An update to this post on the back and forth between Paul Road map Ryan and economist Paul Krugman, Ryan replied and Krugman blasts him for continuing to be deceptive, Doubletalk Express
Notice that Ryan does not address the issue of the zero nominal growth assumption, and how that assumption — not entitlement reforms — is the key to his alleged spending cuts by 2020.
Whether Ryan could or could not get a nearly century long estimate of his tax projections from the Congressional JCT (The Joint Committee on Taxation) or as Ryan and the Atlantic’s Megan McArdle claim the JCT refused to do a ten year projection, the above fact still stands. Much of the Right’s defense of Ryan thus far consists of Krugman is being mean. That’s debatable and irrelevant at that. This is part of Ryan’s reply,
The Tax Policy Center analysis covers a 10-year period, but the Roadmap is a long-term plan with spending and revenue projections covering 75 years. As such, the analysis is not consistent with the long-term horizon of the plan. Staff originally asked CBO to do a long-term analysis of both the tax and spending provisions in the Roadmap. However, CBO declined to do a revenue analysis of the tax plan, citing that it did not want to infringe on the traditional jurisdiction of the JCT. JCT, however, does not have the capability at this time to provide longer-term revenue estimates (i.e. beyond 10 years) [my emphasis]. Given these functional constraints for an official analysis, staff relied on its original work with the Treasury Department and other tax experts to formulate a reasonable expected path for long-term revenues given the tax policies in the Roadmap combined with the economic growth projections available at the time.
Ryan had the clear opportunity to flatly state the JCT refused to do a 10 year estimate, but he did not. There is no evidence at this date which supports the assertion the JCT refused to do a ten year estimate. The Weakly Standard ( one of the five worse right-wing disinformation sites on the net) has posted this defense of Ryan, Ryan Rips Krugman: ‘Intellectually Lazy’ and ‘Bizarre’ Attack, Congressman Paul Ryan disputes NY Times columnist’s claims on taxes, spending, and Medicare. BY John McCormack
Krugman wrote on his blog on Saturday that “Ryan could have gotten JCT to do a 10-year estimate; it just wouldn’t go beyond that. And he chose not to get that 10-year estimate.” Ryan says that’s not true. “We asked Joint Tax to do it,” Ryan told me. “They said they couldn’t. They don’t do them long-term outside the 10 year window. They couldn’t do it in the first 10 years because of just how busy they were.” Ryan says Krugman could have cleared this confusion up with a simple phone call. “Megan McArdle figured it out on her own,” Ryan said, referring to a blog post by The Atlantic’s business and economics editor.
Suddenly the JCT could not do an estimate. And Ryan suggests they don’t need no stink’n JCT anyway because “experts at the Treasury Department ” have said his plan meets his target. The JCT estimate is either important or it’s not. The JCT refused to do an estimate or it did not. Ryan’s numbers as he put them down – Ryan’s Road Map – which the Weakly Standard is defending has been estimated to have the same deficit as the path we are on now. Maybe worse. Ryan’s numbers are a fraud in regards Medicare and taxes on the middle-class will go up ( if facts like that are mean and hurt Ryan’s feelings than gee I’m sorry). TWS knows a little about flimflaming itself. This is what they write in defense of Ryan’s tax increases,
The Tax Policy Center claims that compared to current law (with all Bush tax cuts expiring), Ryan’s plan would reduce taxes for most Americans. But compared to current policy (extending the Bush tax cuts for most workers and patching the Alternative Minimum Tax every year), the Tax Policy Center says Americans earning between $20,000 and $200,000 per year would see their federal taxes increase 0.9 percent to 1.7 percent. ( TWS had described The tax Polict Center in a previous paragraph as Liberal. Not true they are a non-partisan tax policy think-tank. Ironic they’re damning them as reliable partisans one minute than using their numbers the next)
When you average Ryan’s tax cuts – which are not evenly distributed across income groups – then you get that nice apparently minuscule increase of 1.7 percent. That’s called a con job, a flimflam, a lie hidden in numbers. You do not get into making claims with numbers like that accidentally, you must have malicious intent to deceive the reader. The big picture, the bottom line, the most generous one can be is Ryan’s Road map is not ready for prime time. It doesn’t matter who did the revenue estimates or the spending estimates. If Ryan’s plan was handed in as homework he’d get an incomplete at best. He uses some doublepseak we’ve come to expect from politicians, but even Ryan admits as much,
“Nobody knows the answer to this, by the way, if TPC is right or if the data we got from Treasury was right,” said Ryan, who thinks Treasury’s numbers are “closer” to reality. “The point is this: we made a full effort to hit revenue targets. They may hit the revenue targets and TPC may be wrong.“
Ryan said that if the Treasury Department’s analysis lowballed the revenue needed, there are “plenty of different ways” you “can tweak the rates and the numbers” so the numbers add up.
So Ryan wants the teacher to keep handing back his paper with suggestions (tweaks) for corrections until the paper is ready for an actual grade. This is the guy calling Krugman “intellectually lazy”. Maybe Ryan shouldn’t hand the public a half-ass rough draft and pretend like it’s got all the answers and lame web sites like TWS shouldn’t rush to his defense armed with partisan hackery instead of facts.
The political voice of the Palin/Santelli intellectual movement is Rep. Paul Ryan, who has issued a “Roadmap for America’s Future.” As Krugman explains, “nobody checks his arithmetic.” Krugman calls Ryan a “Flimflam Man,” and the reasons he gives for that harsh assessment are persuasive. The core of Krugman’s takedown is this: Ryan’s plan won’t “cut the deficit in half,” despite claims to that effect. In fact, a nonpartisan group says it would reduce revenue by almost $4 trillion over the next ten years. Krugman:
“The Tax Policy Center finds that the Ryan plan would cut taxes on the richest 1 percent of the population in half, giving them 117 percent of the plan’s total tax cuts. That’s not a misprint. Even as it slashed taxes at the top, the plan would raise taxes for 95 percent of the population.”
That’s a perfect snapshot of the Republican Conservanomic agenda: Expand an already-massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to wealthy Americans. Let America’s government and infrastructure collapse for lack of funding. And fool the people by pretending that Magical Tax Fairies will wave their wands and make everything all right.
We tried the tax cutting our way into prosperity – not even ultra conservatives Alan Greenspan or David Stockman worship at that church anymore. They’re not Keynesians by any means, but at least they’re not reinventing Bushnomics and relabeling it “Road map”. One of the things, dogmas actually, of the cult of Conservonomics is this grotesque devotion to protecting the extraordinary wealth of those that live off the labor of others, To Have and Have Not – Ranks of Millionaires, Impoverished Both Are Climbing, Data Shows the Gap Separating the Richest and Poorest Americans Continues to Widen
Yet, according to a newly released report from wealth tracking consultants Capgemini, the number of millionaires across ten major U.S. metropolitan areas increased 17.5 percent in 2009 over 2008. New York City has the most millionaires, 667,000, up 18.7 percent.
That Obama socialism – where he was going to redistribute wealth downward – does not seem to be working out too well.