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Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and vice-presidential candidate U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) (R) talk on their campaign bus after a rally in Dayton, Ohio September 25, 2012 during a two-day bus tour of
Well, thanks for clearing that up, Paul.
Via Greg Sargent, Paul Ryan actually made a little news yesterday on Fox News Sunday: He said that if it came down to a choice between a smaller tax cut that didn't increase the deficit or a bigger tax cut that did increase the deficit, the bigger tax cut—which would primarily benefit the wealthy—would win.

Asked by Chris Wallace what Mitt Romney would do if he couldn't offset the cost of cutting tax rates by eliminating deductions, Ryan said Romney's priority would be "keeping tax rates down," adding "that's more important than anything."

Ryan insisted that Wallace's scenario was purely hypothetical and that it was possible to cut taxes without cutting revenues, but when Wallace pressed him to explain how that was possible, Ryan punted, claiming that he didn't "have the time" to answer the question because "it would take me too long to go through all the math."

Of course, it's obvious to anyone with a calculator that you can't cut taxes by $5 trillion and make up for it by ending tax breaks—unless you're willing to increases taxes on the middle-class. That's why Ryan dodged Wallace's question in his answer, falling back on his classic "it gets wonky" formulation. But when he was pressed to say what Romney's priority was, he said tax cuts would be the priority. And since Mitt Romney gives the same percentage tax cut to the wealthy as he does to everyone else, it means Paul Ryan is now on record saying the Romney campaign would rather increase the deficit than give up on tax cuts for the wealthy.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Super elegant plan (18+ / 0-)

    that only Ryan understands. He files it under SURPRISE: details to be revealed only if we're elected.

    •  I have, in my hand, a list of 65 tax cuts... (6+ / 0-)

      Rmoney & The Republicans - We've should've killed GM, not bin Laden.

      by filby on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:34:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i have, in my hand, a list of 155 high-income (8+ / 0-)

        households...

        Alternative Minimum Tax

        A predecessor Minimum Tax was enacted by the Tax Reform Act of 1969[14] and went into effect in 1970. Treasury Secretary Joseph Barr prompted the enactment action with an announcement that 155 high-income households had not paid a dime of federal income taxes.[15] The households had taken advantage of so many tax benefits and deductions that reduced their tax liabilities to zero.[16] Congress responded by creating an add-on tax on high-income households, equal to 10% of the sum of tax preferences in excess of $30,000 plus the taxpayer's regular tax liability.[17]

        "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

        by Andrew C White on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:41:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I have a secret plan to end the Vietnam War (8+ / 0-)

      But I can't tell you now, because if you knew it involved five more years of war and bombing Camboida and tens of thousands of US casualties and a lot of stupid fighting about the shape of the negotiating table, you wouldn't vote for me.

    •  Can I just say (0+ / 0-)

      how insulting that "it gets wonky" and "I can't explain it briefly" excuse is?

      It assumes that there is no one in America capable of understanding tax policy and economics except for Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney and a few as yet unnamed individuals.

      Mind you - there is the fact that no one but Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney believes their particular tax plan will accomplish anything but move more wealth up the ladder - but that's a little different.

      The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy... the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

      by lcbo on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 02:58:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Translation (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lcbo
        I can't explain it briefly.
        means
        Bend over. We're protecting the rich and squeezing you.*
        *But if we said that out loud, we'd be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a stick. So, you know, "I can't explain it briefly."
  •  If "Dynamic Scoring" shows that tax cuts pay (14+ / 0-)

    for themselves, why don't we just pay the rich instead of collecting taxes and improve the economy even faster?  What's that?  We already are?

    Rmoney & The Republicans - We've should've killed GM, not bin Laden.

    by filby on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:32:51 PM PDT

  •  Quite apparent... (19+ / 0-)

    That it is past time to revoke Ryan's misapplied "Policy Wonk" appelation.

    True policy wonks, of whatever stripe, LIVE for the chance to go into exhaustive, and exhausting, detail over POLICY.

