Politics: 25 January 2011

Paul Ryan: Liar or Fucking Idiot?

I watched the State of the Union Speech and even Paul Ryan’s response. They were both pretty pathetic. Obama didn’t say anything that was really offensive, but it left me wondering: how can we invest in the future if we can’t invest at all because we have to cut the budget deficit. The speech seemed like it was designed to make everyone a little happy and no one really happy. Of course, you can’t help but feel a little bit like Obama was talking out of both sides of his mouth. I wouldn’t say that it was downright lying; for that, you had to wait for Paul Ryan’s response.

Everyone in the so-called liberal-media claims that Ryan is a smart, knowledgeable, and serious, guy. He does seem to be fairly smart—not as smart as I am (even in my really stupid middle-age when I really have to concentrate to solve differential equations in my head), but still pretty smart. I can’t say about how knowledgeable he is, but I know he has a whole staff to research things for him, so we should count him as knowledgeable during prepared speeches. And serious? Well, at least he’s serious about making himself rich by further enriching his rich donors. He doesn’t seem too serious about that whole idea of equal opportunity, unless it is the opportunity to be rich and pay ridiculously low taxes. So I guess we can say that Ryan is smart, knowledgeable, and serious (about some evil things at least).

Given this, we must assume that Paul Ryan is a liar. Paul Krugman has already called him to task on equating us to “Greece, Ireland, the United Kingdom and other nations in Europe.” But it is much more than that. Ryan is clearly smart enough to understand that we have high unemployment because demand is low, not because there are hundreds of thousands of employers out there just itching to hire new workers if only they were sure what their future regulations would be or that their taxes would be low.[1] Ryan cannot possibly believe these thoroughly debunked notions are true. (See Mike Konczal’s amazing and insightful article, Last Redoubt of Structural Unemployment: Policy Uncertainty.) But just in case—hey, Paul Ryan: Employers are not hiring because they already have enough workers to make the stuff they are selling; they don’t want to make excess stuff because then they’ll just have to pay to have it stored. The issue is demand not supply. If he doesn’t accept this, he is either a fucking idiot, or a liar. I choose to think the best of him and call him a liar. But if he wants “Fucking Idiot” as a moniker, I can live with that.

More on Ryan

TimesDaily’s beternU writes in Paul Ryan—friend of the rich:

Paul Ryan—the darling of the right wing budget hawks, has a “roadmap for reforming the tax system. “The Ryan Roadmap raises taxes on Americans making between $20,000 and $200,000 while slashing taxes in half for the wealthiest Americans.”

Sound like an exaggeration? It’s not.

[1] Workers’ pay is a business expense and thus is not taxed.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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