We know Paul Ryan has a little trouble keeping his facts straight (that business about running a marathon in under three hours). No one’s perfect and the Wisconsin representative no doubt has a lot on his mind as the running mate of Mitt Romney. But shouldn’t we be a little concerned when someone who gets his numbers wrong has been dubbed an intellectual — the GOP’s “intellectual center” according to Romney himself — and lauded for being both a metalhead and an egghead who “understands the federal budget better than anyone in Washington”?
Five reasons Ryan and fellow newly-appointed GOP intellectual Ted Cruz, a Republican candidate for the Senate in Texas, are not so much idea-men as ideologues.
1. Ryan’s Proposals to Slash the Federal Deficit are Over-Simplistic and Unrealistic
Much has been made of Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” budget proposal for slashing Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. But Ryan would also cut the budgets for everything else – defense, infrastructure, education, food safety, energy research, national parks, civil service, the FBI — to less than 3.75 per cent of GDP by 2050.
As Ezra Klein writes on the Washington Post, “right now, that category of spending is 12.5 percent of GDP.”
Indeed, Romney has pledged that he would keep defense spending 4 percent above GDP; actually, Ryan’s plan increases defense spending in the short term.
Cuts that are “beyond draconian” would have to be made to government services to make the numbers in Ryan’s plans work. You have to wonder if he’s grasped the real implications of his numbers, not to mention the contradictions in his own plan.
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