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Posted at 11:05 AM ET, 01/26/2011

Final thoughts on SOTU and Rep. Paul Ryan

By Jennifer Rubin

The consensus across the political spectrum (allowing for various degrees of partisanship) was that the president's speech was too long and boring, and that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) helped his career and his party.

Less discussed, I think, are several other lessons to be learned from last night's speeches. First, the terms of the debate on spending have changed entirely, and Obama's plan to rename "spending" as "investment" therefore failed miserably. The Republicans have rejected it outright. Ryan debunked it effectively. And even liberal pundits on the cable shows last night rolled their eyes. Nearly all of these plans are dead on arrival, and both sides know it.

Another lesson is the importance of the messenger. As Bill Kristol pointed out, Obama was not simply flat but now a pale imitation of Bill Clinton, who tried to perpetuate and grow the federal government by small steps instead of large leaps. He was, frankly, old hat, lacking the magic of 2008. Contrast that will Ryan, who not unlike Obama in 2009, has the ability to present daring and dramatic ideas in so pleasant and congenial a manner as to make them seem nothing more than common sense. As Bill put it, "Yes, Ryan is younger and friendlier and smarter than your typical old guard Republican. But he's also much more radical in both his thinking and his political strategy."

And finally, Obama has a peculiar and, I think, ineffective justification for all the spending. The Chinese and the South Koreans are getting ahead because they "invest," so we must, too! But the Chinese repress freedom and outlaw labor unions, should we go down that road? The Europeans have "invested" well beyond their means, and in the process wrecked their economies. Is that the model? Obama talks increasingly about "exceptionalism," but he fails to understand a key component of what makes us exceptional: a faith in free markets, dynamic market capitalism, and restraint on the power of government. We need to compete, but not imitate. Obama doesn't quite grasp that.

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 26, 2011; 11:05 AM ET
Categories:  President Obama  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Think other nations will notice Obama isn't into foreign policy?
Next: Interview with Sen. Jon Kyl

Comments

"Ryan is...much more radical in both his thinking and his political strategy."

Which is why he voted for TARP, No Child Left Behind, the Prescription Drug Benefit, and the Bush Stimulus of 2008.

Posted by: Inagua1 | January 26, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Well, broadly speaking, everyone can agree on just about everything.

Posted by: willows1 | January 26, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Dear Ms. Rubin,

Thanks for doing an outstanding job. The amount of childish tantrums you receive in the comments here tells me that your analysis is hitting them where it hurts.

Keep it up!

-Mike

Posted by: metanis | January 26, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

China is able to "invest" because they save half their GDP. We run a federal budget deficit of 10% of our GDP, which is three times the size of ours. We're the rich spendthrift who hits up his much poorer but thrifty neighbor for a loan.

Obama wants us to borrow more from China so that we can "invest" in what are objectively boondoggles, such as high-speed rail and inefficient energy. Anyone with a brain knows this will only weaken our country. The main support for such "investment" comes from the politically connected who would cash the checks.

Posted by: eoniii | January 26, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Obama grasps everything, he just doesn't know what to do with anything!

Posted by: Beniyyar | January 26, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"As Bill Kristol pointed out..."

Well, that settles it. Bill Kristol, he who has never been right about anything, has spoken!

Posted by: tracymohr | January 26, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Well, maybe they sound like Common Sense because they are, you know, Common Sense. That fact makes Bill Krystal's characterization of them as radical somewhat problematic and to the extent that it is true disturbing.

That said, I have previously and even today (in the wake of yesterday's response) encountered some intense skepticism of Ryan's idea from quarters that should be much more open to it (e.g. a a fairly right wing - by NYC standards - corporate lawyer who was a strong supporter of McCain and would undoubtedly support Ryan in a contest with Obama but remains somewhat dubious concerning the latter. There are much tougher sells out there. We'll see.

Posted by: cavalier4 | January 26, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

So, tracymohr, which part of the following do you disagree with? "Ryan is younger and friendlier and smarter than your typical old guard Republican. But he's also much more radical in both his thinking and his political strategy."

Posted by: wumhenry | January 26, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"But the Chinese repress freedom ... The Europeans have ... wrecked their economies. Obama ... fails to understand a key component of what makes us exceptional: a faith in free markets ... and restraint on the power of government... Obama doesn't quite grasp that."

Obama understands all of that quite well. Like all Marxists, he hates freedom and free markets. Every single domestic policy either grows government or damages America that much more.