    Ryan ain't no wonk - he just pretends to be one for FOX TV

  •  Chris Wallace should have said... (10+ / 0-)

    That's OK, We have plenty of time.

    Let him wiggle out of that.

    I screwed up with a careless uprate so I'm a "No Rate" pariah. When I give a comment "+1 n/t", please consider that a recommend. (That's my workaround to participate here). DK haiku, one complete thought in a title field. Roar louder!

    by Josiah Bartlett on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:33:36 PM PDT

    •  I cry no tears for millionaires. (6+ / 0-)

      I screwed up with a careless uprate so I'm a "No Rate" pariah. When I give a comment "+1 n/t", please consider that a recommend. (That's my workaround to participate here). DK haiku, one complete thought in a title field. Roar louder!

      by Josiah Bartlett on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:35:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But that would require (0+ / 0-)

      Wallace to actually do his job and we can't have that now, can we.

    •  Since Wallace didn't say it . . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lcbo, sethtriggs

      Maybe Vice President Biden should try it at the debate?

      Sample dialog:

      Biden: I guess what I'm missing is how, under Rep. Ryan's proposal, the Republicans are committing to cut $5 trillion in revenues while balancing the budget without cutting anything?

      Ryan: Well, I'd explain it, but it would take too much time.

      Biden: That's okay, I'll yield the remainder of my time tonight so you can thoroughly explain your plan to the American people.

      Ryan: Thank you, Mr. Vice President, but I don't--{notices Biden standing, smiling at him}

      Biden: {Says nothing, keeps smiling.}

      Ryan: Uh, that is . . . This isn't really the time or place.

      Biden: {Says nothing, keeps smiling.}

      Ryan: {Stares blankly into the camera, doe-eyed, transfixed.}

      Biden: {Says nothing, keeps smiling.}

      {Referee Mills Lane dashes in, stops the debate and calls for Ryan's cut man}

  •  The GOP has one core value (13+ / 0-)

    Cut taxes on rich people.

    If, hypothetically speaking, you could prove that the consequence of another tax cut would be that every sentient life form in the Universe would die, outside the 0.01%, they'd do it.

    Add in dying of pain and they'd still do it.
    Add in that it takes decades of screaming in agony to die and they'd still do it.

    Not that they'd actually believe you. That's the thing. No amount of proof can convince them that those tax cuts can ever do harm.

    It's not economics and it's not politics. It's a religion. The worship of money.

    Romney economics: Feed our seed corn to the fattest pigs and trust them to poop out jobs.

    by blue aardvark on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:35:01 PM PDT

  •  He's giving 'wonk' a bad name (as (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sethtriggs

    if that work could be an uglier or less understood by the masses).  I'm hoping everyone keeps calling him Rep. Widows-Peak Wonk.  Has a wonderfully ridiculous air about it...

    From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

    by satrap on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:36:34 PM PDT

  •  The frat boy cute is wearing off pretty quickly (13+ / 0-)

    for Ryan.  He's the most overrated member of the congress.  Again, I say he is lauded by his party because he was "bold" enough to actually write stuff down on paper and call it a plan.  The rest of the GOP thumb twiddlers let him do all their homework, and he's only a C student, but he's certainly the class suck-up.

    Romney went to France instead of serving in our military, got rich chop-shopping US businesses and eliminating US jobs, off-shored his money in the Cayman Islands, and now tells us to "Believe in America."

    by judyms9 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:37:24 PM PDT

  •  I'm surprised he didn't go to the old saw (6+ / 0-)

    blah blah blah "cutting taxes actually increases government revenue" blah blah blah.

    Or did Ryan possibly get tired of the taste of that particular fairy-dust flavored horseshit dribbling out of his mouth?

    Do you think?      Nah!

    These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people... -Abraham Lincoln

    by HugoDog on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:37:44 PM PDT

  •  If you make $30 million (4+ / 0-)

    and we tax you at 90%

    then you still take home $3 million.

    If you make $3 million
    and we tax you at 90%
    then  you still take home $300,000.

