Paul Ryan: 66% PUMPED!
The video above is from August, 2011, when a proud Paul Ryan announced that he was 66% thrilled with the draconian sequestration bill that passed when emergency budget talks, in which Ryan played a starring role, fell apart. Ryan was pretty damn proud of the whole sequestration plan last August, bragging that he’s always been a proponent of sequestration to tame government spending and, finally, everyone was listening to him. But I guess, that was before it mattered whether he was being a petulant, narcissistic Young Gun, or a viable vice-presidential candidate . . .
Yesterday, Paul Ryan put on his tough-guy hat for a visit to “defense country”, in Fayetteville, NC, and laid his whole brilliant sequestration scheme in President Obama’s lap.. During his speech at a helicopter factory in North Carolina, Ryan advised (the absent) President Obama to “put up or shut up. The president needs to show us how this is going to be put into place” and he pledged that, under a Romney administration, the looming half-trillion in cuts to the Pentagon budget “will not happen. We believe in the doctrine of peace through strength. Strength means have a strong national defense.”
Funny, that wasn’t an issue when Republicans were playing chicken with the defense budget last year . . .
I guess we’ll have to excuse Ryan’s “fist pumping” over the latest bill Ryan referred to — the Sequestration Transparency Act (STA) — which was signed into law by President Barack Obama earlier this month for the campaign gambit that it is. The new law requires the Obama administration to send Congress a report within 30 days on its plan for $1.2 trillion in cuts to domestic and defense programs that will take place at the start of 2013 if Congress is unable to agree on another deficit-reduction plan before the end of the year.
To hear Ryan tell it, it sounds like Republicans put a gun to Obama’s head and forced him to “talk.” In reality, STA was a bipartisan bill (one of the few, the proud, etc) that the President signed (not vetoed) and is all part of the political push-pull intended to resolve sequestration before it goes into effect.
Ryan also indulged in some “concern trolling” over cutting defense jobs and the crushing effect it would have on the families of defense workers. Clearly, Ryan wasn’t that concerned, last year when he was pushing the sequester, for all he was worth, to satisfy deficit hawks. (Evidently Romney/Ryan have been won over by President Obama’s argument that government spending creates and safeguards American jobs! As long as the spending goes to the military).
Obama’s response, via campaign spokesman, Danny Kanner:
If Congressman Ryan were serious about avoiding the automatic defense cuts he decried in North Carolina today, he’d tell Mitt Romney and his fellow Republicans in Congress to work with the President to achieve balanced deficit reduction that includes asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share – as the plan President Obama has put forward does. But he’s not. In fact, Congressman Ryan voted for the agreement he criticized today, and he walked away from a balanced deficit reduction plan last summer because he thought it would help the President’s re-election prospects.