Friday, August 06, 2010

Wisconsin's own Paul Ryan making waves by preaching nonsense inside the DC Beltway

Paul Krugman comments on the latest deep thinker discovered by media types and pundits inside the Beltway. He explains how the process works.
One depressing aspect of American politics is the susceptibility of the political and media establishment to charlatans. You might have thought, given past experience, that D.C. insiders would be on their guard against conservatives with grandiose plans. But no: as long as someone on the right claims to have bold new proposals, he’s hailed as an innovative thinker. And nobody checks his arithmetic.

Which brings me to the innovative thinker du jour: Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
Ryan has always been better at getting media attention than delivering policy ideas that make sense. According to Krugman, his “Roadmap for America’s Future” is no such thing. It's a smoke-and-mirrors structure that seems designed mainly to hide the fact he wants to cut taxes on the richest 5 percent of Americans in half, while raising them on everyone else -- all under the guise of deficit reduction. And, for good measure, replacing Medicare with a voucher plan in 2020 to allow the elderly to buy their own health insurance. Why would anyone take this stuff seriously?
It’s not just inability to do the math, although that’s part of it. There’s also the unwillingness of self-styled centrists to face up to the realities of the modern Republican Party; they want to pretend, in the teeth of overwhelming evidence, that there are still people in the G.O.P. making sense.


Anonymous said...

Krugman spouts nonsense on a regular basis and is clearly biased against conservative policies. It'll take more than his opinion to get me to think Ryan is on the wrong track.

Karen said...

Anonymous, what about Krugman's math? It's either right or wrong.

Anonymous said...

Krugman relies on the Tax Policy Center, which is connected to the Brookings Institute. The CBO numbers differ from the TPC analysis. These are complicated issues and it's all about the assumptions you make in your analysis. And by the way, Ryan does not propose cutting the taxes of the top 5% of earners in half. He does change tax rates, but he also eliminates most deductions and credits. How this affects taxpayers will vary from individual to individual. The bottom line is Krugman is cherry picking analyses to go after a Republican who has risen in stature during the last couple of years. Since Krugman went to the Times, he has become a political hack to please his editors and his analyses have grown increasingly biased.