Biden, on Ryan and Stimulus:
"This (according to Congressman Ryan) was such a bad program and he writes me a letter saying -- writes the Department of Energy a letter saying, "The reason we need this stimulus, it will create growth and jobs." His words.I'm sure we all agree this is a great argument.
What surprised me and has surprised since the discussion on stimulus began in 2009, however, is that
1) the administration and Democrats in general have never referred to the use of stimulus, three times, by the Bush administration in 2002.
2) Paul Ryan was a champion of stimulus at that time, someone who took a leading role and worked hard to drum up bi-partisan support for stimulus.
3) There's a wealth of great quotes from Ryan extolling the virtue of stimulus for economic recovery. Wow!
THAT'S RIGHT: in 2002, PAUL RYAN was a CHAMPION OF STIMULUS.
Ryan Grim brought this history back to light in an excellent article titled Paul Ryan Defended Stimulus-- When George W. Bush Wanted It In 2002 (VIDEO) on Huffington Post on August 18, 2002,
This is story was also covered by Vyan, in his diary, Paul Ryan: Pro-Stimulus Keynsian, posted on August 20th.
Because stimulus is a part of the debate and should be, and knowing what we now know about this history among Bush and Ryan and Republicans and stimulus support, I really, really wish the administration would use this NOW.
Here are some reasons why using the Bush - Ryan - Republican - support for stimulus connection is so important at this time:
1) It is a killer app for exposing, once more, in one of its more vile poses, the destructive lengths to which Paul Ryan and the Republicans went to obstruct recovery and deliberately sabotage the economic recovery for partisan politics. Hundreds of millions of Americans and the world economy have suffered as a result. This is should be an incredibly potent condemnation for Republicans up and down the ticket. Any Republican who voted and/or spoke out against stimulus, including the jobs program -- just point out that Republicans recognized and championed the value of stimulus in the past, when America has need it. So why have they abandoned America with their Great Recession.
2) It restores the credibility of stimulus as an economic tool for fighting the impact of recessions on employment and of unemployment on recoveries. This, IMHO, is critical to accelerating the recovery for both people and the Party.
3) In an article titled "The U.S. Economic Policy Debate Is a Sham", Bloomberg News reported that 92% of economists agreedBloomberg News reported that 92% of economists agreed that:
a) the stimulus worked
b) another stimulus will help
and c) more tax cuts for the rich will not help.
So there is strong reason to believe that we still need more stimulus. Obviously, Paul Krugman has made this argument many times.
Taking this subject up now primes the argument for stimulus at a time when additional stimulus is needed, setting the stage for discussion on it after the election.
4) The stronger employment, increased consumer demand and improved economy more stimulus will create will better for both Americans and the Democrats.
Here are some particularly revealing quotes from Ryan, quotes which, by the way, were recorded on video, so they are perfect for an ad showing Ryan before (2002) and after (2009 to present) for both exposing Ryan's and the Republican's mendacity and strengthening the argument for stimulus, to both justify Obama's initial program and justify future programs, as well.
"What we're trying to accomplish today with the passage of this third stimulus package is to create jobs and help the unemployed."And here's Ryan in 2010, per Vyan:
"In recessions unemployment lags on well after a recovery has taken place."
"We've got to get the engine of economic growth growing again because we now know, because of recession, we don't have the revenues that we wanted to, we don't have the revenues we need, to fix Medicare, to fix Social Security, to fix these issues. We've got to get Americans back to work. Then the surpluses come back, then the jobs come back. That is the constructive answer we're trying to accomplish here on, yes, a bipartisan basis. I urge members to drop the demagoguery and to pass this bill to help us work together to get the American people back to work and help those people who've lost their jobs."
"And we know, as a historical fact, that even if our economy begins to slowly recover, unemployment is going to linger on and on well after that recovery takes place.
"The things (stimulus) we're trying to pass in this bill are the time-tested, proven, bipartisan solutions to get businesses to stop laying off people, to hire people back, and to help those people who have lost their jobs."
And prior to that, in 2001 hearing, he said:
"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."
Ryan: "Too many are searching for answers in the discredited economic playbook of borrow and spend keynesian policies. I reject only government intervention in the government can secure this country's renewed prosperity. Adherence to this premise has given us a damaging policy mixture. It has sparked government spending spree and borrowing binge. Workers, taxpayers and families across this country have been guinea pigs. Washington's economic experiment has failed."Wow. Just wow.
Is God smiling on us or what?
As important as Ryan has been to fostering and driving home Republican talking points during the past couple of Congresses, and as significant as the stimulus debate was in 2009, I am certain that many additional, perhaps even juicier comments by Ryan to vilify stimulus (simply to block Obama's success, even at the expense of the American people) are available.
This is a GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY. Personally, I can't imagine NOT using the Ryan - Republican - Stimulus connection to expose the efforts of everyone who voted against the stimulus and the jobs program and every effort to stimulate employment in order to sabotage economic recovery in America AND at the same time to praise Obama and Democrats who have supported and pursued stimulus for the benefit of the economy and America. It's so compelling, so big. Right?