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Paul Ryan and the Dangers of Bipartisan Perception.

luvguins 2012/08/19 21:49:23

By Adam Bates:
Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his potential Vice President has predictably set off a storm of commentary from Republicans and Democrats alike. Notably, in these immensely divisive (so we’re told) times, the bulk of the commentary from both sides of the aisle seems to be operating on the same basic reality: that Paul Ryan is a paragon of fiscal conservatism. Obviously both sides have different opinions about the implications of this reality, but the underlying premise is the same.

The only problem is that it’s not true. Even assuming that a Romney Administration would adopt Rep. Ryan’s fiscal philosophy in its entirety, the most cursory scrutiny of that philosophy beyond all the shrill hyperbole and alarmism shows that Paul Ryan is just another big government authoritarian, even on fiscal issues. Rep. Ryan is intelligent, articulate, and does a wonderful job wrapping himself in the mantle of a fiscal conservative, but there simply isn’t any evidence to back up the perception.

Ryan supported TARP. He supported the auto bailouts. He supported President Bush’s Medicare expansion. He supported the extension of unemployment benefits. He supported massive expenditures for the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Paul Ryan has supported trillions of dollars in Keynesian stimulus spending during his tenure in Washington. The Ryan Budget, his claim to fame, takes thirty years to achieve a balanced budget and would increase the size of government only slightly less than Barack Obama’s monstrous proposed budget over the same period.

Have we really moved so far toward the fallacies of Lord Keynes over the last twelve years that Bill Clinton looks, by today’s standards, like some kind of Frankenstein’s monster pieced together from Ayn Rand and F.A. Hayek? Perhaps, but there’s another force at work here as well: the manipulative influence of bipartisan perception.

With roughly two out of every three Americans getting their news from their televisions, the power of the party system to spin its own narrative is immense (and the reward great).

Both parties have a vested interest in Paul Ryan representing small government fiscal conservatism. The Democrats need Paul Ryan to be a fiscal conservative so they can condemn him as a draconian slasher who wants to gut essential government programs and drag our society back into the 19th Century. The Republicans need to portray him as a crusader against the bloated federal budget and the perfect “bridge” pick to help Gov. Romney attract those fickle budget hawks and Libertarians to his cause. The fact that Paul Ryan actually wants to drastically increase the size and scope of the federal government isn’t useful to either major party, and so it’s discarded.

The fictional narrative of “Paul Ryan the budget hawk” is not unique by any means. Both parties are similarly interested in portraying Barack Obama as a foreign policy peacenik. That’s what Republicans need so they can accuse Obama of being “soft” on terror and showing weakness to our enemies (notwithstanding the killing of Osama bin Laden, the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, and increasingly harsh sanctions on Iran), and so they can pretend that Mitt Romney’s foreign policy prescriptions are different in any meaningful way.

That narrative also allows Democrats to tell themselves that they support Barack Obama, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and not Barack Obama, unilateral warmonger and assassin. The fact that President Obama has implemented the Bush Doctrine far more zealously and effectively than the staunchest neocon would have believed doesn’t fit into the narrative that both sides want to sell the American people, and so the truth finds no place in the discourse.

It’s plainly true that there is a sizable contingent of the American electorate that is desperate for change. Some are desperate for economic change: an end to the crony capitalism, corporate welfare, runaway deficits, and massive corruption inherent in economic authoritarianism. Some are desperate for the restoration of civil liberties: an end to over-incarceration, draconian immigration policies, warrantless surveillance, indefinite detention, and executive assassination. Some are desperate for a new foreign policy: an end to occupations, undeclared wars, drone terrorism, bloated defense budgets, and the bankrolling of tyranny.

The Republican and Democratic Parties have a clear incentive to capitalize on that desperation, and they know it. Thus, desperate though we may be, it is essential that we not allow ourselves to be seduced by the narratives the parties construct for us rather than the truth. Paul Ryan represents NONE of the reforms for which so many are so desperate, no matter what your party and your television tell you.

