StanCollender'sCapitalGainsandGames Washington, Wall Street and Everything in Between



House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan Is A Coward

16 Apr 2012
Posted by Stan Collender

One of the most interesting aspects of the fiscal 2013 budget debate is how the GOP is extolling the virtues of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) but, while taking credit for it passing the House is only talking about his budget plan in the most general terms.

In fact, as Congress gets back to work this week after two weeks back in the district for Easter and Passover, watch closely as Republicans talk about how "courageous" Ryan is for taking the lead on reducing the deficit while it stays as far away as possible from any discussion of the specifics spending reductions and tax cuts.

The reality, however, is just the opposite: When it comes to the budget Ryan is far more of a coward than anything else.

It wasn't at all courageous for Ryan to propose tax cuts and deep spending reductions that only House Republicans would approve. That's the federal budget equivalent of throwing raw meet to piranhas and then saying that you deserve credit for feeding them what they want to eat.

The courageous move would have been to propose a budget plan that challenged the GOP majority and attracted Democratic votes, that is, that was a compromise in the midst of hyper partisanship. That would have been far more difficult both substantively and politically -- like trying to feed raw vegetables to piranhas by hand while your in the water with them -- and would indeed have qualified as daring and leadership.

Ryan also gets no budget medal because he refused to specify which tax breaks would be curtailed to pay for his tax cut plan. Here again, the opposite -- having the testicular fortitude to challenge politically popular tax breaks and the individuals and businesses that get them -- would have been the courageous thing to do.

Completely refusing to name the tax breaks may have been good politics but it was also whatever word or phrase you want to use for "the opposite of courageous." Note: All suggestions accepted and encouraged.

 

Ryan's plan is no plan

You write, correctly: "he refused to specify which tax breaks would be curtailed to pay for his tax cut plan". It should be pointed out again and again and again that the plan is not a plan if it doesn't show where the money for the tax cuts would come from. So far, any paper the "plan" is printed on would find better use for wrapping fish and vegetables.

I think, however, that it would be too much to expect from of Ryan to propose now a budget that could attract Democratic votes. We all know that we have an election in November and that no budget will be passed before that election. Ryan should have used the opportunity to show what the Republicans would do if they had unshared power, which is useful both for voters to see what the Republicans want and for the negotiations after the elections to have a baseline to start from.


Ryan is a typical Republican

Ryan is a typical Republican chickenhawk. Republicans love war, so long as it is other people's blood and treasure that gets spilled, and they will lie shamelessly about how much blood and treasure their wars will cost. Republicans also love budget cuts, so long as it is other people's lives and livelihoods that will take the hit, and they will lie shamelessly about what their cuts will cost and who is going to pay for them.


-- having the testicular

-- having the testicular fortitude to challenge politically popular tax breaks and the individuals and businesses that get them -- would have been the courageous thing to do.

I love the way your phrased this line. I thought the guy wore a thong


More transparency

Courageous is sadly the last thing I expect most politicians to be, but you're right about Ryan. I would help everyone, including him, to be a bit more forthcoming about the budget rather than keep it hazy. Refusing to be honest about such complex and important issues can have calamitous consequences as things spin out of control.




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