Monday, February 8, 2010

Remember when Paul Ryan voted against earmark reform?

It's all too funny watching Paul Ryan pose as a tribune of fiscal rectitude. It's not just because he voted for Bush's budgets, it's not just because he voted for the deficit-financed Medicare drug benefit.

It's also because, just three short years ago, Paul Ryan voted against earmark reform and responsible budgeting:

Most Republicans supported the curbs on earmarks but opposed the other key piece of the package: restoring a "pay-as-you-go" rule requiring that any new tax cuts or entitlement programs not add to the deficit. That means such measures would have to be "paid for" by raising revenue or cutting spending elsewhere in the budget.

"This will have the back-door effect of simply raising taxes," said Janesville Rep. Paul Ryan, now the top Republican on the House Budget Committee.

Ryan argued that the pay-as-you-go provision wasn't tough enough on spending (it applies only to new entitlement programs, not discretionary programs such as education and defense), and that it shouldn't apply at all to tax cuts.

"We don't have a tax revenue problem in Washington, we have a spending problem in Washington," Ryan said.

Paul Ryan has no problem with voucherizing Medicare and turning it into a program that doesn't keep up with rising health care costs. He has no problem with balancing the budget on the backs of poor seniors. But sunsetting the Bush tax cuts is a matter of grave concern.

Cross-posted at Brew City Brawler.

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