Paul Ryan was for Big Deficits before he was against them (graphic)

Paul Ryan blames President Obama for the government’s budget deficits, and singles out the stimulus program as the culprit. But stimulus was one-time expenditures, not ongoing annual ones, and so over time will contribute little to the deficit. What does drive up the deficit annually is a series of Bush-era measures, including the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, tax cuts and unfunded medicaid prescription drug benefits, and the economic collapse that derived in some large part from extensive deregulation of the banking and financial sectors.

Paul Ryan voted for every single one of the government measures that created the current deficits, and he opposes the obvious measures that would bring them down. He was opposed to the US withdrawal from Iraq. He opposes letting the Bush tax cuts on the super-wealthy expire. He opposes re-regulating the banks.

Ryan wants to blame those deficits on President Obama, who was not even in the federal Senate when Ryan voted to spend a trillion dollars on an illegal and unjustified war on Iraq.

14 Responses

  1. The Romney-Ryan Ticket A Partisan Embrace

    Picking Paul Ryan from Wisconsin is a clear signal how presidential nominee Mitt Romney wants to operate in a partisan Washington D.C. Remember, U.S. Congress shows the lowest ratings by voters!

    Obama’s website repeatedly refers to Ryan’s “extreme budget plan” as favoring the rich over the middle class (the president’s core argument against Romney). The first line of its biographical sketch reads “Paul Ryan is a career Washington DC insider.”

    Paul Ryan Exposes Himself

    (TNR) – Paul Ryan has carefully nurtured his deficit hawk image by expressing his Randian ideology in the high-minded language of the establishment. His favorite attacks on President Obama have revolved around failure to lead and a refusal to openly embrace the fiscal commission report. The work of that fiscal commission passed into the hands of the Gang of Six, which has commanded strong Senate support and might have a chance in the House if its deficit-cutting recommendations were embraced by a figure with the right-wing fiscal credentials of Ryan. Instead Ryan “dropped what one Republican Senate adviser called a ‘bomb’ on the Gang of Six,” snuffing out any chance of success.

    Does Ryan’s plan cut taxes for the rich? No, no, he says — he simply “reforms” the tax code.

    [BTW Bill Clinton at highest favoribility rating (66%) since start of 2008 primaries battle]

  2. On the whole I think the Ryan pick is a gift to Obama.

    Romney wanted to make the campaign a referendum on the slow recovery. Something about which Obama could have done very little more than he has given the unwillingness of Congress to apply Keynesian solutions.

    Even when the President had majorities in both houses they were too timid to spend the money required to keep the states from laying off workers and punch up hiring on Federal projects to the point where it made up for the lost jobs in the housing construction industry.

    Romney has been as coy as he can be about his plans. He says he will fix things. Vagueness has been his friend. He has said he would reduce regulation and cut taxes and control Federal spending. He has said he would repeal and replace Obamacare. Not much on specifics and you had to be listening real close to find them.

    It is, I think, axiomatic that any voter who is at this point *undecided* is not listening closely.

    Ryan, on the other hand, produced out of the House Budget Committee which he chairs the “Ryan Budget” which if you were paying attention, you may have noticed Romney endorsed during the the primaries, though not very loudly. The House approved it on a party line vote, but it went nowhere in the Senate and most people have only the vaguest idea what is in it, *YET*.

    Romney, by picking Ryan, has hung all of the specific provisions of the House budget around his own neck. He will be asked about them in press conferences. He will have to defend them or repudiate them in the debates.

    Boys and girls, the Ryan budget guts the social safety net, increases the deficit at a faster pace, and cuts taxes for the well to do and corporations. It is not pretty.

    However, it is popular with the rightest of the Republican right. The people who already distrust Romney. The very people to whom he was pandering by picking Ryan. So, Romney now faces the political equivalent of being caught in a knight fork on the chessboard.

    The specifics of Ryan budget cannot, IMHO, be defended to the

    majority of the American people in a way that they will accept. But, Romney will have to do just that over and over again or risk losing the enthusiasm of the core of the the Republican base.

    Meanwhile, the stark facts of what the Ryan budget would do to our country if implemented will, IMO, energize the left, which has got pretty tepid feelings about Obama right now. Since the President has governed somewhere to the right of Eisenhower, this is his own fault, mostly.

    The Ryan Budget is an attack on the New Deal. It is a frontal assault on the Great Society. Hell, it is even an attack on the better angels of Richard Nixon’s and Ronald Regan’s domestic agendas.

    If Obama cannot beat a Ryan-Romney ticket, at least in the electoral college, he just isn’t trying.

  3. Ryan, Romney & most of the GOP are liars about the deficit.

    They and most of the GOP should be tried for perjury. But, white collar trash and criminals are not subjected to criminal arrests and punishment. The bankers should also be jailed for at least 10 if not 20 years for the pain, suffering and deaths they have caused.

    Figure 1 from the CBPP is the whole truth and nothing but the truth! “The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization and policy institute that conducts research and analysis on a range of government policies and programs. It is supported primarily by foundation grants.”

    Any questions or doubt read the following:

    1. CBPP Aug 11, 2012 post “Ryan Roundup: Everything You Need to Know About Chairman Ryan’s Budget” at link to offthechartsblog.org

    2. CBPP May 10, 2011 post “Economic Downturn and Bush Policies Continue to Drive Large Projected Deficits –
    Economic Recovery Measures, Financial Rescues Have Only Temporary Impact” It is a very long post and I believe substantial evidence of the perjury committed.

    link to cbpp.org

    3. The “About” and “Experts” links of the CBPP at the top of link to cbpp.org

    4. The long RollingStone article of November 9, 2011 with more truths about the Bush-Era Tax Cut and “How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich – The inside story of how the Republicans abandoned the poor and the middle class to pursue their relentless agenda of tax cuts for the wealthiest one percent.”

    link to rollingstone.com

    White collar crime, especially big liars must be punished!