He has the talk, but not the walk, I say....luvguins.

Read More: http://www.cagle.com/2012/08/paul-ryan-and-the-dan...

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Top Opinion

  • Kaleokualoha 2012/08/19 22:12:27
    Kaleokualoha
    +13
    It may be a coinkidink, but Romney has recently lost support:

    [QUOTE]
    Sunday, August 19, 2012

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows President Obama attracting support from 45% of voters nationwide, while Mitt Romney earns the vote from 43%. Five percent (5%) prefer some other candidate, and seven percent (7%) are undecided.

    This is the lowest level of support for Romney since March. So far, in the month of August, support for both Romney and Obama has stayed in a very narrow range between 43% and 47%. See daily tracking history.
    [END QUOTE http://www.rasmussenreports.c... ]

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  • DefendnProtect 2012/08/28 16:13:24
    DefendnProtect
    +1
    Paul Ryan - NOT a fiscal conservative.

    Just another big Washington spender for debt profiteering banksters and their corporate cronies in the MIC and elsewhere. Much the same as Obama.

    'Ryan supported TARP. He supported the auto bailouts. He supported President Bush’s Medicare expansion. He supported the extension of unemployment benefits. He supported massive expenditures for the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Paul Ryan has supported trillions of dollars in Keynesian stimulus spending during his tenure in Washington. The Ryan Budget, his claim to fame, takes thirty years to achieve a balanced budget and would increase the size of government only slightly less than Barack Obama’s monstrous proposed budget over the same period.'
  • Philo® ~PWCM~JLA ✩ 2012/08/21 17:18:56
  • Gracie - Proud Conservative 2012/08/21 02:05:03
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    +1
    He's got it all! Where's a Democrat budget or a plan? Is it Obama with his zero votes or Reid with his no budget at all?

    I say you got no plan...gracie
  • MsTlynne #NoJusticeNoPeace 2012/08/21 01:54:19 (edited)
    MsTlynne #NoJusticeNoPeace
    +5
    Are they deliberately trying to lose? Romney and Ryan are a joke!
  • William 2012/08/20 19:35:23
    William
    +4
    Brilliant article! Ryan, like Romney is a fraud. The best thing that could happen to the GOP is for this duo to go down in flames.
  • C. C. Rider 2012/08/20 17:18:25
    C. C. Rider
    +4
    Ryan and the Tax evader are two of the biggest jokes since McSame and Failin Pailin...but with more lies.

    Romney Ruin
  • gumybare69 2012/08/20 17:06:34
    gumybare69
    +2
    Saying Ryan is Bipartisan is like saying killer whales eat people... sure it happens once in a while but they spit them out immediately once they figure out what they just did.
  • luvguins gumybare69 2012/08/20 17:14:02
    luvguins
    +3
    Ryan lied in NH today about how bipartisan he was. I had to laugh.
  • Defendn... luvguins 2012/08/28 16:16:33
    DefendnProtect
    There's not much difference between Obama, Romney and Ryan if it comes to debt spending.

    from your article:

    'Ryan supported TARP. He supported the auto bailouts. He supported President Bush’s Medicare expansion. He supported the extension of unemployment benefits. He supported massive expenditures for the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Paul Ryan has supported trillions of dollars in Keynesian stimulus spending during his tenure in Washington. The Ryan Budget, his claim to fame, takes thirty years to achieve a balanced budget and would increase the size of government only slightly less than Barack Obama’s monstrous proposed budget over the same period.'
  • Sissy 2012/08/20 13:14:50 (edited)
    Sissy
    +5
    Paul Ryan does not have a bi-partisan bone in his body. He is being caught in his utter lies and deceit out of the gate of his appointment for VP. A record that will be told over and over again in the coming weeks. He has only voted for other than the 1%, when he had no choice. Like the auto bailout, because part of his district was hard hit when a GM plant closed. Since then, he has said "no" to every initiative to assist those disenfranchised workers.
  • BlueStone Sissy 2012/08/20 13:42:45 (edited)
    BlueStone
    +3
    You might enjoy Paul Krugman's take on Ryan in this mornings New York Times. I suspect that you will be in complete agreement. I certainly am.

