Prior to his presidential announcement speech called “A Time For Truth,” former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty offered me a sneak preview. “We’re going to call for the phasing out of ethanol subsidies,” Pawlenty told me.
“It will be fairly quick,” Pawlenty said when asked how gradually the phase-out would occur. “It will just be a few [years] not a ton.”
Aside from today’s announcement in Iowa, Pawlenty is headed to New York and Florida where he will similarly speak truth to power on various issues.
In New York, Pawlenty says he will tell Wall Street folks the truth: “I opposed TARP,” Pawlenty says, reminding me that many of his primary opponents were on the other side of that issue. “For the firms that engaged in reckless and irresponsible behavior,” he added, “they should have experienced consequences.”
In Florida, Pawlenty promises to talk to seniors about entitlement reform. “We’re going to have our own Medicare plan,” he said. Though he was highly complimentary of Rep. Paul Ryan, Pawlenty says that unlike Ryan’s plan, his entitlement plan will address Social Security.
Additionally, the Pawlenty plan will include a feature called “payment reform,” which would result in switching from a system where we pay for the number of procedures performed to instead paying for “better health care outcomes and better results.”
Channeling Newt Gingrich’s idea (yet wisely avoiding loaded terms like “social engineering”), Pawlenty told me: “We will give options to people to be able to stay in the current plan or select options — one of which could be a premium support model,” he added.