Posted May 23, 2011, 7:47 am
We are periodically taking a look at past claims from the 2012
presidential candidates. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty released a web video,
announcing that he was running for president, and he'll kick off his
campaign in Iowa. In recent months, we have found him straying from the
- In a January interview on "Fox News Sunday," Pawlenty said
that he "never did sign a bill relating to cap and trade" while
governor of Minnesota. But that's false. He signed a 2007 bill requiring
a task force to come up with recommendations on how Minnesota could
institute cap and trade. Plus, Pawlenty joined other Midwestern
governors in signing a compact to "develop a market-based and
multi-sector cap-and-trade mechanism." Pawlenty also claimed that "I’ve
opposed cap and trade." But that's only been the case since 2009, when
Pawlenty wrote a letter to his state’s congressional delegation saying
that a federal cap-and-trade bill was "overly bureaucratic, misguided."
- Pawlenty also changed his view of government bailouts,
saying in January: "I don’t think the government should bail out Wall
Street or the mortgage industry or for that matter any other industry."
But in 2008 at a National Press Club luncheon, he said that in an "ideal
marketplace" entities would be allowed to fail. "But if you allow those
entities to fail, the consequences are so severe for innocent
bystanders, namely average Americans who rely on the markets, rely on
those mortgages, you know, the consequences are too severe. … [T]hey are
too big, the consequences are too severe for innocent bystanders to
allow them to fail."
- He was well off the mark when he said in a December op-ed for the Wall Street Journal
that "local, state and federal governments added 590,000" jobs since
January 2008, while private sector employment had declined by millions.
The private sector job loss, as of Pawlenty's writing, was 7.3 million,
but public sector jobs had also gone down — not up, as Pawlenty claimed.
Figures on government employment showed a loss of 118,000 jobs. It
turns out Pawlenty got his information from a several months' old blog
- Pawlenty also repeated a popular and misleading conservative talking
point when he said that "[f]ederal employees receive an average of
$123,049 annually in pay and benefits, twice the average of the private
sector," also in that op-ed. The figures came from USA Today and the Cato Institute, but we found
that the government pay and benefits included retiree health and life
insurance benefits, and money Congress uses to cover "unfunded
liabilities" for retirees. Also, the average federal worker has more
education and experience than the average private sector worker, and
these compensation figures fail to take that into account.
- 30 -