Ryan’s Hope ?
Ross Douthat and Stand Collender wonder why Paul Ryan is acting like a fan of Ayn Rand.
Repeatedly Harwood presses him on whether the party needs to change to address the concerns of the blue-collar Republicans who are voting for Trump. And every time, as The Week’s James Pethokoukis pointed out afterward, Ryan simply returns to a 1980s-era message: cut spending, cut taxes, open markets, and all will be well.
He neglects to add that the sun rises in the East. Ryan is an absolutely rigid small government supply sider ideologue. He has never managed to hide this (and rarely tried).
But Douthat is sure that he is a reformicon in his heart and just froze when asked because Trump’s rise has caused him to panic (I am not exaggerating ” the tendency is to freeze, like mice under a hawk’s shadow, and hope that stillness alone can save you from the talons.
For an unfortunate case study, in this year of Donald Trump’s rebellion against the Republican Party as we’ve known it, look no further than the speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan.”)
I complain after the jump.
Douthat claims that this is true in spite of the alleged facts that
[Ryan] is an intelligent, principled, ambitious, and effective political operator, with a clear vision for the party that he helps to lead.
That vision is close to the worldview of his late mentor, the Republican congressman Jack Kemp.
I note that Jake Kemp was also Bruce Bartlett’s mentor. By Douthat’s logic Ryan=Kemp and Bartlett=Kemp so Ryan=Bartlett. That would be the Bartlett who just tweeted “Paul Ryan is creating a budget crisis this year for the purpose of making himself the wanker presidential nominee.”
Douthat further argues that “[Ryan] spent the time between his months on the Romney ticket and his ascent to the speakership in conversations with antipoverty activists, on a Kempian quest for a new, less polarizing welfare reform.”
In fact, Ryan’s budgets leave almost no money for non defense discretionary spending. The welfare reform necessary to free money for his huge tax cuts for the rich (and refusal to cut Social Security or Medicare for 10 years) would make Newt Gingrich look like Bernie Sanders. Douthat’s position is that public relations gestures count for more than actual policy proposals.
Douthat also wrote that Ryan is “principled”. those principles are consistent with extraordinary dishonesty even for a politician. What he means is that Ryan is a passionate ideologue and devoted to supply sider principles. Then he is surprised that Ryan has no time for reformicons like Douthat and prefers Trump to Clinton.
The Bartlett tweet which I mentioned linked to a Stan Collender article which argued that Ryan must be aiming for the 2016 presidential nomination. The evidence is that he refuses to work with Democrats to bypass the Freedom caucus fanatics. Collander asserts that this must be because he wants to appeal to delegates at the Cleveland convention. The fact that Ryan is a right wing fanatic himself is not considered relevant.
“The welfare reform necessary to free money for his huge tax cuts for the rich … ”
I wish that progressives would banish the word “reform” from their vocabulary. “Reform” is a twisted conservative framing just like “death tax.”
Instead of “welfare reform” or “entitlement reform” say what they really mean — welfare cuts and entitlement cuts. Enough with the deceptive euphemisms.
This is a polite society. We will not tolerate any Trump-type of comments fostering anger. Unfortunately you are correct, the Repubs wish to screw the little guy. Paul is just trying to do it in a polite way so you buy into it.
“In fact, Ryan’s budgets leave almost no money for non defense discretionary spending. The welfare reform necessary to free money for his huge tax cuts for the rich (and refusal to cut Social Security or Medicare for 10 years) would make Newt Gingrich look like Bernie Sanders. Douthat’s position is that public relations gestures count for more than actual policy proposals.” R.W.
I’m confused by the parenthetic in that statement. Are you suggesting that Social Security cuts and cuts in support of Medicare would be justified? I’m asking about the two programs as independent from one another. Why on Earth would Social Security cuts be appropriate in the context of welfare and tax cuts for the rich? Each is a separate program. One, Social Security, is self funded. The others are independent of one another and one could as readily throw into the mix a serious reduction to military spending, which for the most part benefits the wealthiest among us.
@Bill I wrote “welfare reform” because I was quoting Douthat. I should have used quotation marks.
@Jack. Sorry for the confusing parenthetical. I do not think social security or Medicare should be cut at all. I was just noting the fact about Ryan’s plan. It is necessary to consider that fact to prove that his “welfare reform” would make Gingrich’s “welfare reform” seem humane.
“blue collar” Republicans like strong executives. The last true one was Nixon and the mess it made led toward the Reagan committee model all other Presidents have followed since.
Matter of fact, TR to Nixon was the pinnacle of the “strong executive” with FDR taking the center stage(really a smarter version of Woodrow Wilson).
Ross Douthat is to journalism what Paul Ryan is to government.
When you have Trump stumping about for accountability of trade ,borders and money in general (Wall St.) it causes the elites who are the mail carriers for the oligarchs to get nervous. .They do not like to be held accountable by anyone let alone by the American people. They have had their way in Washington and the global economy for the past 20 years and the wage elasticity of the middle class is tapped out. So is our federal defect, budget and SSA. If we could bring back Balanced trade, close the borders to all illegals, re-reform health care and bring back controlled spending and budgets we might have a chance. But these thing will not get done through more oligarch mail carriers….
What does it mean to say the wage elasticity of the middle class is tapped out?
Firms don’t offer more in wages because there is no demand for the firm’s product. They may be able to collectively see that increasing wages would increase demand, but the individual firm’s incentives lead to a lower “equilibrium”.
Controlling spending by choosing to run a higher deficit would also help demand. You could solve the problem of illegal immigration by making it legal for most of the people who want to enter.
“bring back balanced trade”. Do you want to devalue the dollar?
Henry Ford offered his employees more money so that they could afford to buy his cars. Was he stupid to do so?
The people managing firms today would believe Henry Ford was stupid.
Not too many of them are operating in such a fast growing business as Ford’s, but they do not see incentives the same as he did.
Stupid, stupid, ignorant little man with too much power.