Caught a snippet of an exchange between Ryan (Republican Congressman from Wisconsin) and Chris Matthews. Ryan was stunning.
This guy is good. He talks about the fiscal issues with facility, not like he's reading from notes; like he's really in command of the facts. Some fresh conservative blood?
I just started trying to find out more about him.
“As soon as people become informed and know the details, the more they like it,” he told me. He says the Road Map is “based on a fundamentally different vision” from the “government-centered ideology now prevailing in Washington . . . and restores an American character rooted in individual initiative, entrepreneurship, and opportunity.”
The full plan—“A Road Map for America’s Future”—is outlined in a formidable, 87-page document. It would give everyone a refundable tax credit to buy health insurance, allow individual investment accounts to be carved out of Social Security, reduce the six income tax rates to two (10 and 25 percent), and replace the corporate tax (35 percent) with a business consumption tax (8.5 percent). And that’s not the half of it.
As ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, Ryan was able to get the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to run the numbers in his plan. CBO concluded the plan would “make the Social Security and Medicare programs permanently solvent [and] lift the growing debt burden on future generations, and hold federal taxes to no higher than 19 percent of GDP.” Pretty impressive results, I’d say.
The Road Map does one more thing. It would give Republicans an agenda if they gain control of the House or Senate in the midterm election—or a mandate if they win both. “What’s the point of winning an election if you don’t have a mandate?” Ryan asks.
07-28-2010, 05:46 PM
IMHO Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor are two much needed fresh faces for the Republican Party, who knows in two years they might make one heck of a ticket
08-03-2010, 11:57 AM
Headline: A Young Republican with a Sweeping agenda
And he's smart, too ... making his point of difference without personal attack:
Mr. Ryan favors small government and gun rights and opposes abortion. Mr. Obama, he says, is a pleasant person — not “nefarious or evil” — but extremely liberal, and “accelerating our path to cradle-to-grave welfare programs.”
But Mr. Ryan is still a wonk. He studied economics in college, once intended to seek an advanced degree from the University of Chicago’s school of economics, and meant to become an economist. Somewhere between stints working for Jack Kemp (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/k/jack_f_kemp/index.html?inline=nyt-per), a mentor, and Senator Sam Brownback (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/sam_brownback/index.html?inline=nyt-per), Republican of Kansas, he meandered into public policy. The inner nerd seeps through: he often sleeps on a cot in the office, says he has “every 15-minute interval” until September scheduled, and writes up these PowerPoints himself (“I really like PowerPoint”).
Mr. Ryan, 40 and the ranking Republican on the House budget committee, has been in Congress 12 years, but it may have been President Obama (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/o/barack_obama/index.html?inline=nyt-per) who gave him and his Roadmap the broadest attention yet. This year, Mr. Obama alluded to the plan as a “serious proposal,” though the White House promptly made it clear that it had problems with its details.
08-03-2010, 12:10 PM
Paul Ryan is an idiot.
Don’t Know Much About Economics
Hoo boy. I missed this; but Yglesias points out that in Ezra Klein’s interview with Paul Ryan, Ryan says that the way to increase lending is to raise interest rates:
We need to do things to free up credit. We need regulatory forbearance there. Right now, the policymakers and regulators are doing opposite things. So you’re right that there’s a lot of capital parked out there, and we need to coax it out into the markets. I think literally that if we raised the federal funds rate by a point, it would help push money into the economy, as right now, the safest play is to stay with the federal money and federal paper.
I don’t even know where to start with this. What does Ryan think the fed funds rate is? (It’s the rate at which banks lend each other money overnight, usually to help meet reserve requirements.) He obviously doesn’t know the the Fed funds rate basically equals the return on federal paper, so that raising that rate would make banks more, not less, likely to stay with that federal paper. I’m sure someone will try to come up with a reason why Ryan is being smart here, but the truth is that he’s stone-cold ignorant.
Now, he wouldn’t be the only ignorant member of Congress. But wait — my colleague David Brooks tells me, this very morning, that
Paul Ryan, the most intellectually ambitious Republican in Congress, lavishly cites Brooks’s book. Over the past few years, Ryan has been promoting a roadmap to comprehensively reform the nation’s tax and welfare system.
So this is the smartest Republican Congress has to offer?
Of course, Ryan’s idea of fiscal reform is to run huge deficits for decades, but claim that it’s all OK because we’ll cut spending 40 years from now; and he throws a hissy fit when people challenge his numbers, or call privatization by its real name.
But hey, he’s intellectually ambitious.
Update: And sure enough, Ryan tries to cover himself; see the addendum at the end of Ezra’s interview. But he’s faking it: there’s no way to go from what he now claims he was saying to the words he actually said. So he’s both ignorant and dishonest, which we already knew from the way he tried to deny that privatizing Social Security was actually, um, privatizing Social Security.
08-03-2010, 02:27 PM
Buzz, do you have a link for the article you are quoting?
I do believe that when interest rates are low, there is a reluctance for certain types of lenders to lend on a fixed rate ... which is what mortgages & things like car loans typically are (in spite of the ARM mortgages). Those funds will seek higher rate return wherever they can (and least risk); & short-term, if possible so the funds can be available to take advantage of an upward trend in interest rates when they occur.
The only "easy credit" that I can see right now is the credit card companies because they are charging high rates & can raise them even higher at their whimsy.
I thought I understood that the Fed funds rate (the rate charged between banks) was always lower than what the consumer would be charged. When banks can get an interest rate from the consumer that is better than that, they will lend money.
I don't claim to be a financial wizard, but when the reward gets larger, then the lender is more willing to lend. Right now with rates low, lenders are being very, very picky about borrowers, thereby keeping risk as low as they can. If they are going to lend with small "reward", then they are trying to make dang sure that they don't tie their $ up in small-reward loans unless they are especially low risk. That's what's happening in the mortgage marketplace in my area.
And I still believe Ryan is smart not to cast Obama as "evil" as some/many politicians do. Sticking to the facts would be such a novel approach that it might get people's attention :-)