Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) predicted Tuesday that the U.S. will face a double-dip recession that could last all the way until the 2012 elections.
The likely presidential candidate said the government, under President Obama, has devalued the dollar by injecting "fiat money" into the economy in an attempt to boost it — a plan he said will be damaging in the long-run.
The comment is a stern warning from Pawlenty, who is looking to contrast his economic program with Obama's heading into the campaign season.
The former governor appeared to be referring to the second round of quantitative easing implemented by the Federal Reserve and other central banks, but his comments also came after analysts predicted this week that a drop in home prices in January could increase the chances of a double-dip recession.
The Obama administration has pointed to positive signs, such as February's strong jobs report, as evidence the economy is now steadily growing. Democrats have also argued the report shows that steep spending cuts proposed by Republicans could stunt further job growth.
But Pawlenty said that just the opposite is true and that the economy will likely worsen leading up to 2012, which would almost certainly damage Obama's standing with voters.
"It may look like there is temporary improvement because they have artificially infused the economy with government money, but the consequences of that will, as sure as we're sitting here, will rear its head," he said.