JONATHAN CHAIT JANUARY 7, 2011
The Committee For A Responsible Federal Budget and the Concord Coalition have bestowed a "Fiscy Award" upon, in addition to two others, Paul Ryan for his "frequent efforts to promote fiscal discipline and leadership to restore fiscal health,"
Let us examine those efforts. It's true that Ryan talks about the deficit a lot. It's also true that he has a plan that, though increasing the deficit over the next decade, would decrease it over a very long period of time so long as unspecified, draconian limits on the domestic discretionary spending budget held in place and old people didn't force Congress to do anything about the fact that their Medicare benefits were being cut by 76%.
While we're waiting for Ryan's plan to never be enacted, he has an actual voting record. He voted for all the Bush tax cuts. He favors making them permanent. He opposed the Affordable Care Act and now favors repealing it, at considerable cost to the deficit. He has helped change the House budget rules in order to make it far easier to increase the deficit. He opposes any cuts at all to defense spending.
If this is what counts as "frequent efforts to promote fiscal discipline," I think the country would benefit from less frequency.