Paul Ryan, GOP Intellectual Leader?

Paul Ryan has been put forth as the GOP’s intellectual leader and as a wonky budget wiz. When his plan(s) were put forward in the past, they were eviscerated. Since his nomination as VP, however, there seems to have been relatively little broad discussion of his budget plans in favor of some high level focus on specifics regarding Medicare and Medicaid.

Below is a review of the intellectual chops behind the purported budget wonk. In short, this budget plan is a god damn joke and should rightfully be an embarrassment to the GOP, not a gold standard. I’m very interested in hearing otherwise from anyone here.

Romney and Ryan have been asked when his plan achieves a balanced budget. They have twice answered that they have not yet “run the numbers” in order to find out! How can they not even have an answer that makes sense, let alone not have confirmed that their budget plan does what they purport that it will do?

Romney’s position on his plan vis a vis Medicare and its relationship to Ryan’s plan has flipped SIX TIMES, including going from “very different” to “identical” in 24 hours. Does that mean he was for Ryan’s plan before he was against it before he was before it before he was against it before he was for it…?

The Ryan plan relies on “magic asterisks” in order to get to an implausible bottom line. One of the more remarkable and implausible lines is the cutting of discretionary spending, including defense spending. Ryan’s plan relies on shrinking all discretionary spending to 3.5%. This is lower than defense spending alone, which is presently 4%.

The manner in which revenues will be increased is given the name of “broadening the base.” According to the CBO:

This cite includes the reminder that Ryan’s plan originally envisioned 2.8% unemployment. The US has not had an annual unemployment rate that low in the history of measurement of unemployment (since 1948). When Ryan was called out on this, this number was disappeared, but all the other calculations remained unchanged.


I hate to drop the P-bomb and go for the cheap shots, but this is a party that enthusiastically decided that Sarah Palin had the intellectual chops to be in line for chief executive of the country and spent months exclaiming over the emperor’s cognitive clothes. The bar for GOP intellectual leader is pretty low.

This is true. Bush was also excused for a less than coherent budget plan.

It just seems to me that a detailed budget plan is all that Ryan is, and it’s nothing but a fraudulent joke.

It is just that everyone knows this and accepts it?

I’m shocked that Rachael Maddow and Paul Krugman are not fans of Ryan.

I’ll wait for the debate to make my own assessment.

So you’re basing your assessment of Ryan’s budget plans on who get’s in the most zingers in a debate, or who wears the nicest tie or what?

**Paul Ryan, GOP Intellectual Leader? **

Why would you insult Paul Ryan by calling him an intellectual. He’s as dense as anyone else in the GOP and proud of it. I’m sick of you socialists criticizing Republican candidates.

Ryan doesn’t really publish that much, but from what I’ve read–and from what he says–I don’t see what makes him so “intellectual.” He mostly just spouts off party-line assertions.

Really, Ryan is more like a doll that the Republication Party has chosen to play a role that it has dreamed up–a role to fill the vacuum left by Bush. The party can imagine that role to be whatever it wants, and the doll is trotted out and danced around to make it seem real. Ryan is like an imaginary friend.

The other day Bill Maher compared Ryan to Palin: “Somehow he’s the smartest guy in the party and she’s the stupidest woman on earth, but they agree on everything.”

Rachel Maddow? How are you going to make up your own mind if you don’t read the cites?

Do you trust the CBO? The Tax Policy Center? Paul Thoma?

And it’s not like these are just opinions. They are pointing out specific factual failings.

But if you think you’re going to get the information to evaluate the plan from the debates, I guess we see why candidates can get away with saying the dumbest, most ludicrous and obviously fictitious things.

+1 - I have goats standing outside who are routinely content to suck on strange rocks - they could beat Ryan in the intellectual chops department.

A girlish laugh, a swan’s neck and a steel trap mind. You can be such jealous little bitch sometimes, John.

No, I’m basing my assessment of whether he qualifies as an intellectual or not on the debates. His life consists of much, much more than a single budget plan. And you’re right that the debates consist of a lot of fluff, but it’s still possible to see if said candidate has a good understanding of a variety of subjects. That’s what an intellectual is.

Just because you disagree with someone’s politics doesn’t disqualify him from being an intellectual. And more than a few intellectuals have been known to fudge numbers when needed.

Well I don’t know if Ryan’s an intellectual, but at least he’s provided Romney with some sort of message, energy, talking points and will to live.

I can’t believe the Republicans actually picked someone to lead their ticket with such a complete lack of ability to actually lead the charge. Stunning. It’s like Romney just didn’t know who he was supposed to be until Ryan entered this thing. Now it looks like Ryan is turning the Etch-a-Sketch knobs. Should be fun to watch.

Your insinuation of Ryan handling Gov Romney’s knob is disgraceful and repugnant, and I denounce, renounce and condemn! +1

With 2 bills passed in 13 years in Congress and one of those a post office name change, I should hope he’s an intellectual. :slight_smile:

I think my definition of intellectual is being challenged here.

Remember the qualifier- *GOP * intellectual.

Obviously the Town Hall-style debate with a question by Edna from Missouri on why each candidate thinks America is the greatest country on earth.

“Intellectual leader” is a relative term. For example, Butthead, from “Beavis and Butthead” was clearly the intellectual leader of the duo.

Thank you, Hentor the Barbarian and skdo23 for the elucidation.
I suppose I was using too narrow of a definition.