Posts tagged Paul Ryan
As a little-heralded feature of the recent fiscal battles between the White House and Congress, America has largely achieved the goal of the “grand bargain” pursued during the summer of 2011.
If you recall, back then President Obama and Speaker Boehner at one time came close to an agreement that would reduce the federal deficit by roughly $4 trillion over the next decade. A deficit reduction of this size was seen as the Holy Grail of budget talks, a reduction that was sufficient (even if barely) to stabilize the nation’s economic future. Talks fell apart then because of Republican refusal to accept revenue increases. But since then, slowly, haltingly, painfully, that magic $4 trillion goal has come very close to reality.
We’re almost there. Too bad so few people know it. Even worse, it’s too bad that political strategists choose to pretend otherwise. Perhaps there’s something evil in the (intentional?) avoidance of the realities. (more…)
Editor’s note: PWS contributed this followup article to his earlier one. We love receiving and publishing your submissions, as it gives an opportunity for a broader spectrum of views to be explored in depth. Please, keep them coming.
Reed Davis posted an article on Halloween with juicy links to the “six studies” quoted by Paul Ryan as supporting the Romney tax plan, and even juicier links to rebuttals and counter-rebuttals. I had already written up a discussion of most of these papers, so at the risk of some duplication, I’m going to post it here.
As much as possible, I’m working with projections that the Tax Policy Center would have used, rather than Harvey Rosen’s 2009 SOI. I prefer these because 2009 is already three years old, and was an anomalous year because of the economic slowdown. Where possible I have links to underlying documents. (more…)
Tonight is the only Vice Presidential debate of the 2012 election, moderated by Martha Raddatz of ABC News. The venue is Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.
The stakes for tonight’s contest were raised by President Obama’s performance in the first Presidential debate, which most pundits regarded as lackluster. Accordingly, the pre-debate posturing has begun.
The Daily Caller and Tucker Carlson have claimed that Raddatz has a conflict of interest because Barack Obama attended her 1991 wedding to Julius Genachowski. At the time, both Obama and Genachowski were Harvard law students. Raddatz and Genachowski were divorced in 1997, and Raddatz is now married to NPR correspondent Tom Gjelton.
The Democrats will try to cut off the Republican team’s momentum that they gained from the Denver Presidential debate. Biden’s extensive foreign policy experience and four years of intensive, on-the-job training as a valued advisor and assistant to Obama are his strengths.
On the Republican side, Ryan will try to close the deal. He has been in Congress 14 years, and has worked in public service his entire adult life (with the exception of a stint at the wheel of a Wienermobile). He now chairs the House Budget Committee and is the principal author of the Republican plan to cut the deficit, primarily by repealing Obamacare and replacing the current Medicare funding system with a voucher-based funding model. (more…)
This is Ballot Watch. Today is the fourth in the series of articles on the upcoming ballot initiatives and some key local elections. Some of these will cover topics in common with multiple states, while others will look at a state level.
Pundits used to say that President Obama would not (or, sometimes they claimed, “could not”) run for reëlection on his record as President. They specifically claimed he could not (or would not) run on his greatest singular legislative accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. Of course, most of these pundits also claimed this election would be a “referendum” on the President’s first term, not so much a “choice election” where the public was presented with an option between visions for the future.
Confounding these particular pundits, President Obama is, in fact, running on his record, and is pressing the case for Obamacare. Even Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan has presented the upcoming election as a “choice” (“You are entitled to the clearest possible choice, because the time for choosing is drawing near…”). The Democratic defense on these issues is having an effect. Just this last Sunday, Mitt Romney had to admit there were many things he “liked” in health care reform, after having repeatedly promised to “repeal” it, on “day one.”
A number of states, apparently in an effort to affect the vote this November, have ballot initiatives dealing with Obamacare. What will be the effect of these measures on the upcoming election? What practical effect might they have on the future of health care reform in America? (more…)
Those who know me, know that I like to run half-marathons. The distance (13.1 miles) is not too great, and as a friend said this morning, “I can run a half-marathon and still mow the lawn that afternoon.” I’ve tried the marathon distance, running somewhere between 15 and 20 of them (I’ve lost count).
When you’re a runner, scrupulous honesty is prized. That’s why a lot of us perked up our ears when Representative Paul Ryan (R-Janesville, WI) claimed to have run a marathon in under three hours (called a “sub-3″ by runners). My PR (personal record) is 4:12, a number that’s burned in my memory. Every time I run I have that number in mind. An “average” marathon time nationwide, across all age groups, is about 4:15. Former Senator John Edwards posted a blazing 3:30 (the better to run away from compromising situations, apparently); former President George W. Bush owns a much-more-than-respectable 3:44:52; former Governor Sarah Palin has a damn good 3:59:36; and former Vice President Al Gore has a rather pitiful 4:54:25. As About.com snarkily suggests, “If you’re hoping to beat a politician’s time and think Bush and Palin’s marks are a little out of your league, Al Gore’s time is a lot more achievable.”
On the Hugh Hewitt [HH] radio show, Ryan [PR] makes a smooth claim that he was a fantastic runner as a young man. From the transcript:
PR: No, I was student government and athletics, honor society, you know, that kind of thing. I was kind of a combination. I was class president my junior year, I was the school board rep my senior year. I lettered in varsity, you know, my first year in high school, mostly soccer and track. I was a distance runner and a soccer player. So kind of well-rounded. I can’t, I can play a cowbell. That’s about it for instruments.
HH: Are you still running?
PR: Yeah, I hurt a disc in my back, so I don’t run marathons anymore. I just run ten miles or yes [ed.: he said ‘less’].
HH: But you did run marathons at some point?
PR: Yeah, but I can’t do it anymore, because my back is just not that great.
HH: I’ve just gotta ask, what’s your personal best?
PR: Under three, high twos. I had a two hour and fifty-something.
HH: Holy smokes. All right, now you go down to Miami University…
PR: I was fast when I was younger, yeah.
I’ve been intrigued by what seems to me to be an evolution in the way we choose our elected officials. From my understanding of history, the purpose of a representative form of government is to have the people collectively choose a subset whom they trust to make decisions that would reflect, as closely as possible, the desires that they would have, were they to be informed of the relevant information. That is, they are supposed to choose someone in whose judgment they trust.
When an elected official uses judgment, it’s not unreasonable to expect a shift in policy as new information becomes available or the fundamentals change. In fact, not only is it not unreasonable, it should be expected.
But increasingly our government officials are being pilloried for using judgment. (more…)