Paul Ryan, Snake-Oil Salesman


Congressman Paul Ryan gave the Republican response to the President's weekly address this weekend and I don't have much to add that our own Nicole Belle didn't already mention at C&L in her post on his Sunday show appearance on Meet the Press, but the Republican Party apparently wants us to take his budget proposal seriously enough that he was chosen to be their voice to respond to the President this week.

So here we go with the same old "up is down, tax cuts create jobs, let's destroy our social safety nets in order to save them and let's send the have-mores some more money because god knows they all aren't doing well enough already" business. Oh yeah -- and the country is supposedly broke, unless you look at the hordes of cash the upper 1 percent are holding onto and not being taxed on. Ryan wants us all to be scared to death about this "crushing debt" we're facing, but it's funny he didn't seem to have those same concerns when Bush was breaking the bank.

Transcript via the LA Times:

Hello. I’m Congressman Paul Ryan from Janesville, Wisconsin – and Chairman here at the House Budget Committee. It’s no secret our government has a spending problem –- and the problem has gotten so bad it’s threatening our future and hurting our nation’s ability to create jobs.

Republicans made a pledge that we would work to change this if given the opportunity to lead. Since January, we’ve been urging President Obama to listen to the people and work with us to reduce spending. The president started this year by proposing a freeze that would make no cuts at all.

But now bipartisan legislation is in sight to enact the largest spending cut in American history.

This is good news for job creators in America –- but much more has to be done to put....
... our nation on a true path to prosperity. Earlier this week, the House Budget Committee advanced a new budget for the United States government that will move the debate in Washington from billions in spending cuts to trillions.

We did so because it is unconscionable to leave the next generation with a crushing burden of debt and a nation in decline. Washington’s obsession with the next election has come at the expense of the next generation.

We are calling this budget The Path to Prosperity, because it is more than just a budget.

It is a commitment to honor the American legacy of leaving the next generation a more prosperous nation than the one we inherited.

More prosperous -- but only for that 1 percent.

By removing the anchor of debt that weighs down our economy and advancing pro-growth tax reforms, this budget is a jobs budget. It sends signals to investors, entrepreneurs, and job creators that a brighter future is still possible – a future in which America is still an engine of growth that leads the world.

Right now, that legacy is in grave danger. This nation is going deeper and deeper into debt -– and the spending choices we make today will determine the kind of lives our children enjoy tomorrow.

The facts are these: Washington has not been telling you the truth about the magnitude of the problems we are facing.

Unless we act soon, government spending on health and retirement programs will crowd out spending on everything else, including national security. It will literally take every cent of every federal tax dollar just to pay for these programs.

The non-partisan experts have been clear about what this means:

Each day that Congress fails to act, the government takes one step closer to breaking its promises to current retirees.

Each year that policymakers kick this can down the road means trillions of dollars in empty promises are being made to future generations.

If we stay on the current path, we are heading toward a debt-fueled economic crisis –- meaning massive tax increases, sudden cuts to vital programs, runaway inflation, or all three.

Make no mistake: The prospect of a crisis is casting a shadow on economic activity in this country. Uncertainty is keeping job creators from hiring as fast as they should be. Businesses know that all this borrowing and spending today means higher taxes and lower incomes for their customers down the road.

Economists agree: Advancing a credible solution to this crisis will begin to restore confidence and create better conditions for job-creation immediately.

The President’s recent budget proposal is worse than just a commitment to this status quo. It would actually accelerate this country’s descent into a debt crisis. It would double the debt held by the public by the end of his term, and triple it in a decade from now.

It would raise taxes by $1.5 trillion, even though the problem is that Washington spends too much, not that Americans are taxed too little.

It would permanently enlarge the size of government by sending government spending as a share of the economy skyrocketing to levels that a healthy economy simply cannot sustain. And it offers no real reforms to save government health and retirement programs, and no leadership.

Our budget is very different: Instead of locking in the spending spree of the last two years, our budget cuts $6.2 trillion in spending from the President’s budget over the next ten years.

This keeps government spending as a share of the economy consistent with the historical average of 20 percent, so that individuals and the economy can be free.

Instead of letting deficits spiral out of control, our budget keeps borrowing in check and puts us on the path to balance.

Instead of adding $13 trillion to the debt over the next decade and trillions more in the years to come, this Path to Prosperity lifts this crushing burden of debt that is threatening our economy and our children’s future.

It is not too late to fix America’s problems. It is not too late to get our country back on track so our kids can also realize the American Dream.

We can – and we must – preserve this nation’s exceptional promise, because that is exactly what previous generations of Americans worked so hard to do for us.

It is time for officials in Washington to stop acting like politicians, and to start acting like leaders. We have a legacy to fulfill. It is time for all of us to get to work, put an end to the empty promises and advance a plan to prosperity.

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