Monday, August 13, 2012

VP candidate Paul Ryan fails math

Mathematically challenged Paul Ryan, official portrait.

I studied basic math as an eighth-grader in the public school system decades ago. We were taught how to balance a budget and given other useful training prior to entering high school. So it’s a little shocking to read Paul Krugman’s latest post at the Conscience of a Liberal (NY Times) and discover that House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan, recently appointed VP candidate on the Republican ticket, is worse than mathematically challenged. The man obviously skipped eighth grade math and hasn’t paid much attention since as to how numbers add up – or not. Unfortunately, the beltway media seems to be as oblivious to financial reality as Ryan.

In an effort to wake up our delusional media, Krugman, a Nobel prize-winning economist, responds to Ryan’s “fantasy” budget proposals here:

Look, Ryan hasn’t “crunched the numbers”; he has just scribbled some stuff down, without checking at all to see if it makes sense. He asserts that he can cut taxes without net loss of revenue by closing unspecified loopholes; he asserts that he can cut discretionary spending to levels not seen since Calvin Coolidge, without saying how; he asserts that he can convert Medicare to a voucher system, with much lower spending than now projected, without even a hint of how this is supposed to work. This is just a fantasy, not a serious policy proposal.

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