The Scam of the Flim Flam Man – Paul Ryan

Paul Krugman takes on the Golden Boy of the GOP – Paul Ryan – in today’s New York Times.  You can read his column “The Flim Flam Man” here.    I thought there were several points worth extracting from the editorial.

“But no: as long as someone on the right claims to have bold new proposals, he’s hailed as an innovative thinker. And nobody checks his arithmetic.

“Which brings me to the innovative thinker du jour: Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.”

“But it’s the audacity of dopes. Mr. Ryan isn’t offering fresh food for thought; he’s serving up leftovers from the 1990s, drenched in flimflam sauce.”

“The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has, however, stepped into the breach. Its numbers indicate that the Ryan plan would reduce revenue by almost $4 trillion over the next decade. If you add these revenue losses to the numbers The Post cites, you get a much larger deficit in 2020, roughly $1.3 trillion.”

“The Roadmap wouldn’t reduce the deficit. All it would do is cut benefits for the middle class while slashing taxes on the rich.And I do mean slash. The Tax Policy Center finds that the Ryan plan would cut taxes on the richest 1 percent of the population in half, giving them 117 percent of the plan’s total tax cuts. That’s not a misprint. Even as it slashed taxes at the top, the plan would raise taxes for 95 percent of the population.”

“The Ryan plan is a fraud that makes no useful contribution to the debate over America’s fiscal future.”

For those of you in his District or who believe in his scam, read the full editorial from Nobel Prize Winner Paul Krugman to understand how misguided Ryan and his “Roadmap for America’s Future” really are.


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14 thoughts on “The Scam of the Flim Flam Man – Paul Ryan

  1. As I read this I have two observations:

    1. Mike tate and the 1st congressional democratic party really dropped the ball not being more proactive in an opponent for Paul ryan.

    2. I wonder if he feels the least bit of shame when everyone out of the echo chamber completely dismantles his map?

    1. If I were a Dem, I would be saying why even bother with this Heckenlively character. Seriously, I met the guy last weekend and he almost belongs in the Alvin Greene category. He is one strange dude. Sorry…

  2. The Janesville Gazette, the Journal Times of Racine, Kenosha News and other publications serving his district have a moral obligation to cover what Nobel Peace Prize Winner Paul Krugman has to say about Paul Ryan’s fraudulent plan. I suspect that the New York Times editorial pages are not high on everyone’s reading list, but when a luminary like Krugman demolishes a local politicians platform, they should cover it.

    1. Oh give me a break, a “luminary like Krugman.” The guy has not an ounce of credibility as a economist anymore. This is the guy who said we should completely disregard the deficit – that debt doesn’t matter right now.

      1. You can tell Krugman has lost his credibility by his Nobel Prize in economics….you can question his political columns but not his ones dealing with economics. He has a pHD in Economics from MIT. This column simply states, in pure facts, the sham that is the roadmap.

  3. The Janesville Gazette has functioned as a public relations arm of the ryan campaign for the last few years, so good luck with that one.

  4. Paul Ryan a dope? I hardly think so. Krugman is a radical leftist @#$%. Readership in the NY Times is in the tank. The public is catching on to the media bias. Ooops I forgot, according to this blog, it’s a pro GOP media so how can this be?

  5. Well, given that Purty Mouth Paulie has never had a job in the for-profit sector, nor ever had one that wasn’t based in the D.C. echo Chamber (he worked for Jack Kemp and think tanks, places where facts and results don’t matter), it’s not surprising that he’s dishonest.

    And I think he does know what he’s doing. He just doesn’t care as long as his pretty face gets on TV. If he was as fiscally conservative as he claims to be, he’d have never signed off on Medicare Part D or Iraq. He is scum of the lowest caliber, and if you’re dumb enough to fall for his scheme, it’s time to seriously check yourself.

  6. Yeah and Bobby Fisher was once brilliant.

    you can question his political columns but not his ones dealing with economics.

    See that’s exactly my point. It is a political column. Nothing he says there – even when it’s related to economics – is apolitical. It’s not peer-reviewed research, it’s a political column titled, “Conscience of a Liberal.” Mr. Krugman is no longer an economist – now that he’s not consulting for Enron any more, he’s a political columnist. Certainly more well-versed and educated in economics than the rest – but no less a blow-hard and has no objectivity. He checks his professional training at the door when he writes his columns – again as evident by the “ignore the deficit and debt” positions fueled by the broken windows fallacy that every economist knows are untrue in the same way every physicist knows the same of perpetual motion.

