In the wake of its failure in Europe, Republicans must sense that being cheerleaders for austerity isn't a big winner in America. So what does Paul Ryan (R-WI) do, since his budget slashes tax rates on the wealthy and services for working people? He just pretends it doesn't.
GREGORY: This question of austerity in Europe. They had failing economies, nearly depressed economies. The answer throughout the region was to slash their budgets. Has it failed?
RYAN: Well, no David. I would say, they've also raised taxes, they have...This is a cautionary tale of what happens when politicians who make a lot of empty promises end up running out of the ability to borrow money at cheap rates and now they're broken promises. It's a cautionary tale of what will happen to us if we stay on the path we're on. What we're saying is let's get on growth and prevent austerity. The whole premise of our budget is to preempt austerity by getting our borrowing under control, having tax reform for economic growth, and preventing Medicare and Social Security and Medicaid from going bankrupt. That preempts austerity, the President, his budget...puts us on a path toward European austerity.
So now President Obama wants austerity? Seriously? I thought he was the biggest taxer and spender EVAH?
Of course, none of this makes any sense at all. Ryan's budget cuts spending by $5.3T over the next 10 years, including basically ending Medicare -- while giving huge tax cuts to rich people. That's the definition of austerity.
Oh, and if Ryan's so worried about "getting our borrowing under control" -- why does his budget make the debt worse?
The fastest-growing federal program in Ryan’s new budget is interest on the debt, which nearly triples from $234 billion next year to $614 billion in 2022. He doesn’t even pretend to balance the budget until 2040, and then only under utterly dubious assumptions.
By now, everyone knows Ryan's a fraud. But this latest bait-and-switch -- accusing the Democrats of being the ones who want austerity -- is pretty jaw-dropping.