Published Date Written by John Frary"Paul Ryan represents Obama's most horrifying nightmare: Math." — David Burge (a.k.a "Iowahawk.")
Here's the math. The U.S. now has an annual budget of $3.8 trillion. It annual revenue is about $2.1 trillion. America's total public debt stood at $15.23 trillion in January 2009 and continues to rise at about $4.2 billion every day.
On May 3 Paul Ryan summed up the problem: "The United States faces an imminent debt crisis. The federal government is spending too much. Entitlements are out of control. Social Security is going insolvent. Medicare is sucking up an ever-increasing chunk of our tax dollars. There are too many retirees and too few workers to support them. And both political parties are responsible for the unholy mess."
I might call that an "ideological" rather than a partisan statement since it blames both parties for creating the problem. I've collected over two dozen liberal/Democratic reactions to Romney's selection of Ryan as his VP choice. None of them mentions the math. All agree that Ryan is an "ideologue" and a "radical" on the far, far right.
The Democrat Party had an immediate TV ad denouncing Paul Ryan as "the mastermind behind the extreme GOP budget plan." Obama campaign senior advisor, David Axelrod explains that "[Ryan] is a right-wing ideologue." President Obama's campaign manager, Jim Messina, who understands how important it is to "stay on message" has sent a fund-raising e-mail telling supporters that Ryan is the "author of a budget so radical the New York Times called it 'the most extreme budget plan passed by a House of Congress in modern times." Michigan's Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer tells that Romney and Ryan "share an extreme ideology."
President Obama blazed this trail in April when he told the voters that "the Republicans running Congress right now have doubled down, and proposed a budget so far to the right it makes the Contract With America look like the New Deal." He went on to call it "thinly veiled social Darwinism" and "an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country." He was talking about the budget Ryan put together.
Here's a sampling of similar reactions from the media fringe of the Democratic Party:
Donna Brazile, Bill Clinton's campaign strategist, tell us that "Ryan's selection is yet another sign that Romney is running to the far right and is the most extreme conservative candidate we have had in generations. The embrace of an ideologue like Paul Ryan may appeal to the Republican Party's Tea Party base, but it will completely alienate independent voters, especially in battleground states." Former Democratic Congressman Dave Obey reveals that "We see now with the selection of Paul Ryan that the Republican party has been taken over lock, stock and barrel by the hard right. ...
James Surowiecki, writing in the The New Yorker, tells us that "Ryan is not a pragmatist; he is an ideologue. ..." The Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne reminds us that Ryan was once a staffer at an "ideological think tank." MoveOn.org assures us that "Paul Ryan is an extremist ideologue." American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, exposes the man as "the architect of the radical Republican budget scheme."
Liberal columnist Jonathan Chait was ready to go with a column denouncing Ryan's "radical budget plan." Another liberal columnist, David Corn, writes about his proposal for "draconian government spending cuts...marching in lockstep with the tea party parade" and his "lurch to the far end of the ideological spectrum" with its "far-right economic policy."
None of these attacks on Paul Ryan include any reference to the arithmetic embodied in his budget proposals. I conclude from this — and no other conclusion seems possible — that these moderate, pragmatic, non-ideological liberals have all come to the same unspoken conclusion: that arithmetic is ideological — cold, harsh, unmerciful, draconian and lacking in compassion.
If the word "draconian" is unfamiliar you should know that it comes from the Athenian law-giver Draco, whose legal code imposed the death penalty for malefactors guilty of, among many other things, stealing heads of cabbage. This gives us an idea of what a horrible man Paul Ryan really is.