    How about this…here’s a perfect example of his blatant dishonesty – in this very column – that shows why despite his previous accolades, his opinions should be given no more credence than any other hack political writer:

    But the budget office has done no such thing. At Mr. Ryan’s request, it produced an estimate of the budget effects of his proposed spending cuts — period. It didn’t address the revenue losses from his tax cuts.

    The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has, however, stepped into the breach.

    Except that the CBO does not score tax/revenue bills. That is the role of the Joint Committee on Taxation. Ryan did ask that they score the bill but initially they did not have the resources due to being tied up in work on the healthcare bill. Later, they said they would not score it because the projections required were beyond 10 years. Ultimately, JCT pulled in help from Treasury & outside tax consultants. Before calling Ryan out as a liar who tried to deceive people by not asking the CBO and JCT to score the tax portion, he could have made one phone call and discovered that in fact, he did do this.
    The Atlantic has a thorough breakdown.

    So, two questions:
    Did this renowned economist not know that the JCT not the CBO does scoring for tax bills? In which case, one must call into question his actual understanding of that which he preaches.
    Or did he know this, but was trying to pile on at attack a proposal he disagreed with on a political level? And just to be clear, there are certainly valid criticisms of Ryan’s plan on this, and others.
    Is he ignorant or a biased hack? Someone accusing another of fraud when he in fact was blatantly lying and could have verified the truth in a matter of minutes.

    1. Locke,

      Just to help you out with a couple things.

      1, Mr. Krugnman is no longer an economist. This is not exactly true. Not only does he have a PhD from MIT in economics, he is also professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University. I would think that qualifies him.

      2. he does answer all of your “objections” here:

      1. 1. Sure, I’ll grant that. Of course that does not at all change the larger point, that his writings in the column are political opinion pieces, not economics articles held to any degree of academic rigor. And when held to journalistic standards such as the one the The Atlanticdid, they found some of his accusations baseless and just plain lazy.

        2. That addressed one of the objections – sort of. He directly accused Ryan of intentionally withholding the tax part from CBO scoring. Which is still factually untrue (since Ryan did seek scoring). And he never addressed his being incorrect about the CBO’s role. Though I guess I can’t blame him – better to just ignore it than admit he was wrong.

        Finally, Ryan has addressed the very same criticisms about the tax cut portion nearly half a year ago. He has repeatedly said that the tax cuts could be adjusted as necessary as better projections on their effects come in. While it’s certainly valid to argue that this is easier said than done (valid criticism being something Krugman seems to alergic to), Ryan’s willingness to be flexible in addressing this goes without notice.

        Ryan’s Roadmap certainly isn’t perfect. But it’s worth noting that it’s the only plan to try and make Medicare solvent that has been fully put forward and scored at all. Instead of critical analysis, Krugman gives the same partisan hackery that keeps the useful idiots charged up in the same way Limbaugh does for his side.

        Finally, a couple of parting shots – quotes about the “treasured” Mr. Krugman:

        Op-Ed columnist Paul Krugman has the disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers in a fashion that pleases his acolytes but leaves him open to substantive assaults.
        Former Times Ombudsman, Daniel Okrent

        He just says whatever is convenient for his political argument. He doesn’t behave like an economist. And the guy has never done any work in Keynesian macroeconomics, which I actually did. He has never even done any work on that. His work is in trade stuff. He did excellent work, but it has nothing to do with what he’s writing about.
        Harvard PhD & Economics Professor, Robert Barrow

  7. I am so glad that I am a Independent and can look at both sides of a problem without being Democrat or Republican. Simply put, this economy is the cause of a President named George Bush and him helping his rich friends to become richer and the poor and middle class to just suffer. To say that this sitting President that has inherited this problem that was left for him, just show how ignorant others are in this country of which I fought for with over 20 years of military service.

    This President or any President of this Country would not have been able to fix the problems that Bush made in 4 years of service of this nation. Let me repeat that again for the people that can not comprehend… NO PRESIDENT, DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN would have been able to fix these economic problems that George W. Bush Jr let this country slip into.

    For the masses that want to blame the President for problems inherited by a past president that did not care anything about the American People is just stupid to say the least. It would be my opinion that any President ( Democrat or Republican) would need 10 years of service just to scratch the surface of the problems left by the last Republican President.

    US Navy Retired
    Senior Chief Petty Officer

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