Monday, July 11, 2011

Paul Ryan-- Not Just A Self Server, But An Ignorant Self Server

...Lining his own pockets-- dining at one of the sleaziest lobbyist joints in DC (Bistro Bis) and swilling some fancypants $350 bottles of Jayer-Gilles 2004 Echezeaux Grand Cru (the most expensive wine on the restaurant's rip-off menu). He claims the two unidentified lobbyists he was drinking the $700 worth of wine with are "economists" but he refuses to give their names and he quickly paid for one of the pricey bottles when he was confronted by someone who recognized him. Says he won't do it again... But, of course, this is the same Paul Ryan who told constituents subsidies for oil companies should be ended just a few days before voting against ending them. Is he a pathological liar? His voting record, going back over a decade certainly attests to that.

Perhaps what Ryan and the two lobbyists "economists" [one has now been identified as one of the most predatory and ruthless hedge fund managers anywhere] were toasting was the gargantuan haul his reelection campaign had just taken in from special interests eager to express their thanks for his willingness to toss middle class Wisconsin working families under the bus to benefit... well, his own wealthy campaign contributors, the kinds of people who drink a couple bottles of Echezeaux Grand Cru with dinner. Mike Tate, chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party isn't one of those people. And he wasn't celebrating Ryan's latest haul either.
"With Paul Ryan having already taken more health insurance money than any politician in Wisconsin history and already in the pocket of Wall Street bankers, we now see massive fundraising totals coming for the 7-term Washington insider. But all the money in the world can't and won't redeem his immoral plan to end Medicare. When 2012 comes around, the seniors and working families of southeastern Wisconsin will pour to the polls and vote not on the size of Ryan's bank roll-but on a rotten agenda that asks seniors to give up the historic guarantee of health care so that millionaires and billionaires can cravenly share less in the burdens that keep America strong."

I'd like to think he's right but Republicans in the southern Milwaukee suburbs and especially in southern Waukesha County have been electing outright fascists and reactionary bums like Joe McCarthy, Scott Walker, John Schafer, Ron Johnson and, of course, Ryan. Replacing Paul Ryan with Democrat Rob Zerban is something we should all think about contributing to-- except those of us who don't find it appalling that Ryan continues to support massive taxpayer subsidies for some of the world’s most profitable companies-- as well as the biggest polluters-- while so many middle-class American families are hurting in this down economy.

Paul Krugman doesn't suffer Ryan gladly and early on pointed out that he has absolutely nothing of any value to offer in any debates about the economy or about fiscal policy. In fact we're coming up on the one year anniversary of Krugman letting NY Times readers know that "the Ryan plan is a fraud that makes no useful contribution to the debate over America’s fiscal future." Yesterday he got down into the fiscal weeds on a topic Ryan's been doing a lot of spouting on-- ignorant, misleading spouting, as it turns out: interest rates.
The Very Serious position has been that government borrowing will drive up rates, crowd out private investment, and impede recovery. A Keynes-Hicks analysis, by contrast, says that when you’re in a liquidity trap, even large government borrowing won’t drive up rates — and hence won’t crowd out private investment. In fact, it will promote private investment by raising capacity utilization and giving firms more reason to expand.

What we usually get in response to this seemingly decisive data are a series of excuses-- most recently, that rates were low because the Fed was buying all the bonds. Well, that program has ended, and interest rates are still low.

But wait: the crowding out types have another answer, namely, to just ignore the facts.

Which, brings us, as it so often does, right to Janesville dunce, Paul Ryan. As usual, he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about and as usual, the House Budget Committee chairman's got it all ass backwards: "Stop corny crony capitalism in the regulatory state, get spending under control to show that we’re getting our borrowing under control so we take pressure off the interest rates, reform the taxes. And our budget says, through base boarding, getting rid of loopholes in exchange for lowering rates, have a top tax rate of 25 percent so we’re more globally competitive, a tutorial system on corporations and sound money, sound monetary policy so our dollar maintains its reliable store of value. Those four foundations, real sensible regulatory system, spending cuts and controls to get our debt under control, sound money and tax reform, those are the things I think we need to do, the foundations for economic growth. There’s no excuse to do something else or there’s no substitute for it. This Keynesian borrow, spend and tax isn’t working and it won’t work." Wrong, wrong, wrong... and you can use those three words to sum up most of what Ryan has had to say about the economy and about fiscal policy since the small town p.r. hack who never had an honest job in his entire life declared himself an economic expert.

Don't forget... laughing at Ryan-- or even hating him-- isn't going to defeat him and it isn't going to elect Rob Zerban. Can you help?

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