Here's a thought exercise: if one wanted to diminish America's standing in the world, drain American's of their wealth, and circumvent the Constitution, and do all of this in 2 years, would that person's plan look any different than Obama's domestic agenda?

Posted by: johnhiggins1990 | January 26, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

What Obama primarily doesn't get about investment is that economically, the investment in a capitalistic system has to be by the private sector, not the government. Each time his style of government "invests", it diminishes the ability of the private sector to invest.

The past two years provide ample evidence.

Posted by: stevek45 | January 26, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

This is a silly, petty review of the President's speech and unworthy of the Washington Post. For those of you who decry all government investment, consider for a moment that you wouldn't be sitting at your computers if the government hadn't created satellite communications and the internet.

Posted by: Southernwriter | January 26, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

stevek45 - So your position is that the economy would have been better off if the government had instead done nothing the past two year? That's quite novel. Once again, Somalia leads all nations in prosperity and development because it doesn't have a functioning central government to get in the way of private investment.

Posted by: willows1 | January 26, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

johnhiggins1990 -

"If one wanted to diminish America's standing in the world, drain American's of their wealth, and circumvent the Constitution, and do all of this in 2 years, would that person's plan look any different than Obama's domestic agenda?"

Well, sure. First you could invent a reason to invade some country you never liked in the first place. Pass a series of creepy laws designed to circumvent the actual, you know, constitution and call them ominous things like "The Patriot Act", you could decide to detain people all over the world without warrants or cooperation from the countries in which they reside. Then you could allow financial markets to become completely distorted leading to a financial collapse requiring government intervention on a scale before unimaginable. I think that should do it. And Cheney came pretty close, didn't he?

Posted by: willows1 | January 26, 2011 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"As Bill Kristol pointed out..."

Well, that settles it. Bill Kristol, he who has never been right about anything, has spoken!

Posted by: tracymohr | January 26, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse"

LOL, go Tracy! (Shoot me a message and I'll let you know who this is)

Posted by: Observer691 | January 26, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

@Southernwriter: "...For those of you who decry all government investment, consider for a moment that you wouldn't be sitting at your computers if the government hadn't created satellite communications and the internet...."

Puhleeze! The government didn't invent these things as an "investment" strategy seeking to find new ways to compete internationally. It invented them as part of defense strategy, in order to carry out one of its primary functions (the Interstate Highway System in part stems from this thinking, too).

The government (DARPA) developed the concept of the Internet and the protocols used to link the computers. The World Wide Web, however is the brainchild of scientists working elsewhere. The Internet we enjoy today was built out by private enterprise and goes far beyond the original intended purposes.

Posted by: jafco | January 26, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I am afrid this column is rife with Ms. Rubin's usual mix of sweeping generalizations and flawed, simplistic logic. For example: "And finally, Obama has a peculiar and, I think, ineffective justification for all the spending. The Chinese and the South Koreans are getting ahead because they "invest," so we must, too! But the Chinese repress freedom and outlaw labor unions, should we go down that road?" So investing in road building and energy infrastructure is like repression? I don't think so. Instead perhaps we can emulate Chinese policy that is smart and effective (like infrastructure investment) but not policy that's bad (like repressing freedom and unions). One can make a case for or against increased government investment in infrastructure but drawing lazy nonsensical analogies isn't how to do it.

Posted by: SteveCanyon | January 26, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I think 'investment' is the perfect term to use when you plan on getting a return for your money.

When we as a society spend money on education, are conservatives really convinced there is no return for the money when we have educated citizens?

And why is spending on research and development OK - in fact strongly encouraged - in corporate America; but, somehow, it's just stealing when the government does it?

This foolish doctrinaire stance that all government, almost by definition, is bad is itself the result of an investment by the GOP, which has spent millions over the last 30 years convincing people to hate their government and their fellow citizens.

I guess that investment is one that is paying off.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | January 26, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"Obama understands all of that quite well. Like all Marxists, he hates freedom and free markets."
-------------------------
Uh huh. Looked at the Dow lately?

I'm no expert, but I'm thinking no self-respecting Marxist would have taken the steps he took to save the institution that screams 'Capitalism'.

So far, just to update others who can't tell the difference between Karl Marx and Groucho Marx: No one has centralized the means of production; unless you're a drug king pin, no one has confiscated your property for distribution to the masses; and - at last look - we still have a functioning representative democracy.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | January 26, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

So dems mostly liked the speech and goopers mostly hated it. Even if goopers silently LIKED it- they'd be forced to SAY they hated it. Wake me when the politics stops.