    If you look at Krugman's Monday column, also look at the front page article "Cautious Moves On Foreclosures Haunting Obama." Obama's no germ as president, but Romney and Ryan could be so much worse. Obama should have had the guts to appoint Krugman to head the Federal Reserve or as Treasury Secretary. Maybe he will, if he gets a second chance.
  • Sissy BlueStone 2012/08/21 10:30:00
    Sissy
    +3
    I like Krugman very much and I'm going to hunt up those articles. Thanks for the referrals!

    You know, the only criticism I have of this President is that he tried too hard for too long to try and reconcile the Congress. The republicans never for one minute were going to give him any support, offer any compromise or negotiate any policies. It was "my way or the highway" from Day One when they decided they were going to make him fail. I saw within a very short time, without ever knowing that the only priority the Right ever had was to make him fail and to hell with the rest of the country. The President should have given them one month to come to the table and barring that, jammed down their throats the agenda he had for getting us out of the mess the Right mostly got us into.
  • Sissy Sissy 2012/08/21 10:36:46
    Sissy
    +3
    P.S. I just got back from that article you recommended and it certainly puts Ryan's plan into perspective, doesn't it?
  • BlueStone Sissy 2012/08/21 13:56:27
    BlueStone
    +2
    Krugman's column is his first since his summer holiday. He generally has a column every Monday and Friday. In my opinion he is the best.

    The other article suggests another criticism of this President. In 2008 Congress created a 700 billion dollar mortgage bailout. This President left more than 300 billion dollars of it unspent. Why would he do that after getting tons of letters from people from all over the country who were losing their homes and many of them raising their kids in cars or vans? This president didn't want to be criticised for potentially helping any families that were undeserving. He and his administration set the standards so high that they were able to avoid this sort of criticism. His administration helped prevent economic collapse by helping bankers in extraordinary ways, but when it came to helping real people he acted like a Republican. For sure, he is better than Romney and Ryan, but he is no FDR.
  • beavith1 BlueStone 2012/08/22 05:27:09
    beavith1
    LOL!

    Obama (and Bush for a bit) have spent $7Trillion in 'stimulatory' deficit spending since the bust. and THIS economy is the result?

    what the hell! why not hrow another $300 BILLION at it?

    Krugman has tried to make the RIDICULOUS argument that we didn;t spend enough on stimulus. great for him, but an absolutely unprovable assertion. if the ecoomy picks up, well, he was right. if it doesn't pick up, well, we need to spend more.
  • Sissy BlueStone 2012/08/24 12:55:05
    Sissy
    +2
    You know, I hadn't heard of that before (holding back unspent billions in bailout money for mortgages.) I do know that the banks failed to live up to their responsibilities about turning many of those funds back into businesses and homes, sitting on a lot of it themselves, but I hadn't heard that the Administration itself was responsible.

    As a side thought Blue, therein lies the reasons perhaps for the Right's contempt for the need for "Czars"....put in place to oversee policies that were put in place to make sure that they were carried out. I'm not saying its a fact, but I know it was one of the reasons.
  • beavith1 BlueStone 2012/08/22 05:23:42
    beavith1
    he won't. Krugman is a loon. he's never been invited to work in an y democrat administration.

