There is a lore about Rep. Paul Ryan that goes like this: whether you agree with him or not, he is a principled, thoughtful, fiscal wonk. So if you do disagree with him, you have to at least respect him for his deeply held convictions. He is a True Believer.
It must follow, then, that when Ryan criticizes Obama over the stimulus spending that was used to turn around the catastrophic economic collapse that occurred during the end of the George W. Bush administration, it’s because he studied Keynesian economics in college—and rejected it. It must follow that the young economics major was exposed to many economic theories and philosophies, including those of Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman, and (*snicker*) Ayn Rand. After much contemplation and fiscal navel gazing, our young hero internalized a passionate distaste for deficit spending, Keynesian stimulus, and “big government” solutions to unemployment.
Oh, sure…we saw a few cracks in the Ryan edifice this past week with the revelations that he actively sought millions in stimulus funding on behalf of his constituents. But that was a constituent services mistake that “should have been handled differently.” Because he’s a busy guy, and that’s just so not Paul Ryan.
The lore is entirely bullshit. Chris Hayes uncovers some video of Rep. Paul Ryan in 2002…when George W. Bush was asking Congress for a stimulus package:
Paul Ryan’s philosophy on stimulus spending is entirely this: If a Democratic President asks, I am vehemently against it. If a Republican President asks, I am passionately for it.
This is pretty much the same with all of the Congressional Republicans who voted in favor of unfunded wars, Bush’s deficit stimulus spending during a mild recession, not to mention record-breaking deficit spending during times of economic stability. These hypocrits, under Obama, turned around and squealed like stuck pigs and writhed in fiscal agony at the thought of deficit spending to avert economic calamity.
Paul Ryan is a fraud. He’s a hypocrite. He is an ordinary, lying Republican politician. He is a political opportunist.
His “principles” amount to gaining power for his political party—even if it means harming America.