Sunday, August 19, 2012

At Least He's For Smothering Regulators

Annie Lowrey of The New York Times writes

Much has been written about Mr. Ryan’s intellectual influences: canonical conservative thinkers like Friedrich von Hayek, the Austrian economist, and Ayn Rand, the novelist and philosopher. Mr. Ryan’s enthusiasm for themdates at least to his days as a precocious undergraduate at Miami University in Ohio.

But since first coming to Washington in the early 1990s, Mr. Ryan has been closely tied to an intellectual world more concerned with the political agenda of low taxes, light regulations and small government than philosophical ruminations on work and freedom.

There is no denying Paul Ryan, captive of the banking and  insurance industries, is fond of light regulations.   But as the chart below, from the Tax Policy Center indicates, the budget proposed (and passed by the House) by the House Budget Committee chairman would increase income taxes of households under $30,000 while reducing them 12.5% for households with income over $1,000,000.    On average, the latter would save $300.000.

Ryan's support for "small government" is even more selective than his support for "low taxes."    He voted for the Iraq War, TARP, the Medicare prescription drug benefit, the 2005 highway bill, and (this, at least, to his credit) the auto rescue plan.    According to the Center for American Progress, "From 2001 to 2008, Congress passed legislation that increased the national deficit by a total of $4 trillion- the number grows to $6 trillion if you add in how much those policies have cost through 2011.  Ryan voted for 90 percent of these deficit increasing bills."    Or as CAP illustrates it (immediately below) graphically from the CBO:

And of course the biggest factor in running up the deficit has been the Bush-era tax cuts, consistently a favorite of Representative Ryan, as illustrated by the graph above from Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

Ryan is willing to compromise his principles for his larger, corporate-centric goals.   Nevertheless, his extremism still must be taken seriously.   As Digby, responding to the Times article, notes

But he's a politician with a radical agenda.  I think it makes good sense to take him at his word about what that agenda really is but for some reason the Villagers all want to believe that he's only posturing.  Sometimes I think the GOP cognoscenti who all love him so, believe that too.    He isn't.  He means it.

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