Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Is Paul Ryan Keynesian Now?

Rep. Paul Ryan is right about Barack Obama, the 2009 stimulus, and jobs:
It was President Obama’s first and best shot at fixing the economy, at a time when he got everything he wanted under one-party rule. It cost $831 billion – the largest one-time expenditure ever by our federal government.

It went to companies like Solyndra, with their gold-plated connections, subsidized jobs, and make-believe markets. The stimulus was a case of political patronage, corporate welfare, and cronyism at their worst. You, the working men and women of this country, were cut out of the deal.

What did the taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus? More debt. That money wasn’t just spent and wasted – it was borrowed, spent, and wasted.

Maybe the greatest waste of all was time. Here we were, faced with a massive job crisis – so deep that if everyone out of work stood in single file, that unemployment line would stretch the length of the entire American continent. You would think that any president, whatever his party, would make job creation, and nothing else, his first order of economic business.

But this president didn’t do that. Instead, we got a long, divisive, all-or-nothing attempt to put the federal government in charge of health care.

It sounds as if Ryan is saying that Obama and congressional Democrats should just have devised a smarter stimulus. That's astonishing, since according to the ideology that he and Mitt Romney now proffer, government is incapable of investing wisely in the private economy. Instead, Ryan implies that a smarter, more experienced Obama could have built that. And yet under Romney-Ryan, we wouldn't get a dollar of new stimulus. So maybe the smarter vote is for an Obama who has learned from experience and a Congress that will help him do what Ryan says he wishes they'd done in 2009.

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