Posted by: rwcole | January 26, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

How surprising that Ms. Rubin found Obama boring and Ryan brilliant. Who could have seen that coming?

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | January 26, 2011 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The only thing overly long and boring is anything you write, Rubin. How, for the life of me, could WP even hire you. You present no facts, no new ideas (like a republican), but only your george will-style blather. Get lost in Tel Aviv!

Posted by: bigisle1 | January 26, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

"When we as a society spend money on education, are conservatives really convinced there is no return for the money when we have educated citizens?"

MidwaySailor76, No. However, conservatives are really convinced that we're not getting a return for the money when we double the amount of money going into education and our citizens are no more educated than they were before. Or even less educated than they were before.

"And why is spending on research and development OK - in fact strongly encouraged - in corporate America; but, somehow, it's just stealing when the government does it?"

Because in corporate America, it's private money that the corporations can invest however they see fit and the goals are economic benefits. When the govt does it, it's our money. And the benefits are too often political, rather than economic.

Posted by: RitchieEmmons | January 26, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I respect your opinion, but I do not think this is a real evaluation of Obama's speech. It could have been written before he spoke as the comments were very predictable. Both men did a good job in expressing their thoughts. President Obama succeeded in framing the new debate as he sees it. Whether or not he was as eloquent as Clinton is beside the point. Ryan clearly expressed the Republican point of view and made it seem worthy of discussion, but to say that he debunked the President's ideas is wishful thinking. Evaluation of these kinds of speeches need to go beyond political predictablility. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging that your opponent did something well. In fact, this would give credibility as it shows vision beyond party politics. It does not mean you have to agree on policy issues. Please raise the level of discussion.

Posted by: lisashap | January 26, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse

It is quite interesting to see all of the so-called liberals resort to name calling to get their point accross. As far as the internet, I thought that it was a given that Al Gore invented the internet. For all of those who think that government spending is the answer to all of our problems, I really believe that we should be at 4 1/2% unemployment because we were promised that the stimulus would solve all of the problems and the increased revenue from everybody being fully employed would take care of the deficit. Before you start blaming Bush, look who controlled both the House and Senate for the past 4 years. When the Republicans took control of Congress in 1994, the economy took a big jump. All of the liberals give credit to Clinton. The Democrats had complete control of Congress for the past 4 years and the last 2 years with Obama. The question is why is the unemployment rate higher now than during 6 or 8 years that Bush was President. There can only be one answer. Democrats and Obama.

Posted by: sales7 | January 26, 2011 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Aside from the risible "Sputnik Moment" and call for more "investments", i.e. wasteful government spending, the biggest failure of Obama's speech was his avoidance of entitlement reform. If he truly wants bi-partisanship, there is a real opportunity to put Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid on a more sustainable actuarial basis. If we do it now, the pain will be much less severe than if we wait several more years.

A period of divided government is the optimum time for action politically because both parties have to buy in. Neither party can impose its will on the other. If Obama would reach out behind the scenes in good faith to the Republicans, something could be accomplished, as with the Social Security changes during the Reagan administration. We are facing a fiscal train wreck if we let electoral politics prevent reasonable action.

Posted by: eoniii | January 26, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Wake me when the politics stops.

Posted by: rwcole
_____________________________
You're going to have a long sleep. Does "rw" stand for Rip (van) Winkle?

Posted by: Jeroboam | January 26, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

What a partisan hack. Paul Ryan's plan is a guaranteed ticket to a renewed recession. He raised his standing among economical illiterates, of which the GOP has no shortage.

There is only one sure thing about GOP economic policy. Whatever flavor it comes in, you can be assured that the wealthy will get wealthier while everybody else gets screwed.

Posted by: st50taw | January 26, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

@lisashap: Excellent comment!

Posted by: SteveCanyon | January 26, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Way to use daddy's boy genius Bill Kristol as your authority on who gives a good speech. "Bill Kristol said so!!!!!!" BFD.

Posted by: danw1 | January 26, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

"win the future"... "win the future"... What do we need to "win the future?"

If you did a shot every time he said "win the future", you would have passed out before he finally shut his pie hole.

Dude can bludgeon a saying or metaphor harder than Tom Friedman and that is saying something...

