If There Are Some Anchovies On It.’” [Washington Post, 2/23/09]

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