Ryan isn’t concerned with spending or the deficit. He wants to radically reform government.
Ezra Klein says “But the real north star of Ryan’s policy record isn’t deficits or spending, though he often uses those concerns in service of his agenda. It’s radically reforming the way the federal government provides public services, usually by privatizing or devolving those public services away from the federal government.”
Jonathan Chait points out that Ryan “spent the entire Bush administration either supporting the administration’s deficit-increasing policies, or proposing alternative policies that would have created much higher deficits than even Bush could stomach, but came away from it with a reputation as the ultimate champion of fiscal responsibility.”
Paul Krugman says “Paul Ryan starts by claiming to be a deficit hawk. Push him really hard, however, on why in that case he advocates big tax cuts, and he’ll shift to arguing that big government (as opposed to not-paid-for government) is the real problem… But if you push hard on that, it turns out that there’s yet another layer: the claim that things like taxing the rich to help pay for social insurance are immoral, because people have a right to keep the wealth they created — which is why suggesting that no plutocrat is an island is heresy. This onion structure is why you should never believe reasonable-sounding conservatives who say that you’re attacking a straw man, that ‘nobody believes’ that wealth creators owe nothing to society. Oh yes they do — it’s usually hidden inside a couple of more socially acceptable excuses, but at their core Ryan and people like him believe that they’re characters in Atlas Shrugged.”
image: Rep. Paul Ryan’s major votes and their impact on the deficit: msnbc: From Up w/Chris Hayes
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