    Cole’s Figure 1 was updated, showing more deficit due to the Bush-Era Tax Cuts and has pages of proof.
    link to cbpp.org

    More than enough.

  4. Uh, the dark blue checkmark next to this graph says that Paul Ryan voted for the Economic Downturn.

    While you can make an argument that he voted for legislation that contributed to, enabled, or helped the economic downturn… it’s wrong to say that he voted for the Economic Downturn, because that wasn’t a piece of legislation.

    It’s out of place in the image, because 3 of the 4 WERE legislative and he did for vote them and the image doesn’t have the same kick if it was saying 3 out of 4.

    Regardless, it’s important to be precise in our language, otherwise we open ourselves up to attack. We weaken the message if we allow it to have such an obvious point of attack which will allow people to dismiss the 3 out of 4 part of it as well.

  5. The WSJ calls Mr. Ryan’s determination to cut programs that help the most vulnerable of society’s members live, i.e., the working class, poor and elderly a “willingness to address tough issues on federal spending.” These aren’t “tough” issues. There’s nothing easier than gutting programs that literally help people to a decent life and stay alive when they don’t make campaign contributions or hire lobbyists to defend their interests.

    The fact is that Paul Ryan’s budget plan is a fraud. It combines ending Medicare as we know it with radical social program cuts that will literally put people’s lives at risk while cutting taxes on society’s wealthiest, most privileged members and doesn’t cut the deficit and the debt or balance the budget in the foreseeable future. The progressive caucus’s Budget for All does the latter without making it nearly impossible for the poor, elderly and working class to live a decent life.

    It’s clear from Rep. Ryan’s plan and Gov. Romney’s tax proposals recently analyzed by the Tax Policy Center that the aim is to additionally reward society’s most “productive” class while making life “nasty, brutish and short” for society’s less worthy members.

  6. I wonder what the Tea Party will think if they realize that Paul Ryan supported upwards of $30 trillion in US debt and liabilities with his unbridled enthusiasm for an unfunded Medicare Part D, a doubling of the defense budget and two wars, and the Bush tax cuts.

    And I doubt his let’s spend money will extend to the trillions required to provide medical care to Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans.

  7. That’s a sweet little chart, but they should have put Ryan inside the box, or on the left. I didn’t see the checkmarks until I puzzled over it a second time.

  8. As a critique of Ryan’s Bushophilic record, this is fair enough. However, due to demographic shifts, reluctance to cut military spending or to impose taxes, we have a long-term fiscal problem. I hear the Democrats demagoguing the issue, but not offering any solution. Ryan’s solution, as Matt Miller points out, is flawed, but at least he takes up the challenge. The Democrats couldn’t even pass a budget when they had 60 votes in the Senate.

    • Oh, come on. The solution to the problems Bush created is to reverse his budget-busting measures like tax cuts for the super-wealthy. The Democrats couldn’t get rid of those tax cuts because the Republicans now say you need 60 senators to do anything, and they used their 40-some senator ‘majority’ to block it and hold the budget hostage.

      Don’t come here with this horse crap.

      • Wow, Dr. Cole, that’s pretty rough stuff. GOM needs to know that Rep. Ryan is a fraud. He doesn’t intend to balance the budget in near future. He’s not at all interested in fiscal responsibility, but using capitalist corporate media engendered hysteria over the budget deficit and debt to implement long cherished far right wing budget priorities.

        Rep. Ryan’s intention is using spending cuts to pay for tax cuts overwhelmingly benefiting the already wealthy. The non-partisan CBO found that his budget would lead to bigger deficits and hence more debt over the next decade than if current policies remain in place. He wants to reduce all government spending besides Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to 3.5% of GDP in the long run. Currently this spending is about 12% of GDP. The US spends about 4% of GDP on defense right now and Rep. Ryan indicates he wants to increase defense spending as a percentage of GDP. Therefore, he’s advocating eliminating the federal government as we knew and know it except for defense, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

        However, those programs aren’t safe either. Rep. Ryan has called for privatizing or “profitizing” Social Security and doing away with Medicare as a guaranteed benefit government program.

        Last GOM should know that Dr. Dean Baker of cepr.net never tires of repeating the truth that the US would have long run budget SURPLUSES if we paid as much per person on health care as other developed capitalist countries, e.g., Canada. The only long run US fiscal problem is a broken, capitalist, for profit health care system.

  9. I like to bring up to ‘Conservative’ friends Ayn Rand’s belief that the religious are moronic sheep who have no ability to think or devise morality for themselves and her belief that abortion is a woman’s moral right, and that no fetus has any rights at all until it is born. The merely fiscal Conservatives have no beef with that,shrug a little, but the social Conservative-voting-against-their-own-interest crowd get a little worried. Suddenly they aren’t the big Ayn Rand fans they were a few minutes before. Well, they hadn’t really read much (I read ‘any’) of her work. Oddly, the social Conservatives I know are all either getting government salaries, pensions and healthcare, or have kids at state schools and parents getting hugely expensive cardiac surgeries/dialysis on Medicare. They really need to be careful of what they wish for.

  10. And I wish I’d hear the Dems state that Ryan wants the people who work for a living to shoulder all these costs he votes for, while he wants the Thurston Howells and the hedge fund managers and currency shifters to pay $0 of their income toward this. Obama could come forward, and graciously start by thanking Ronnie Reagan for the idea, support taxing all forms of income the same. He could thank the beloved Ronald Reagan for the idea to stop penalizing work.

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