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U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) (2nd L) speaks at a news conference about debt relief legislation with Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) (L), Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) (2nd R) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (R) at the U.S.
They were pretty proud of themselves, at the time.
Paul Ryan had a little shindig in Lima, Ohio, today. Much of it was boilerplate, but this particular bit stuck out. And not in a good way.
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan says President Barack Obama's attempt to cut military spending is putting Americans at risk overseas. [...]

The Wisconsin congressman says gutting the military will embolden enemies abroad. But Ryan didn't tell his audience that he voted for the defense cuts he's now criticizing on the campaign trail.

Indeed, he did not mention that. How odd.

Let's review: The sequester that Paul Ryan has now spent much of the campaign trail railing against is not "Barack Obama's attempt to cut military spending." It was something demanded as bargaining chip by deficit-hawk Republicans (people like Paul Ryan, for example) in exchange for releasing the debt ceiling hostage, last summer. Specifically, the Republicans (including Paul Ryan) demanded (or, at least, settled for) the creation of the vaunted "super committee" in order to come up with some grand plan to something-something the deficit. That committee then failed, probably because in this particular Congress a Joint Committee on Liking Puppies would fail, but specifically because Republicans (including Paul Ryan) refused to entertain even the idea of raising any tax, anywhere. This triggered the second bit of foolishness demanded by Republicans (including Paul Ryan): If the commission was unable to pull their joint heads from their joint behinds (an exceedingly likely outcome), $1.2 trillion in cuts would be made to the federal budget in a ham-handed, arbitrary, and otherwise ridiculous fashion in order to allow deficit-hawk-during-a-recession Republicans, including, yes, Paul Ryan, to feel marginally better about themselves.

All of this was a result of the debt-ceiling hostage release agreement known as the Budget Control Act of 2011, which Congress (including Paul Ryan) voted to approve, and which congressmen, including Paul Ryan, wrote silly little op-eds in praise of. Whether such cuts made a damn bit of sense was never under discussion; it was a given that they did, because otherwise the Scary Deficit Monster would come back from his pre-George-Bush-era grave to kill us all. The Scary Give Us Some Damn Jobs Already Monster, however, remains nowhere to be seen. He may have asphyxiated.

Now for the surprising part. Since the sequester that Paul Ryan is railing against is a constraint Congress put upon itself, do you know how Paul Ryan, who happily praised and voted for that sequester at the time, before he realized it was the doom of us all and would make the other nations of the world emboldened once they saw that we were going to increase our military by slightly less than we were originally planning to, in theory—do you know how we could be rid of it? Congress, including the sniveling little toad Paul Ryan, who is a gigantic liar, could simply vote to undo it! Boom, problem solved. It would require an admission that it was a profoundly stupid idea all along, perhaps, but if not admitting it was a stupid idea all along is going to embolden our enemies and endanger our troops and whatnot, one would think congressmen like Paul Ryan, patriots all, would get right on that.

The only reason it hasn't happened yet is because Republicans still think they can pin the defense cuts on Obama alone, while happily pocketing the very same massive cuts on the social side of the spending scale. Republicans don't want to revoke the whole debt ceiling deal that they themselves demanded, the very one they nearly shut down a great deal of the government over and which caused, in the end, the lowering of the United States' credit standing. They just want to revoke the part of the deal they personally don't have a use for, keep the parts that screw sick people and poor people, and the rest of the nation and its problems can go get bent. Scientific evidence suggests that this is because the current Republican congress is made up primarily of liars, cheats and crooks, but other scientists believe it is simply the result of an inability to feel shame.

So there ya go. This has been another episode of How Paul Ryan Lies To America, subtitle That Debt Ceiling Hostage Thing Will Never End, Will It?

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