Keepemhonest has a great diary here about how Paul Ryan and others sabotaged the US economy. But there is more to the story.
Part I: Ryan does a 180 from previous stimulus statements to block President Obama then asks for stimulus money after it passes in spite of him
To follow up on the plans made on January 20, 2009, this is what Paul Ryan said about President Obama's plans in July 2010 while sitting next to fellow saboteur Jeb Hensarling. He called President Obama's plan a failed neo-Keynsian experiment:
At first blush, the above just sounds like typical Paul Ryan rhetoric. But he was all for Keynsian style stimulus back in 2002:
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.
The things 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. . . .
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.
Now watch the video for yourself:
So, do you still think that Paul Ryan is opposed to Keynsian economics? The defense he gave sounds very much like what President Obama was saying about how to stimulate the economy.
Ryan's votes against the Obama stimulus package are particularly hypocritical. After voting against it, he sought funds for his district. He also voted for a $715 billion Republican package that was almost as big as the $787 billion Obama package. And that is all in addition to talking about the wastefulness and uselessness of the Obama stimulus, as quoted above. (link, link) A snippet from the first link:
Based on the available evidence, it is clear that Ryan has opposed the stimulus bill not because he believed that the bill was a failure since he noted in one of his letters that the funds that he was seeking would help “stimulate the local economy by creating new jobs;” nor did he believe that the stimulus was unnecessary since he supported a similar alternative. His opposition has more to do with political posturing than principle. Furthermore, Ryan made a strong case for stimulus to boost the economy during a mild recession under Bush. Ryan, therefore, understands the importance of stimulative measures to spur economy growth.
Noting Ryan's support of a 2001 stimulus package, Jonathon Chait wrote:
I don't see how you can explain progressing from that position to opposing Keynesian stimulus during a severe liquidity trap, the worst economic crisis since the depression, except as a function of pure partisanship.
Part II: Ryan was a central player in scuttling compromise and keeping John Boehner from cooperating with the President
But there is much more to the Ryan obstructionism. Here is a snippet from a 7 page New Yorker piece by Ryan Lizza, wherein he also refers to Draper's book and details how Ryan, among others, has scuttled compromises and pressured Speaker Boehner not to compromise either:
[H]is increasing power, and his credibility as the leading authority on conservative fiscal policy, soon made his imprimatur essential for any Republican trying to reach a compromise with Democrats. Ryan helped scuttle three deals on the budget. He had served on the Simpson-Bowles deficit commission but refused to endorse its final proposal, in December, 2010. When deficit negotiations moved from the failed commission to Congress, Ryan stuck with the extreme faction of the G.O.P. caucus, which withheld support from any of the leading bipartisan plans. In the summer of 2011, when a group of Democratic and Republican senators, known as the Gang of Six, produced their own agreement, Ryan’s detailed criticism helped sink it. And, also that summer, during high-level talks between the White House and Republican leaders, Cantor and Ryan reportedly pressured Boehner to reject a potential deal with President Obama.Part III: Ryan falsely claims that he would not cut things like infrastructure spending that has helped not only his district but actually his own hometown:
Ryan Lizza had a separate observation about Ryan's hypocrisy:
When I pointed out to Ryan that government spending programs were at the heart of his home town’s recovery, he didn’t disagree. But he insisted that he has been misunderstood. “Obama is trying to paint us as a caricature,” he said. “As if we’re some bizarre individualists who are hardcore libertarians. It’s a false dichotomy and intellectually lazy.” He added, “Of course we believe in government. We think government should do what it does really well, but that it has limits, and obviously within those limits are things like infrastructure, interstate highways, and airports.” But independent assessments make clear that Ryan’s budget plan, in order to achieve its goals, would drastically reduce the parts of the budget that fund exactly the kinds of projects and research now helping Janesville.This one, if properly used against him, could help take away his seat in Congress because it has damning local effect.
Part IV: Lyin' Ryan's Convention Speech Lielapalooza
1. “A downgraded America.” Ryan blamed the president for the nation’s credit downgrade in August 2011 after Republicans threatened to allow the government to default on its debt for the first time in history. But the ratings agency explicitly blamed “Republicans saying that they refuse to accept any tax increases as part of a larger deal.”
2. “More debt than any other president before him, and more than all the troubled governments of Europe combined.” Romney has made the almost identical claim, that Obama has amassed more debt “as almost all of the other presidents combined.” But their math doesn’t add up: when Obama took office, the national debt was $10.626 trillion. It has increased to slightly above $15 trillion.
3. Shuttered General Motors plant is “one more broken promise.” Ryan described a GM plant that closed down in his hometown, Janesville, Wisconsin, and blamed Obama for breaking his promise to keep the plant open when he visited during his campaign. But Obama never made that promise, and the plant shut down in December 2008, before Obama even took office.
4. Obama “did exactly nothing” on Bowles-Simpson. Ryan said, “He created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing.” In fact, Ryan was instrumental in sabotaging the commission, leading the other House Republicans in voting against the plan.
5. “$716 billion, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama.” Ryan’s favorite lie is a deliberate distortion of Obamacare’s savings from eliminating inefficiencies. Furthermore, Ryan’s own plan for Medicare includes these savings. Romney has vowed to restore these cuts, which would render the trust fund insolvent 8 years ahead of schedule.
6. “The greatest of all responsibilities is that of the strong to protect the weak.” Ryan closed the speech with an invocation of social responsibility, saying, “The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.” However, numerous clergy members have condemned Ryan’s budget plan as “cruel,” and “an immoral disaster” because of its devastating cuts in social programs the poor and sick rely on. Meanwhile, Ryan would give ultra-rich individuals and corporations $3 trillion in tax breaks.