Jonathan Chait hits Paul Ryan out of the Park*

It’s easy as ABC

Hilariously, the result of Ryan’s Dave-like search through the budget — and the only example of a putative budget savings mentioned anywhere in the piece — is his claim to have discovered a savings in the student loan program. In fact, this example is exactly the opposite of what Ryan (and the story) proclaim.

[skipped part about how the old program gave billions a year to banks for no discernable reason]

Ryan is a fervent ally of the college lending industry. In 2007, he was one of only 71 Republicans to vote against the College Student Relief Act, which would have cut the interest rate on many student loans, including the FFEL program, in half. Inside Higher Ed notedthat the bill would cut “deeply and directly into lenders’ profits.” The bill passed the House 356-71, but stalled in the Senate.

So, that’s the one idea this fresh-faced reformer comes up with the balance the budget: shovel billions of dollars in extra subsidies to an inefficient and wildly corrupt industry whose water he has faithfully carried. And this isn’t an exception –Ryan’s record is one of wild fiscal profligacy. I realize he’s cute and energetic and exudes an aw-shucks Midwestern earnestness, but the reality bears absolutely no relation to the image.

Ouch. Given the rules of the poliitical game that’s got to leave no mark.

* This is a metaphor and has nothing to do with assaulting people with baseball bats.