Friday, September 28, 2012

Ryan's Powerpoint Bafflegab


What exactly do Ryan's charts mean?

When Ryan presents a look at government debt over time, why should anyone believe his heading about “Our Unsustainable Debt”? After all, the slide shows our massive debt coming out of World War II, and the United States did just fine then.
Sure, Ryan could argue that today’s deficits are not in the service of a noble cause, as those were; but just in terms of the effects, it’s hard to argue that the United States paid a horrible price for that debt. It’s also hard to argue that the debt piled up under Ronald Reagan was a disaster. As Republicans will certainly tell you, that debt was associated with quite a bit of economic growth.
There are reasonable arguments against running high yearly federal government budget deficits, but it’s pretty hard to see those arguments in Ryan’s chart. What I see in that chart is that borrowing is often a very smart strategy for governments, just as it is for individuals and businesses.  
But saying things like that doesn’t get you a reputation as a wonk with the budget-deficit warriors. Especially if you don’t use PowerPoint to say them.
By Jonathan Bernstein  |  05:30 PM ET, 09/27/2012 

Ryan's slides reminds me of remark by Gen. James N. Mattis of the Marine Corps, Joint Forces commander a couple of years ago:
“PowerPoint makes us stupid,” he said this month at a military conference in North Carolina. (He spoke without PowerPoint.)...It’s dangerous because it can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control,” General McMaster said in a telephone interview afterward. “Some problems in the world are not bullet-izable.” NYTimes, 2010

The truth about "the Numbers Guy" ????

In an amended income tax return, Representative Paul D. Ryan, disclosed that he and his wife had initially failed to report $61,122 in income from 2011. He said the failure was inadvertent. The change raised their total income to $323,416 and increased their taxes by $19,917 to $64,674,

.... or 20 percent of adjusted gross income. !!!!!!!!! 

He "forgot" 20% of his income?  

And he wants to be in charge on the national budget?

As a fiscal conservative, I cannot vote for candidates who say they will deprive the gov't of revenue (via yet another big tax cut, largely favoring the very very wealthy) yet will not specify how to "broaden the base" to compensate. We all know -- as do Romney, Ryan and the big money behind them -- that the only two deductions that could have any effect if eliminated are the home mortgage and the charitable contribution deduction. Romney cannot close them as they both have huge constituencies in both parties. So Romney would increase thee national debt by a massive amount. He'll lose in a landslide it seems, as the public can neither identify with his ultra-rich guy persona (dressage? Really?), his revealing comments about the 47% or his failure to come clean about what he would do in office if he were to win. An Obama landslide might bring chastened Repubs back to the bargaining table that they walked away from, reviving hope of a Brand Compromise -- not unlike the one Clinton struck with Gingrich that led to a surplus...

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