Ezra Klein - On Paul Ryan
A number of you have written to ask what I think of Paul Krugman’s column attacking Paul Ryan’s budget. As far as Krugman’s policy critique goes, I agree. I’d refer people back to my post “Paul Ryan’s budget proposal does not balance the budget,” which uses the same Tax Policy Center data that Krugman does. The question comes down to whether Ryan is serious about increasing the revenues in his plan from 16 percent of GDP to 19 percent of GDP. He says he is, but as far as I know, he has not modified his proposal to reflect that.
And now let’s get to the paragraph a lot of you will flay me for: I don’t think Ryan is a charlatan or a flim-flam artist. More to the point, I think he’s playing an important role, and one I’m happy to try and help him play: The worlds of liberals and conservatives are increasingly closed loops. Very few politicians from one side are willing to seriously engage with the other side, particularly on substance. Substance is scary. Substance is where you can be made to look bad. And substance has occasionally made Ryan look bad. But the willingness to engage has made him look good. It’s given some people the information they need to decide him a charlatan, and others the information they need to decide him a bright spot. It’s also given Ryan a much deeper understanding of liberal ideas than most conservative politicians have.
Ezra Klein justifies soft balling with Paul Ryan. Journolist guilty conscience?
I’m not buying what Ezra’s selling either. Check out the comments, some pretty thoughtful, though this one sums it up for me:
So you are saying that Ryan is not a charlatan, merely stupid? Or viciously insensitive to the human consequences of his enthusiasms?
Posted by: janinsanfran | August 6, 2010 6:54 PM |
Which is a bit analogous with the Coates judgement on Tea Party race baiting and their apologists - they are either racists or imbeciles.
I’m sensing a trend….