    Now, I'm not saying 90% is the appropriate top tax bracket... just pointing out that as outrageous as it seems... the rich will still be the rich.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:38:59 PM PDT

    •  That's not how progressive tax rates work... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JerryNA, sethtriggs

      No one loses the benefit of the lower income brackets as they move up the income scale.

      -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

      by Vayle on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:47:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  however... for ease of typing in a few sentences (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JerryNA, sethtriggs

        to make a point... it works just fine.

        "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

        by Andrew C White on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:49:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  ...but, it perpetuates a myth that far too many (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JerryNA, sethtriggs

          still believe. I know groups of right wingers who think their take home works based on the top rate percentage and there are plenty of democrats who don't know better either.

          -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

          by Vayle on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:51:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  which has nothing to do with the point (0+ / 0-)

            I was making which is focused solely on the 90% number as a seemingly outrageous tax rate that would punish the rich.

            If you can create a simple if-then-else construct to make the same point but that accurately reflects the complexity of the tax system including all breaks available and different forms of income taxed at different rates and deductions and progressivism... then please do.

            In the meantime, my simple little construct makes a clear point just as it was designed to do.

            Peace,

            Andrew

            "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

            by Andrew C White on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:56:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  wow, dismissive... (0+ / 0-)
              In the meantime, my simple little construct makes a clear point just as it was designed to do.
              And it perpetuates a myth on how tax rates work. So, your 'simple little construct' is flawed and is far less effective than it should be because of the inaccuracy.

              Congrats.

              Peace.

              -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

              by Vayle on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 02:02:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  *sigh* (0+ / 0-)

                whatever... I guess i was wrong for trying to make a simple point with simple math. Please feel free to extrapolate the simple out to the complicated as much as you feel necessary.

                "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

                by Andrew C White on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 02:19:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you, Media Village (9+ / 0-)

    for myth-making this prick into a "Very, Very Serious" policy "Wonk.

    The guy can't do basic math, for fuck's sake.

    When somebody who can points out the math, he doesn't give a fuck.

    Very, Very Serious.

    Like a brain tumor or a heart attack. No thanks. No sale.

    I am from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner wing of the Democratic Party

    by LeftHandedMan on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:39:54 PM PDT

    •  This is the Village's dream GOP ticket (9+ / 0-)

      and nobody should ever let them forget it.

      Willard "the Executive" and Ryan "the Wonk" were as much Very Serious Person establishment media darlings as the 'electable' choice and VP of the GOP establishment.

      One Fucker is a souless weathervane, the other Fucker is a economic sociopath who can't ad.

      Meanwhile, some of the best and brightest get tripped up because of they aren't handsome or beautiful or didn't go to the right schools or won't kowtow to the Village conventional wisdom.

      Scott Brown is the Media Manufactured Common Man of Substance of the US Senate. Once he got there, the media decided they liked the idea of him, and the idea of him trumps the real him every time.

      The same millionaire spokesmodels who think teachers are greedy and 'both sides do everything equally' gave us non-stop praise and PR for these clowns.

      I am from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner wing of the Democratic Party

      by LeftHandedMan on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:46:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  HE CAN DO THE MATH (0+ / 0-)

      He just doesn't want to speak it out loud until after the election.

      Someone should get him to write down this plan and put it in escrow, to be opened after the election, so we get a look at his proposal whether or not he wins.

  •  Maybe he needs to take the Clinton course on (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA, RiseUpEconomics, sethtriggs

    arithmetic.  Here is the kind of question that can be constructed for a 5th grade math test, if you cut the tax rate by 20%, how many tax deductions and loopholes will have to eliminated in order to remain revenue neutral? (you are allowed to use your fingers and toes for calculation)

  •  starve the govt (6+ / 0-)

    and therefore starve the citizens now thats a con strategy the right can live with, the rest of america not so much.
    when will people realize that the right have no interest in sharing the benefits of america with anyone but those of the economic elite class, when those of that class can give an amount larger then the yearly income of most americans to attend a private dinner our system is way out of balance, and the good ole (boy & woman) network is most of the problem and needs to be changed.

