Sometimes Paul Krugman is a little over the top with his criticism of people who disagree with him. This is not one of those times.
Way back in 2010 I declared that Paul Ryan — who was rapidly becoming the darling of the “fiscal responsibility” crowd — was a fraud, a flim-flam man. Very Serious People were very seriously annoyed — they’d anointed him, and they didn’t want to hear anything negative. They even gave him a “Fiscy”, an award for fiscal responsibility.
So I wonder: are they willing to concede, at long last, that he’s a clown?
His latest budget proposal has received some harsh critiques. It calls for huge tax cuts, supposedly offset by closing loopholes and ending tax expenditures — except that in a long report he fails to name a single tax expenditure that he would cut. It assumes drastic cuts in discretionary spending, basically eliminating everything except defense. And over the medium term, of course, it’s a plan to savage the poor while giving big tax breaks to the rich.
So actually two questions: are people finally willing to concede that Ryan is not now and has never been remotely serious? And — I know this is probably far too much to ask — are they going to do a bit of soul-searching over how they got snookered by this obvious charlatan?