    he's a partisan loudmouth. very much like a democrat Limbaugh...
  • findthelight2000 2012/08/20 04:54:38
    findthelight2000
    +4
    What can one expect from the hypocrite party?
  • luvguins findthe... 2012/08/20 05:05:58
    luvguins
    +5
    It is a good thing that 50% watch no cable news like the Murdoch Fox propaganda channel.
  • findthe... luvguins 2012/08/20 05:36:48
    findthelight2000
    +2
    Unfortunately, that's not all there is in Rupert Murdock's International Media Crime Circuit.
  • Sissy luvguins 2012/08/20 12:57:16
    Sissy
    +2
    No, but I fear they have a lot of other right wing fruitcakes to listen to....Rushbo, Hannity, Beck, O'Reilly, Malkin, Coulter, Ingrams, Savage, M. Reagan, et al, ALL poison the airwaves with their distortions, lack of facts, and outright lies.
  • Jrogers Sissy 2012/08/21 02:14:04
    Jrogers
    +1
    I hate that savage guy - when I hear his voice it reminds me of an old time horse race caller - he gets down right nasty with some of his callers - I can only listen so long and then I have to change the channel - I do listen in at times just to hear what the talking points are for the day - got a keep your ears open - they are a sneaky lying lot
  • bob h. Jrogers 2012/08/26 21:30:58
    bob h.
    +1
    Savage??? Is that Allen Weiner from the Bronx? What a fraud.
  • Jrogers bob h. 2012/09/04 23:49:31
    Jrogers
    +1
    Michael Savge on the radio - sounds like he should be announcing a horse race when he talks. Very anoying - and yes that weiner guy was a big liar! What would make him think that a woman would find a text of his "weeny" a thing to cherish....what a loser
  • Todd The Libertarian 2012/08/20 00:35:13
    Todd The Libertarian
    +6
    Damn right Ryan is a big govt spender.And fox news paints him as a budget hawk.Look at the record.Tarp,bridge to no where,tax dollars for wind.Ayn Rand wanted to ban religion.
  • Sissy Todd Th... 2012/08/20 12:59:20
    Sissy
    +2
    And you will never, ever see any of Ryan's congressional records that prove him to be a right wing hypocrit with enormous tea party leanings on Fox network. However, that's not to say the electorate won't be informed of the history of this pinhead.
  • Todd Th... Sissy 2012/08/20 15:00:29
    Todd The Libertarian
    Fox Nbc n CBS are part of the socialist agenda.The put out what will get socialist elected.Like this yrs Robama ticket.
  • Jrogers Sissy 2012/08/21 02:15:18
    Jrogers
    +1
    we need to sick Soledad on him.....
  • clasact 2012/08/19 23:54:29
    clasact
    +2
    30 years to balance the budget and only cost slightly less then Obamas so where the big difference he is always talking about,just more BS
  • EdVenture clasact 2012/08/20 01:23:13
    EdVenture
    +3
    The diff is the 5Trill he wants to give to the 1%ers, the deficit is not up for discussion. Oh, and he wants to eliminate the tax breaks for the mid class homeowners.
  • clasact EdVenture 2012/08/20 02:55:45
    clasact
    +3
    as I figured givr more to those who dont need it and less to those trying to make it
  • EdVenture clasact 2012/08/20 03:18:38
    EdVenture
    +2
    You got it, and if u ask they'll skirt the answer.
  • clasact EdVenture 2012/08/20 15:48:17
    clasact
    +1
    I see that .I have been watching all the news to see if they could come out with a clear answer to the peoples concerns and they do very well at dodgeing it
  • Adam 2012/08/19 22:47:16
    Adam
    +1
    I would say the Ryan budget is in the right direction, and he is 100% pro-life on the issues.
  • luvguins Adam 2012/08/19 23:07:59
    luvguins
    +9
    Doesn't balance for 30 years and costs as much as the Democrats.
  • Adam luvguins 2012/08/20 00:52:50
    Adam
    +1
    The Democrats aren't making any attempt to balance the budget. They'd rather spend spend spend. The only ones trying to balance the budget are a less than half portion of the Republican Party.
  • luvguins Adam 2012/08/20 01:02:32
    luvguins
    +10
    Been less government spending under this president.
  • Adam luvguins 2012/08/20 01:27:32
    Adam
    +1
    BS, This is the highest government spending president in history.
  • luvguins Adam 2012/08/20 03:23:09
  • Lady Wh... luvguins 2012/08/20 12:33:37
    Lady Whitewolf
    +4
    He ain't gonna believe ya anyways, Hun.

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