Ryan's Plan Is a Deficit-Hiking 'Con Game'

Paul Krugman: He's 'style over substance'

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 20, 2012 12:05 PM CDT

(Newser) – Paul Ryan is a media darling: Pundits can't stop praising his "seriousness." But the truth is that "Ryanomics is and always has been a con game," scoffs Paul Krugman in the New York Times. Ryan claims to be a deficit-slasher, but let's crunch the numbers: His tax cuts would mean $4.3 trillion in revenue losses; his Medicaid and food stamp cuts would save no more than $1 trillion, while his Medicare plan would save some $716 billion. The result: About $2.5 trillion added to the deficit.

Ryan suggests he'd make up for this with a set of cuts he hasn't revealed. "If this sounds like a joke, that’s because it is," Krugman notes. "Yet Mr. Ryan’s 'plan' has been treated with great respect in Washington." That's because Beltway insiders call Medicare and Social Security cuts "fiscal responsibility." Plus, "self-proclaimed centrists" who want to show off their centrism have chosen Ryan, who can "talk a good game," as a hero. In short, it's "style over substance." Click for Krugman's full column.

FILE - In this Aug. 16, 2012 file photo, Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. speaks at a campaign stop at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio. Democrats are eagerly renewing their fight against privatizing Social Security now that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has picked Paul Ryan...
FILE - In this Aug. 16, 2012 file photo, Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. speaks at a campaign stop at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio. Democrats are eagerly renewing...   (AP Photo/Phil Long, File)
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