Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman writes in a New York Times op-ed piece Sunday:
Krugman goes on the spell out exactly what the Ryan Budget actually does and doesn't do.
This will lead to $4.3 trillion in lost revenue over the next decade.
This includes the $716 billion in savings from Medicare, which is in both Obamacare and the Ryan Budget.
But how would Ryan offset the massive tax cuts? Ryan does not say.
What about the additional budget cuts -- where would they come from? Ryan does not say.
If this sounds like a joke, that's because it is. ... What's going on?
The answer, basically, is a triumph of style over substance. Over the longer term, the Ryan plan would end Medicare as we know it -- and in Washington, "fiscal responsibility" is often equated with willingness to slash Medicare and Social Security, even if the purported savings would be used to cut taxes on the rich rather than to reduce deficits. Also, self-proclaimed centrists are always looking for conservatives they can praise to showcase their centrism, and Mr. Ryan has skillfully played into that weakness, talking a good game even if his numbers don't add up.
The question now is whether Mr. Ryan's undeserved reputation for honesty and fiscal responsibility can survive his participation in a deeply dishonest and irresponsible presidential campaign.
Meanwhile, over the weekend, we learned Paul Ryan is actually in favor of federal government stimulus spending and unemployment benefits when Republican President George W. Bush was in favor of it:
But that's when President Obama is pushing for the spending. When it was President George W. Bush arguing for more stimulus to boost a slow economy in the early 2000s, Ryan's economic analysis was entirely different.
"What we're trying to accomplish today with the passage of this third stimulus package is to create jobs and help the unemployed," Ryan said, in comments unearthed by MSNBC's "Up with Chris Hayes" and provided to HuffPost.
"What we're trying to accomplish is to pass the kinds of legislation that when they've passed in the past have grown the economy and gotten people back to work."
Video of the comments will be aired at 8:00 a.m. Sunday on MSNBC.
"In recessions unemployment lags on well after a recovery has taken place," Ryan accurately noted in 2002.
Later, the article states:
Bush's stimulus, which included an extension of jobless benefits and resulted in checks being mailed to millions of Americans, was signed in March 2002.
And this is the reputation and behavior that Ryan's own bishop, Robert Morlino of Madison, Wis., is defending. Here's Morlino's defense of Ryan in Morlino's recent endorsement:
What a joke.