“I Just Love Economics”

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Paul Ryan. Source of photo: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited below.

(p. 16) Your once-quiet life as a congressman from Wisconsin was forever altered at the House Republican retreat in Baltimore last month, when President Obama singled you out as a “pretty sincere guy” and gave a shout-out to your “Road Map for America’s Future 2.0,” your plan to balance the federal budget.
He brought up my plan and I thought for a moment, Wow, this could be a sincere olive branch.

As the ranking Republican member of the House Budget Committee, you are seen within your party as a policy wonk.
I’ve been working on the federal budget most of my adult life, which is kind of a pretty sad thing to admit to. I just love economics.
Your “Road Map,” we should explain, is a somewhat alarming document that proposes, in 600-plus pages, erasing the federal deficit by radically restricting the government’s role in social programs like Social Security and Medicare. The president described it as “a serious proposal.”
Right. And then the next day his budget director starts ripping me and then the day after that the entire Democratic National Committee political machine starts launching demagogic attacks on me and my plan. So when you hear the word “bipartisanship” come from the president and then you see his political machine get in full-force attack mode, it comes across as very insincere.

For the full interview, see:
DEBORAH SOLOMON. “Questions for Paul Ryan; The Big Cheese.” The New York Times, Magazine Section (Sun., February 21, 2010): 16.
(Note: bold in original versions, to indicate questions by Deborah Solomon.)
(Note: the online version of the article is dated February 19, 2010.)

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