Posted by: sold2u | January 26, 2011 5:57 PM | Report abuse

If Paul Ryan and the Republicans really want to reduce the deficit, (as opposed to talking about it for political gain), why did they vote repeal the health care law, an action which the CBO says will increase the deficit by $230 billion over the next ten years?

And why did Mr. Ryan and the Republicans hold extending the "Bush tax cuts" for the middle class (incomes below $250K for families) for ransom until they got an extension on the tax cuts for the wealthy (incomes above $250K), when again the nonpartisan CBO says that this will increase the deficit by $700 billion over ten years? Call it spin or political expediency if you want. But please don't claim that the Republicans have the moral high ground on deficit reduction. That's just dishonest.

Posted by: Watchdog21 | January 26, 2011 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: eoniii | January 26, 2011 11:59 AM

"Obama wants us to borrow more from China so that we can "invest" in what are objectively boondoggles, such as high-speed rail and inefficient energy. Anyone with a brain knows this will only weaken our country. The main support for such "investment" comes from the politically connected who would cash the checks."

Good point eoniii. Any fiscal conservative knows that if you;re going to borrow huge sums of money, you don't go spending it on a crumbling infrastructure and energy independence. No, massive loans should be used for much more useful and productive ventures that benefit all Americans, like unnecessary wars based on lies that fatten the wallets of contractors and arms manufacturers, flatten entire villages in states that never posed a threat, kill hundreds of thousands of foreigners and create hundreds of disabled vets who will need health care for the rest of their lives.

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 26, 2011 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: stevek45 | January 26, 2011 1:10 PM

"What Obama primarily doesn't get about investment is that economically, the investment in a capitalistic system has to be by the private sector, not the government. Each time his style of government "invests", it diminishes the ability of the private sector to invest."

That might have been true a long time ago, but the nature of investment in America has changed.

Investment in the US used to resemble investment like we see to day in China. Profits would be poured back into the company to maintain a companies long term viability.

In the US, investment goes towards paying CEO's massive sums and returning large dividends to the investor, all the while stripping any life out of the company.


The past two years provide ample evidence.

| Report abuse

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 26, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: stevek45 | January 26, 2011 1:10 PM

"What Obama primarily doesn't get about investment is that economically, the investment in a capitalistic system has to be by the private sector, not the government. Each time his style of government "invests", it diminishes the ability of the private sector to invest."

That might have been true a long time ago, but the nature of investment in America has changed.

Investment in the US used to resemble investment like we see to day in China. Profits would be poured back into the company to maintain a companies long term viability.

In the US, investment goes towards paying CEO's massive sums and returning large dividends to the investor, all the while stripping any life out of the company.


The past two years provide ample evidence.

| Report abuse

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 26, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: stevek45 | January 26, 2011 1:10 PM

"What Obama primarily doesn't get about investment is that economically, the investment in a capitalistic system has to be by the private sector, not the government. Each time his style of government "invests", it diminishes the ability of the private sector to invest."

That might have been true a long time ago, but the nature of investment in America has changed.

Investment in the US used to resemble investment like we see to day in China. Profits would be poured back into the company to maintain a companies long term viability.

In the US, investment goes towards paying CEO's massive sums and returning large dividends to the investor, all the while stripping any life out of the company.


The past two years provide ample evidence.

| Report abuse

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 26, 2011 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: stevek45 | January 26, 2011 1:10 PM

"What Obama primarily doesn't get about investment is that economically, the investment in a capitalistic system has to be by the private sector, not the government. Each time his style of government "invests", it diminishes the ability of the private sector to invest."

That might have been true a long time ago, but the nature of investment in America has changed.

Investment in the US used to resemble investment like we see to day in China. Profits would be poured back into the company to maintain a companies long term viability.

In the US, investment goes towards paying CEO's massive sums and returning large dividends to the investor, all the while stripping any life out of the company.


The past two years provide ample evidence.

| Report abuse

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 26, 2011 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Paul Ryan may be young and charming, but he is a spin doctor, distorting the truth as usual. Over the last 50 years Republicans have presided over increases to the federal deficit and Democrats over decreases. But the constant drone of the opposite message is mistaken for truth. It is not.

If Paul Ryan and the Republicans really want to reduce the deficit, (as opposed to talking about it for political gain), why did they vote repeal the health care law, an action which the CBO says will increase the deficit by $230 billion over the next ten years?

