“What we’re trying to accomplish today with the passage of this third stimulus package is to create jobs and help the unemployed.”
~Paul Ryan, February 14th, 2002
Well – this is going to be uncomfortable. I’m looking forward to a reporter doing their job and asking him about this apparent contradiction in his record. He’s for Keynesian economics when there is a Republican President and Republican Congress intent on fixing the economy or losing their jobs. He’s AGAINST Keynesian economics when their is a Democratic President and a Democratic Senate majority when he is trying to make them lose their jobs. The Republican party: party over country – always.
I’ve already shown in detail just how committed the Republican party was to making sure the economy struggled in order for Democrats to lose their majorities HERE.
When the economy was going through an economic downturn after 9/11 under George W. Bush – Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) went to the House Floor to actively and vehemently support the need for a stimulus when the economy was struggling. He called for more tax cuts but also more government spending via unemployment insurance and health insurance coverage to help people while they were trying to get back to work. This approach that he supported in 2002 is the exact same approach that President Obama has called for but Republicans rejected even though the economic downturn in 2001 was very mild compared to the Bush economic crisis that Obama inherited.
And Jonathan Chait finds this 2001 discussion of Paul Ryan supporting pushing forward with the Bush tax cuts and “spending” the $1.5 Trillion surplus HERE:
Mr. GREENSTEIN. If I could just comment on it. As I have said before, I think the economic benefits are being overstated. The economy has slowed right now. I don’t see how, particularly given the pace of the Senate, the checks are going to go out much before next summer. The CBO forecast you are operating on shows that by 2002 we have a full scale recovery from the recession.
I think we do have a problem right now, and our best mechanism right now is interest rates. I hope the Federal Reserve lowers them further. I think that is going to have a much bigger effect than anything you do on taxes because I don’t think — it is not that tax policy can’t have a stimulative effect. It is very unlikely even this year to occur in time to make much difference.
Dr. HASSETT. I would just like to add, Mr. Ryan, that the economists who studied this were quite surprised to find that fiscal policy in recessions was reasonably effective. It is just that folks tried a first punch that was too light and that generally we didn’t get big measures until well into the recession. So the reason that in the past fiscal policy hasn’t pushed us out of recession is that we delayed.
So I think that Mr. Greenstein agrees, and he is saying it is not likely that we would pass it soon but I would argue this is why we should.
Mr. RYAN. That is precisely my point. That is why I like my porridge hot. I think we ought to have this income tax cut fast, deeper, retroactive to January 1st, to make sure we get a good punch into the economy, juice the economy to make sure that we can avoid a hard landing.
The concern I have around here is that everybody is talking about let’s wait and see, let’s see if they materialize. Well, $1.5 trillion have already materialized in the surplus since then-Governor Bush proposed this tax cut in the first place. The economy has soured. The growth of the projections of the surpluses are higher. So we have waited and we do see, and it is my concern that if we keep waiting and seeing we won’t give the economy the boost it needs right now.
He can’t have it both ways. Paul Ryan was part of the conservative machine that blew the surplus under the Bush administration and Republican Congress. He had no problem “spending” the surplus. Meanwhile those policies advocated by the conservatives in power ended up with a disproportionate benefit to the rich and everyone else got scraps. All they did was build an economic bubble that didn’t exist and Americans lost real wages forcing them to live on credit in order for them to maintain their cost of living. Thank you trickle-down economics.
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