The Real Paul Ryan

The Real Paul RyanRyan Forced to be Truthful

On Wednesday, in a talk with Ezra Klein and other reporters, Paul Ryan, TEA Party heart-throb, and former vice-presidential candidate, finally showed his true self.

Ryan, who is usually able to speak enough gibberish, evade direct questions,  or simply filibuster when asked specific positions, uncovered his true ideology.  Those who follow him closely, know that he is a supply-side or “trickle down” economist who crunches numbers in a manor to make him appear more moderate.  What he is, is an extreme right wing radical.

During the conversation, Ryan continually offers up nonsense.  When he finally loses his ability to spin words, he shows his true stand.  He said he would not vote in favor of any additional revenue actions, even if there were more spending cuts.

Ryan’s comments:  “They already got their revenues,” Ryan said. “So what, we’ll roll over and they get more revenues? That’s not how it works. In the spirit of bipartisan compromise, they’ve gotten revenue increases already. We’ve yet to get anything as a result of it. It used to be 3 to 1. Isn’t that what Erskine says? $3 of spending cuts to every dollar of tax increase. The president in his own budget last year claimed 2.5 to 1. We’d argue with whether they actually achieved that, but where’s the 3? Where’s the 2.5? Where’s the $1.8 trillion in cuts?”

He has trouble facing facts, (a TEA Party standard).  When Mr. Klein asked him about the fact that, yes, there were 620 million dollars in tax increases at the beginning of the year, 2011 has 2.2 trillion dollars in spending cuts, and that the Republicans already received the cuts they sought, his response was:  “That was last session,” Ryan said. “We’re going forward now.”

The 620 million was also in the last session, but he chose not to recognize a fact.  Ryan continued to twist and spin his answers to make him appear the financial wizard he pretends to be.  When Klein asked him what would be the harm in increasing revenue by 600 to 700 million dollars by removing tax loopholes, and not raising rates, his spin:  “I think rates matter,” Ryan replied. “I think the statutory rate matters at the end of the day.”

Notice his response was not to the question asked.

An exchange between Klein and Ryan followed:

“But you could have the same or lower rate there,” I said. After all, if you’re closing loopholes, the top marginal tax rate doesn’t change.

“I don’t know about that,” said Ryan. “Remember, we have to write these things statically. We don’t use macroeconomic feedback on the Joint Tax Committee.”

“But if you capped deductions at $15,000,” I pressed, “that wouldn’t change rates.”

Ryan didn’t budge. “You have to decide where you want to cap deduction or which deductions stay or go, what will pass, and what the resulting rates will be.”

When he was campaigning, he claimed we could increase revenue by capping deductions, and not raising rates.  He proposed that tax rates could actually be lowered by doing so.  Now he appears to be against it.  These were his own words during the 2012 campaign:

“Rather than raise tax rates on individuals and businesses that are the source of job creation and economic growth in America, here’s what I would propose as an alternative: Take away their tax breaks. Take away the deductions, take away the loopholes. By taking away tax loopholes, which primarily benefit the well off, which are Washington picking winners and losers in the economy, what we’re doing is subjecting more of their income to taxation, albeit at a lower tax rate.”

He continues with another blatantly false claim:  “The other problem I’ve noticed — and this is just experience from my fifteen years in Congress — every time you give a little revenue, it just goes to spending. The spending cuts are always later and the revenue gets pocketed. It’s one of those fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”

Without being able to logically argue against the fact that we need to both increase revenue, and cut spending, he circled back to his one argument:  “We already increased revenue”, and then got to his real position: “And by the way, I think that revenue level is way too high, I don’t see how you get there.”  He then changed the subject to corporate tax reform which is an agreed position by both sides.

Ryan continually presents himself as an opponent of debt, but avoids the issue of tax increase.  He is assisting Kansas governor Brownbback in establishing a tax plan for the state that virtually mirrors the “Ryan Plan”.  If implemented, it would raise taxes on the poor and reduce them on what Republicans like to errantly call “the job creators”.

So, if you’re a fan of Ryan’s, you’re a fan of cutting programs for the poor and low income, while raising taxes on the middle class, and reducing them for the wealthy.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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