  •  They want an American quality of life (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kwt3200, JerryNA, Radiogabs, sethtriggs

    Like most of us, they want a traditional American quality of life, community, economy, commonwealth, etc. -- the one they grew up with and came to take for granted.

    They just want to stop paying for it, is all.  

    They don't understand all the things that go into making it possible because all they understand is monetary profit and loss.  They think they're brilliant because they can understand a P&L.  But that's really rather simple and one-dimensional compared to all the metrics and factors and outcomes, including the crucial non-monetary ones, that bring greatness to a nation and its quality of life.  

    In short, they know just enough to think they're geniuses and just enough to be dangerous.  But not enough to restore the broad-based American prosperity and well-being that their ancestors brought to us.

    ------
    Ideology is when you give the answers before you know the questions.
    It is what grows into empty spaces where intelligence has died.

    by Alden on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:42:04 PM PDT

  •  I really hope they don't start teaching (5+ / 0-)

    Magic unicorn math in our public schools.  Our kids are already falling behind the rest of the world in math and science . . .

    We're ALL better off when we're ALL better off!

    by susanWAstate on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:45:03 PM PDT

  •  They barely even attempt to make any secret of it (6+ / 0-)

    They want ALL the money.

  •  Wow, who knew there was $5 trillion... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sethtriggs, BendixG15

    Worth of revenue in our tax code.  We should have Romney-Ryan give us a plan to keep the current revenue level the same and just eliminate those tax deductions and come out $5 trillion less over 10 years.  Great GOP math!

    The most dangerous... programs, from a movement conservative's point of view, are the ones that work the best and thereby legitimize the welfare state. Krugman

    by BasharH on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:52:06 PM PDT

  •  like there was ever any question about that. (0+ / 0-)

    How did he get the name Rmoney, he earned it the old fashioned way by always favoring the super wealthy.

  •  Beware (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA, judyms9

    Having failed to fool enough people into supporting them following the release of a secretly recorded video of Mitt Romney in front of his true benefactors, the rich, in which he is caught on tape saying what he really thinks of half the American people that they are lazy and no good, Republicans have now been exposed executing their long planned co-strategy: stealing the election. Thanks to 23 Republican states with new voter suppression laws targeting Democratic voters, all they needed was massive voter registration fraud in swing states to disenfranchise voters by changing their addresses on record so they show up at the wrong precincts. As a backup, they have Republican Secretaries of State in Florida and Ohio that will be happy to certify the election for Romney without counting the votes and Republican state supreme courts which will be happy to affirm the illegal outcome with the corrupt Federal Supreme Court to back them up. This is why Mitt "I want windows that can roll down in case of an airplane fire" Romney is still confident of victory. He knows it will be arranged for him, just like everything else has been for him his whole life.

  •  One has to start wondering (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA, sethtriggs

    what Grover Norquist HAS on these R's in the House.

    I mean, is it pictures of them fondling giraffes?  WHY are they SO fucking beholding to that asshole?


    "A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous..........got me?" - Don Van Vliet

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 02:07:50 PM PDT

  •  Now wait a second. Are you trying to tell me that (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA, lcbo, sethtriggs

    the GOP doesn't actually give a shit about the deficit?  That's just too much for me to believe.

    •  The deficit doesn't apply to the rich, just to the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sethtriggs

      working and poor masses.  Deficits are, well, de classe.

      Romney went to France instead of serving in our military, got rich chop-shopping US businesses and eliminating US jobs, off-shored his money in the Cayman Islands, and now tells us to "Believe in America."

      by judyms9 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 03:04:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

      The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy... the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

      by lcbo on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 03:06:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Seriously. It works because, um, ... FREEDOM!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA

    What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof. - C. Hitchens

    by sizzzzlerz on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 02:25:19 PM PDT

  •  Read my lips...NO NEW TAXES! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sethtriggs

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't George Bush say that, get elected, and then have to raise taxes?

    I think I was only 18 back then, so my history's fuzzy.  Even if people vote for this shitshow of a ticket, I can't see them not being able to not raise taxes.

