By Hightower, Jim
The Progressive , Vol. 76, No. 11
Ryan, Paul (American congressional representative)--Political activity
Ryan, Paul (American congressional representative)--Evaluation
Romney, Mitt--Political activity
Romney, Mitt--Economic policy
Republican Party (United States)--Officials and employees
Vice-Presidential candidates--Economic policy
Vice-Presidential candidates--Political activity
Presidential candidates--Economic policy
Presidential candidates--Political activity
Most people would prefer a root canal to a budget discussion. I've heard that some dentists use a recording of House Budget testimony to numb their root-canal patients--everything from the neck up goes dead.
But Paul Ryan is different. The GOP's Vice Presidential nominee is said to love running his fingers through fiscal things. That's why the Washington cognoscenti have declared him to be "serious," rather than just another political opportunist riding the rightwing wave of Tea Party ridiculousness.
The widely ballyhooed Ryan budget is called "honest" and "responsible" by insiders who obviously haven't run the numbers on it. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, however, has tallied it up. The analysts found that Ryan's plan, far from balancing the budget, actually increases the federal deficit by about $2.5 trillion!
So, yes, he is serious--serious as a snakebite.
Ryan's budget would provide another gold strike for the one-percenters, with millionaires-and-up averaging around $300,000 a year in tax breaks. The rest of us would get the shaft, including tax increases, privatization of Medicare, deep cuts in student aid and job training programs, and federal abandonment of food stamps and health care for the poor.
Yet, Ryan is on the Republican Presidential ticket specifically because his budget whackery has enthralled the GOP's far-right fringe. Anti-government guru Grover Norquist, for example, has gushed that Ryan would do for Mitt Romney's economic policy what Cheney did for George W. Bush's national security policy.
Wow, that's not a threat to be taken lightly!
During Romney's primary run, when he was trolling for votes in the shallows of the far-right swamp, he embraced Ryan's plutocratic plan, calling it a "bold and exciting effort" that is "very much needed. …