Friday, September 14, 2012

Paul Ryan the Part Time Numerologist

Paul Ryan's gaffes, such as claiming he ran a full marathon under three hours or climbing dozens of mountains, and his more serious mistakes, such as attacking people's Social Security and Medicare and trying to politicize the horrible assassination of a beloved ambassador, appear to be taking their toll.

Ryan's taken a look at how he and his running partner, Mitt Romney, are doing in the polls and doesn't like what he sees.

A sign that the Romney/Ryan ticket isn't going over very well is that fact that even though it's his own home state and picking him should've meant that Wisconsin was an automatic lock, Romney has had to send Ryan to Wisconsin twice in the past week, just for them to stay close in the polls. To confirm that they aren't doing as well as the squawkers would like you to think that they are, Romney is only spending a minimal amount of money in Wisconsin on ads. And that's after he's already given up on Pennsylvania, Nevada, New Mexico and Michigan.

In fact, things are looking so bad for the Romney/Ryan ticket that Ryan has decided to start throwing millions of dollars into ads aimed at helping him preserve his Congressional seat. There's no vote of confidence as like having your own running mate starting to scramble to save his own butt as the ship goes down.

No wonder old Willard's been particularly surly lately.

But the ads might not do Ryan too much good for him in regards for his current seat either. Despite being in that seat for 18 years and having all the publicity of being named Romney's running mate - or maybe because of these things - Ryan can't even keep a big lead over Rob Zerban, who hasn't even run an ad yet.

Even the Cap Times was able to brilliantly point out how much Ryan thinks of his own district:
But Ryan has not agreed to debate in his race for re-election to the House, despite the fact that he faces a credible Democratic challenger who has drawn significant attention at the local, state and national levels.

That challenger, Rob Zerban, has asked Ryan to join him in two debates.

If Ryan has the time to campaign in DePere, he should have the time to debate in Racine or Kenosha or Lake Geneva or Janesville.

If Ryan cannot find the time to debate Zerban, 1st District voters will have every right to ask whether he has forgotten them in his headlong rush for the national spotlight.
But while Ryan has been focusing and trying to cipher meaning from all the poll numbers, both external and internal, there are some numbers that he doesn't want to bother with, even though they could help explain his poor showing in the polls.

The numbers that Ryan has been avoiding are those that involve his own budget plan:
First, Mitt Romney has been going around telling everyone that, if elected, he intends to balance the federal budget by the end of his second term, or shortly thereafter. Ryan says that they don't know when Romney's plan will balance the budget. If Ryan is right, then what is Romney basing that claim on?

Second, the narrative that Ryan has cultivated among the press is that he's a budget wonk who understands fiscal issues and is allergic to deficits (this despite having voted for all the Bush-era policies that saddled us with high debt and ballooning deficits). Embracing the Romney budget and then saying that he doesn't know when it will balance because the campaign "hasn't run the numbers" runs counter to his reputation as a Serious Fiscal Hawk.

Third, as Ezra Klein of the Washington Post detailed yesterday, the Romney campaign's rhetoric about their budget goals butts up hard against fiscal realities. The campaign argues that their budget will cut spending to 20 percent of GDP by 2016. That's unlikely enough, but they've also announced that cuts to Medicare are off the table. As Klein put it, Romney's stated goal of balancing the budget in 8-10 years is "a fantasy, and it will never happen." Ryan's remarks yesterday would seem to confirm that.

Fourth, how can you claim to have a budget and also to have not "run the numbers?" Isn't that all a budget is? Numbers that have been run?
It is becoming more and more apparent that Ryan's claims of being so popular and of having the solution to the country's economic situation is about as genuine as his claims of running a marathon in world record time or climbing mountains - nothing more than the delusions of a sad, little, desperate man.


  1. The good news is that even if Paul Ryan looses twice in the same day(!) he will still have a bright future.

    After all, here is is just 4 years after Sarah Palin lost, and she is still just as relevant now as she was four years ago.

    There is always that weinermobile if the family fortune and wingnut welfare fails him.

  2. Was down at Democratic Party headquarters Tuesday (signing up to canvass), and was told this: Romney/Ryan had been placing Pennsylvania, Michigan, then Wisconsin as their three top battleground states for spending money. Recent polls in #s 1 & 2 have turned out so poorly that they've decided to pull all their spending out of trying to win there, and instead putting all those monies into Wisconsin for a TV ad and robocall blitz.

    One wonders how effective that might be, since many people hate the robocalls, and dislike the constant TV ads.

    Obama just announced he'll be having a big fundraiser soon in Milwaukee.