August 1, 2011
Congressman Paul Ryan voted for the Budget Control Act of 2011, which raised the debt ceiling and set up “automatic” sequestration cuts of $109 billion in 2013, including $55 billion to defense. These cuts are now set to take effect on March 1. “The goal was never that these defense cuts actually occur,” Ryan lamely said later.
August 17, 2012
Ryan accused President Obama of wanting to make “devastating” defense cuts. Although Republicans typically maintain that government spending cannot create jobs, while campaigning for Vice President Ryan flipped and said: “Now there’s one thing we’re going to have to deal with to make sure we protect jobs in Virginia and around America. And that is these devastating defense cuts that president Obama is promising. That is the lack of leadership that he is providing. They call it sequester and all of that…”
January 27, 2013
Ryan now says “I think the sequester is going to happen because that $1.2 trillion in spending cuts, we can’t lose those spending cuts.” Ryan rules out raising revenues to reduce the federal deficit.
UPDATE: On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this morning, Nobel Prize economist Paul Krugman took the deficit scolds to school.
“If you spend a lot of your time talking about the debt and the entitlements are the big problem, the message that actually what we need to is promote jobs gets lost. And in fact, we spent the last two and a half years focused entirely on arguing about the long-term deficit and entitlements and doing nothing for employment right now.
…“People like me have been saying for five years, don’t worry about these deficit things for the time being, they’re a non-issue,” Krugman observed. “Other people have been saying, ‘Imminent crisis, imminent crisis!’ How many times do they have to be wrong and do people like me have to be right before people start to believe this?”
UPDATE: Media Matters: Media Talk Deficits, Ignore Economic Growth
Experts like Paul Krugman consistently argue that economic growth is more pressing of an issue than deficits, and that the focus on deficits and debt distracts policymakers from the very real problem of sustained high unemployment and a weak economy. But television media are largely ignoring these experts.
UPDATE: The GOP’s Big Sequester Bluff