"Are you embarrassed when the Secretary of State of the United States is over in communist China on rhetorical bended knee," he told a friendly crowd in Iowa, "pleading with the Chinese to buy our debt because if they don't, the United States of America can't pay its bills?"
The Strib this morning:
Tom Hanson, commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget, told a legislative subcommittee Thursday that the slow recovery could trigger general fund shortfalls in the spring significant enough to warrant short-term borrowing for the first time in a quarter-century. The state's tax collections are already $223 million lower than officials predicted.
And MPR drives the point home:
Borrowing money to cover the bills could deal a blow to Pawlenty's image as a fiscal conservative. The governor, who hasn't ruled out a run for the White House in 2012, has repeatedly praised his ability to keep a lid on spending and taxes during his two terms as governor. In July, he balanced the budget on his own when he couldn't reach a deal with Democratic legislative leaders. Pawlenty cut spending and delayed payments to schools to erase a $2.7 billion projected budget deficit.