Aug
19

Rep. Paul Ryan: Up Is Down.
Forget What I Said Last Time.

By

Who is that sensible guy?

Chris Hayes’ research team did some digging and came up with Rep. Paul Ryan, under a Republican administration, arguing forcefully in support of just the kind of economic policies he now utterly rejects under a Democratic one. Now the Republicans’ vice-presidential candidate, Ryan argued in 2002 that a third Bush stimulus package was needed to help the unemployed and to kick-start the economy. And deficits be damned.

Ryan has denounced the 2009 Recovery Act signed by President Obama as “a wasteful spending spree” and “failed neo-Keynesian experiment,” and – as The Huffington Post pointed out this morning — dismissed as “sugar-high economics” the idea that government spending, through measures like payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits, can help shore up a faltering economy.

But in 2002, when then-President Bush was seeking a roughly $120 billion package of tax cuts, tax incentives for business and unemployment benefits to jump-start the economy, Ryan offered a vigorous defense of the plan. “What we’re trying to accomplish today with the passage of this third stimulus package is to create jobs and help the unemployed,” Ryan said in video that aired today on Up w/ Chris Hayes. The remarks came during a House debate on the measure on Feb. 14, 2002.

As they say, IOKIYAR.

“It’s more than just giving someone an unemployment check,” Ryan said of the Bush stimulus bill. “It’s also helping those people with their health insurance while they’ve lost their jobs and more important than just that unemployment check, it’s to do what we can to give people a paycheck.”

Ryan called such measures “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 urged congressional Democrats to break ranks and join Republicans in supporting the president’s plan.

Who is that guy?


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