Posted by | February 17, 2011 21:00 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Catching a leading Republican in logical inconsistencies is not terribly difficult.  As a matter of fact, they seem to come so quickly that catching all of them is the trick.  Rep. Paul Ryan managed to pack several in a statement at a Budget Committee hearing yesterday.  Jonathan Chait points out the problems.

Okay, first Ryan lambastes President Obama for raising taxes, and in the next sentence accuses him of abdicating his leadership. Now, Ryan advocates the loopy supply-side view that tax hikes will “make our fiscal picture worse,” so I suppose there’s an internal consistency of sorts to his insanity. Still, in the real world, proposing that rich, powerful people pay a little more to the government is both politically difficult and something that would reduce the deficit. Ryan manages to position himself as an advocate of fiscal boldness and a staunch opponent of raising one thin dime of taxes. Nice trick.

The best part is the last sentence, where Ryan assails Obama for ignoring the proposals put forward by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. Hey, you know who else opposes Bowles-Simpson? Paul Ryan! He was on the commission and he voted no. How can Ryan claim Obama’s lack of interest in a proposal Ryan voted against indicts Obama? Does he not remember having served on this commission?

Ryan is a media favorite these days because of his support of controversial positions like privatizing Social Security and Medicare.  My guess is that comments like these will eventually force people to realize that he is just not all that thoughtful, and then we can go back to people whose gaffes are more fun (because they are not really gaffes) like Michele Bachmann.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.