Paul Ryan told NPR’s “All Things Considered” that the Obama budget included $8.7 trillion dollars in new spending. Jamelle Bouie shows how Ryan – the fiscal darling of the right – is cooking the books to come up with this startling figure.
That Ryan is considered a serious voice of fiscal conservatism on the right tells us two things: one, the bar for seriousness (and honesty) has come way down over the years; and two, Republicans really, truly don’t care about deficits. As Eric Martin notes:
In reality, this new-found urgency around deficits and debt is, for many GOP stalwarts, a means to assail entitlement programs that have been targets since their inception, as well as an opportunity to weaken public sector unions and otherwise gut the relatively tiny discretionary spending component of our budget. As a bonus, the constant carping about spending during Democratic administrations reinforces advantageous – if erroneous – political narratives.
Ryan, of course, helped pass the extremely expensive Medicare Part D, TARP, and supported extending the Bush tax cuts even though they vastly increase the deficit. Whatever the merits of these programs, it’s just absurd for Ryan to maintain the pretense of being a fiscally responsible Republican.
Meanwhile, in Ryan’s home state, protests continue as Governor Walker wages all-out class warfare on the Evil Public Sector workers – unless you happen to be a public safety worker. Similar moves are being made around the country. And Ryan, of course, is backing Governor Walker:
“It’s not asking a lot, it’s still about half of what private sector pensions do and health care packages do. So he’s basically saying, I want you public workers to pay half of what our private sector counterparts are, and he’s getting, you know, riots,” remarked Ryan.
“It’s like Cairo has moved to Madison these days,” he said, adding that “people should be able to express their way, but we’ve got to get this deficit and debt under control in Madison, if we want to have a good business climate and job creation in Wisconsin.”
See, it’s all about the deficit. We have to demonize somebody, after all, in order to maintain this illusion. At least Ryan cut Beck to the quick tying this back to Cairo. Now all he needs are some chalkboards and puppets to show us how very serious he really, truly is.
Turns out there’s not even a budget crisis in Wisconsin.