And why did Mr. Ryan and the Republicans hold for ransom an extension of the "Bush tax cuts" for the middle class (incomes below $250K for families) until they got an extension on the tax cuts for the wealthy (incomes above $250K), when again the nonpartisan CBO says that this will increase the deficit by $700 billion over ten years? Call it spin or political expediency if you want. But please don't claim that the Republicans have the moral high ground on deficit reduction. That's just dishonest.

Look at the facts. The US federal deficit as a percentage of GDP went down during the presidencies of Roosevelt -24%, Truman -22%, Eisenhower -15.6%, Kennedy -8.3%, Johnson -8.3%, Nixon -3%, Carter -3.3%, and Clinton -9.8%; all Democrats with the exception of Eisenhower and Nixon. The US federal deficit grew, and substantially during the presidencies of Nixon/Ford +.2%, Reagan +21%, G. H. W. Bush +15%, and G. W. Bush +28.5%.

All this noise about Democrats being the party of deficit spending, and Republicans being the guardians of a balanced budget is just plain false. Repeating it often enough that people believe it does not make it true.

Posted by: Watchdog21 | January 27, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Paul Ryan may be young and charming, but he is a spin doctor, distorting the truth as usual. Over the last 50 years Republicans have presided over increases to the federal deficit and Democrats over decreases. But the constant drone of the opposite message is mistaken for truth. It is not.

If Paul Ryan and the Republicans really want to reduce the deficit, (as opposed to talking about it for political gain), why did they vote repeal the health care law, an action which the CBO says will increase the deficit by $230 billion over the next ten years?

And why did Mr. Ryan and the Republicans hold for ransom an extension of the "Bush tax cuts" for the middle class (incomes below $250K for families) until they got an extension on the tax cuts for the wealthy (incomes above $250K), when again the nonpartisan CBO says that this will increase the deficit by $700 billion over ten years? Call it spin or political expediency if you want. But please don't claim that the Republicans have the moral high ground on deficit reduction. That's just dishonest.

Look at the facts. The US federal deficit as a percentage of GDP went down during the presidencies of Roosevelt -24%, Truman -22%, Eisenhower -15.6%, Kennedy -8.3%, Johnson -8.3%, Nixon -3%, Carter -3.3%, and Clinton -9.8%; all Democrats with the exception of Eisenhower and Nixon. The US federal deficit grew, and substantially during the presidencies of Nixon/Ford +.2%, Reagan +21%, G. H. W. Bush +15%, and G. W. Bush +28.5%.

All this noise about Democrats being the party of deficit spending, and Republicans being the guardians of a balanced budget is just plain false. Repeating it often enough that people believe it does not make it true.

Posted by: Watchdog21 | January 27, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Paul Ryan may be young and charming, but he is a spin doctor, distorting the truth as usual. Over the last 50 years Republicans have presided over increases to the federal deficit and Democrats over decreases. But the constant drone of the opposite message is mistaken for truth. It is not.

If Paul Ryan and the Republicans really want to reduce the deficit, (as opposed to talking about it for political gain), why did they vote repeal the health care law, an action which the CBO says will increase the deficit by $230 billion over the next ten years?

And why did Mr. Ryan and the Republicans hold for ransom an extension of the "Bush tax cuts" for the middle class (incomes below $250K for families) until they got an extension on the tax cuts for the wealthy (incomes above $250K), when again the nonpartisan CBO says that this will increase the deficit by $700 billion over ten years? Call it spin or political expediency if you want. But please don't claim that the Republicans have the moral high ground on deficit reduction. That's just dishonest.

Look at the facts. The US federal deficit as a percentage of GDP went down during the presidencies of Roosevelt -24%, Truman -22%, Eisenhower -15.6%, Kennedy -8.3%, Johnson -8.3%, Nixon -3%, Carter -3.3%, and Clinton -9.8%; all Democrats with the exception of Eisenhower and Nixon. The US federal deficit grew, and substantially during the presidencies of Nixon/Ford +.2%, Reagan +21%, G. H. W. Bush +15%, and G. W. Bush +28.5%.

All this noise about Democrats being the party of deficit spending, and Republicans being the guardians of a balanced budget is just plain false. Repeating it often enough that people believe it does not make it true.

Posted by: Watchdog21 | January 27, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Paul Ryan may be young and charming, but he is a spin doctor, distorting the truth as usual. Over the last 50 years Republicans have presided over increases to the federal deficit and Democrats over decreases. But the constant drone of the opposite message is mistaken for truth. It is not.

