With the economy having emerged as the critical issue in the 2012 presidential election, the editors at Mother Jones think we should take a look at GOP candidate Tim Pawlenty’s job-creation and stimulus record.

Between 2004 and 2009, then Minnesota Gov. Pawlenty’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) offered tax incentives to companies willing to pick up and move to the state’s poorer areas. The effort — known as JOBZ (Job Opportunity Building Zones) — flopped, granting participating companies almost $150 million in tax breaks while merely shifting jobs between different parts of the state. –ARK

Mother Jones:

When GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty presented his economic manifesto earlier this month, he delivered an unambiguous case against government interference in the economy.

“The tax code is littered with special interest handouts, carve-outs, subsidies, and loopholes,” Pawlenty said. “That should be eliminated… Business success should depend on winning over customers, not winning over Congressmen.” Government, according to Pawlenty, shouldn’t be in the business of picking winners and losers, and should instead allow the natural ebb and flow of capitalism to drive economic growth.

Yet Pawlenty’s signature jobs program during his eight years as Minnesota governor did the opposite. Between 2004 and 2009, his Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) handed out nearly $150 million in tax breaks in a mostly fruitless attempt to boost the economies of the state’s most depressed areas—an effort that some state lawmakers now want to undo.

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