Paul Ryan's Second-Craziest Statement Of The Day

by Jonathan Chait | February 16, 2011

I know I've been picking on Republican heartthrob Paul Ryan a lot, but his statement yesterday at the Budget Committee really exposes the absurdity of his Brave Man reputation:

Instead of confronting our debt head on, the President has presented us with a budget that spends too much, borrows too much and taxes too much. ...
He has argued for massive tax increases that would stifle economic growth and make our fiscal picture worse -- this budget alone contains $1.6 trillion in higher taxes on American families, businesses and entrepreneurs.
And on our nation’s most pressing fiscal challenges, the President has abdicated his leadership role. First, he punted to a bipartisan commission to develop solutions to the problem.
Then, when his own commission put forward a set of fundamental entitlement and tax reforms, he ignored them.

Okay, first Ryan lambastes President Obama for raising taxes, and in the next sentence accuses him of abdicating his leadership. Now, Ryan advocates the loopy supply-side view that tax hikes will "make our fiscal picture worse," so I suppose there's an internal consistency of sorts to his insanity. Still, in the real world, proposing that rich, powerful people pay a little more to the government is both politically difficult and something that would reduce the deficit. Ryan manages to position himself as an advocate of fiscal boldness and a staunch opponent of raising one thin dime of taxes. Nice trick.

The best part is the last sentence, where Ryan assails Obama for ignoring the proposals put forward by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. Hey, you know who else opposes Bowles-Simpson? Paul Ryan! He was on the commission and he voted no. How can Ryan claim Obama's lack of interest in a proposal Ryan voted against indicts Obama? Does he not remember having served on this commission?

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/jonathan-chait/83638/paul-ryans-second-craziest-statement-the-day