If Paul Ryan and the Republicans really want to reduce the deficit, (as opposed to talking about it for political gain), why did they vote repeal the health care law, an action which the CBO says will increase the deficit by $230 billion over the next ten years?

And why did Mr. Ryan and the Republicans hold for ransom an extension of the "Bush tax cuts" for the middle class (incomes below $250K for families) until they got an extension on the tax cuts for the wealthy (incomes above $250K), when again the nonpartisan CBO says that this will increase the deficit by $700 billion over ten years? Call it spin or political expediency if you want. But please don't claim that the Republicans have the moral high ground on deficit reduction. That's just dishonest.

Look at the facts. The US federal deficit as a percentage of GDP went down during the presidencies of Roosevelt -24%, Truman -22%, Eisenhower -15.6%, Kennedy -8.3%, Johnson -8.3%, Nixon -3%, Carter -3.3%, and Clinton -9.8%; all Democrats with the exception of Eisenhower and Nixon. The US federal deficit grew, and substantially during the presidencies of Nixon/Ford +.2%, Reagan +21%, G. H. W. Bush +15%, and G. W. Bush +28.5%.

All this noise about Democrats being the party of deficit spending, and Republicans being the guardians of a balanced budget is just plain false. Repeating it often enough that people believe it does not make it true.

Posted by: Watchdog21 | January 27, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Paul Ryan may be young and charming, but he is a spin doctor, distorting the truth as usual. Over the last 50 years Republicans have presided over increases to the federal deficit and Democrats over decreases. But the constant drone of the opposite message is mistaken for truth. It is not.

If Paul Ryan and the Republicans really want to reduce the deficit, (as opposed to talking about it for political gain), why did they vote repeal the health care law, an action which the CBO says will increase the deficit by $230 billion over the next ten years?

And why did Mr. Ryan and the Republicans hold for ransom an extension of the "Bush tax cuts" for the middle class (incomes below $250K for families) until they got an extension on the tax cuts for the wealthy (incomes above $250K), when again the nonpartisan CBO says that this will increase the deficit by $700 billion over ten years? Call it spin or political expediency if you want. But please don't claim that the Republicans have the moral high ground on deficit reduction. That's just dishonest.

Look at the facts. The US federal deficit as a percentage of GDP went down during the presidencies of Roosevelt -24%, Truman -22%, Eisenhower -15.6%, Kennedy -8.3%, Johnson -8.3%, Nixon -3%, Carter -3.3%, and Clinton -9.8%; all Democrats with the exception of Eisenhower and Nixon. The US federal deficit grew, and substantially during the presidencies of Nixon/Ford +.2%, Reagan +21%, G. H. W. Bush +15%, and G. W. Bush +28.5%.

All this noise about Democrats being the party of deficit spending, and Republicans being the guardians of a balanced budget is just plain false. Repeating it often enough that people believe it does not make it true.

Posted by: Watchdog21 | January 27, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Paul Ryan may be young and charming, but he is a spin doctor, distorting the truth as usual. Over the last 50 years Republicans have presided over increases to the federal deficit and Democrats over decreases. But the constant drone of the opposite message is mistaken for truth. It is not.

If Paul Ryan and the Republicans really want to reduce the deficit, (as opposed to talking about it for political gain), why did they vote repeal the health care law, an action which the CBO says will increase the deficit by $230 billion over the next ten years?

And why did Mr. Ryan and the Republicans hold for ransom an extension of the "Bush tax cuts" for the middle class (incomes below $250K for families) until they got an extension on the tax cuts for the wealthy (incomes above $250K), when again the nonpartisan CBO says that this will increase the deficit by $700 billion over ten years? Call it spin or political expediency if you want. But please don't claim that the Republicans have the moral high ground on deficit reduction. That's just dishonest.

Look at the facts. The US federal deficit as a percentage of GDP went down during the presidencies of Roosevelt -24%, Truman -22%, Eisenhower -15.6%, Kennedy -8.3%, Johnson -8.3%, Nixon -3%, Carter -3.3%, and Clinton -9.8%; all Democrats with the exception of Eisenhower and Nixon. The US federal deficit grew, and substantially during the presidencies of Nixon/Ford +.2%, Reagan +21%, G. H. W. Bush +15%, and G. W. Bush +28.5%.

All this noise about Democrats being the party of deficit spending, and Republicans being the guardians of a balanced budget is just plain false. Repeating it often enough that people believe it does not make it true.

Posted by: Watchdog21 | January 27, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

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