...back in 2002, when the President had an R behind his name. MSNBC's Up with Chris Hayes uncovered the surprising video this morning. Video after the squigley line.
Of course, now Ryan decries the 2009 Recovery act as failed, stating in 2010 that it was taken from the pages of
a discredited economic playbook of borrow and spend Keynesian policies.and that
workers, taxpayers and families have been guinea pigs in this Neo-Keynesian experiment long enough. The results are in, Washington's economic experiment has failed..Ah, but that was not what Ryan said when a Republican was President and the country faced a recession. Back then, in early 2002, in the face of the recession the followed 9-11, Ryan argued on the House floor for stimulus spending! And unemployment benefits extensions! And health insurance benefits! To create jobs!
What we're trying to accomplish today with the passage of this third stimulus package is to create jobs and to help the unemployed... What we're trying to accomplish is to pass the kinds of legislation, that when they've passed in the past have grown the economy and gotten people back to work. We want to make it easier for employers to keep people employed. We want to make it easier for employers to invest in their businesses, to invest in their employees and to hire people back to work. And on top of it, for people who have lost their jobs we want to help them with their unemployment insurance and with health insurance...What we want to accomplish here is a recognition of the fact that in recessions, unemployment lags on even well after a recovery has taken place.
Ryan also argued passionately for unemployment and health benefits for the unemployed, stating that increased government spending would help to boost the economic recovery and help to reduce the deficit long term.
We have a lot of laid off workers...What we have been trying to do...is to try and get people back to work....It's more than just giving someone an unemployment check, it's also helping those people with their health insurance while they've lost their jobs. And more important than just that unemployment check, is to do what we can to give people a pay check......We've got to get Americans back to work, then the surpluses come back...Ryan also pushed for more government spending while back in his district, saying it better than I ever could:
You have to spend a little to grow a little... What we're trying to do is to stimulate that part of the economy that's on its back.No, Mr. Ryan, the tired, discredited playbook is not Keynesian economics,... that tired, discredited playbook is putting party before country.
UPDATE: Thanks to whereisboblafollette in the comments, some context. The stimulus bill that ultimately passed was $51 billion, with $43 billion in corporate tax breaks and $8 billion in unemployment benefits. Ryan was more than merely hypocritical, he was arguing in Keynesian language for a bill that was heavily tilted towards corporate tax breaks.