  •  Hopefully, in his next interview, he'll be asked (0+ / 0-)

    again, and this time the reporter will simply say, "Take all the time you need.  I'm listening."

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right. I'm riding for MS in September. Please donate here if you can.

    by darthstar on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 02:50:00 PM PDT

    •  Yes, and don't pay any attention to this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sethtriggs

      Jeopardy music which is supplied to help you count by listening to the notes.

      Romney went to France instead of serving in our military, got rich chop-shopping US businesses and eliminating US jobs, off-shored his money in the Cayman Islands, and now tells us to "Believe in America."

      by judyms9 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 03:05:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ryan appears to believe in the Laffer Curve (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sethtriggs

    He seemed to be insisting in the interview that his tax cuts, taken alone, even without spending cuts, would be "revenue neutral".  That's why he pushed back on saying what they would cost. This is an idea that goes back to the Reagan days, when Arthur Laffer drew his famous curve on a napkin.  You see, taxes are a drag on the economy, so if you cut taxes the economy grows.  In fact, according to Laffer (and evidently Ryan), tax cuts produce such explosive growth that the government winds up with more money after the tax cuts than before.  It's a free lunch!  By unshackling all the job creators, the free market gods shine down on us and all is well.

  •  I finally believe... (0+ / 0-)

    If you look at this picture, it's easy.  We don't need to collect taxes to, for instance, pay trash men/women; Team Romney/Ryan are traveling around with their own big ugly plastic trash bag!   Apparently, they are picking up all the rubbish they see along the way, and carting it off for us, so who needs to pay someone else to haul garbage?  

    On the other hand, the plastic bag behind them could be filled with some of the cash their light-fingered aids pick-pocketed while people at the Romney/Ryan rallies were diverted, listening to their riveting speeches.  

  •  The smirkin' duo--arghh. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Collosal Ignorance of Monetarily Sovereign Nations (0+ / 0-)

    An issue at the core of all the fuss about fiscal sustainability is Government solvency. The deficit hawks/terrorists and doves believe that Governments sovereign in their own currency can run out of money if they keep deficit spending, and keep borrowing to do it.

    Nothing is further from the truth.

    They believe that if deficit/debt levels are high enough, then Government insolvency can occur, because eventually the burden of interest on the public debt will crowd out all other public spending and investments. So, they are for working towards debt/deficit reduction, “reforming” (i.e. cutting) entitlement spending, and raising taxes, though not necessarily on the rich.

    The counter-narrative of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is that such a currency issuer can never involuntarily run out of money, though it can default voluntarily from an excess of stupidity.

    And because such nations can’t run out of money and can buy anything for sale in their own borders, with the currency unit of account they issue, including all labor resources, that means that their governments can spend what they need to spend to help solve the problems they encounter.

    They can afford job guarantees for anyone wanting full-time work at a living wage with a full package of fringe benefits, universal single-payer health insurance for all, a first class educational system, re-inventing their energy foundations, cleaning up their environments, re-creating their infrastructure, and doing anything else necessary to create good, democratic societies.

    For Governments sovereign in their own currencies, running out of money is never an issue.

    The real issues are inflation, resource constraints, political constraints, and constraints of poor decision making. Inflation is managed through interest rate and tax policy.

    But they are not fiscal in nature.

    What all such nations confront, since Nixon closed the gold window, is collosal ignorance of what that decision means in terms of flexibility for fiscal and monetary policy decisions for Congress and the White House.

    Deficit spending does not spend money down a rat hole.  It spends money into the private/non-government sector. The money shows up on the bottom line of firms and households. Therefore, the public sector's deficit is equal, to the penny, to net financial assets in the non-government sector. Accounting 101.

    Our $16 trillion defict produces net financial assets of the same amount. These savings/surpluses are the opposite side of the coin that deficit terrorists conviently forget when they spew their fear mongering about cutting public purpose programs.

    Source: http://neweconomicperspectives.org/...

    In the absence of freedom there is no creativity, in the absence of creativity there is no progress.

    by robbrian on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 04:37:56 PM PDT

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