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It’s Ryan

All I can say is this is going to make the Vice Presidential debates a thing to watch. Paul Ryan v. Joe Biden? That’s almost worth getting cable again for. But here I am, I once again, as I have for every race since 1996, wishing the ticket were reversed. GOP candidates seem to do a better job picking leaders than GOP primary voters.

UPDATE: Ryan on guns.

28 Responses to “It’s Ryan”

  1. Oranje Mike says:

    Reason is quick with an article analyzing Ryan and pointing out that his record is very much in line with Bush and Obama on the things that really matter. Ryan, I think, is a good choice for the talking point political theater of politics but at the end of the day, he shows how Democrats and Republicans are really just different arms of one political party in the United States.

    http://reason.com/blog/2012/08/11/are-paul-ryans-budget-plans-radical-or-w

    • Harold says:

      “Politics is the art of the possible” and I don’t see the current Congressional Republicans dropping the deficit much below an annual trillion until borrowing costs really start to hurt.

      On the other hand, there’s the “Never do any enemy a small injury” advice from Machiavelli; the Reagan years showed that “cuts” that were absolute budget increases, just decreases from the automatically rising budget “baseline”, were beyond the pale and will be blamed for everything from the homeless (they’ll stop being invisible on January the 20th if Romney is elected) to war (ditto on Gitmo’s visibility), pestilence (???), plague (AIDS then, MDR/XDR TB now?) and famine (“food insecurity” nowadays).

      Still, if the White House can’t get the Congress to sign on to a budget … maybe it’s time for budget process reform? Our current mess is in large part due to “reforms” passed during the Watergate era.

      We’ll know our ruling class is really serious when the reform the civil service system so that the 4th branch of government is not always liberal (of course, that’ll probably take a replacement of it, but I think that’s coming one way or another). How else will we reform the BATF?

  2. I think Ryan is a good choice especially when it comes to gun issues. He is solidly on our side.

    • Harold says:

      That turns out not to be the case, see the comment I just added to link our host provided.

      Remember the case our host has made for the indispensable importance of gun shows; this bill that he voted for was a strike against them, and if not this one (haven’t analyzed it closely enough yet), others in that period were clearly designed to indirectly outlaw them by making them too dangerous to hold. At best it would create another sort of hidden federal crime for behavior with no intent to commit a crime.

  3. Ian Argent says:

    Ryan is known as a fiscal policy wonk, not as a social policy conservative. The message here its that Romney didn’t feel the need to shore up his social conservative credentials. Interesting.

    • Bitter says:

      That’s what he’s known for, but I think he is pretty socially conservative. I think it is interesting, but nothing radical.

    • AndyN says:

      To me the message was that the economy was the most important issue right now and for the foreseeable future. Social issues won’t matter at all if the country’s insolvent.

    • Patrick H says:

      Except he voted for TARP, the auto bailouts, and medicare expansion. Not very good on the fiscal side.

      • Wes says:

        Yep, Paul Ryan is a big fake phony who somehow has people convinced he’s a small-government conservative when he’s really a big-spending, big-government neocon.

        • Harold says:

          As the word neocon is current abused, yes.

          We of all groups should be familiar with politicians who talk one way and vote another.

          What’s unique about Ryan is he’s articulate about changing course by a small degree, e.g. hitting the fiscal brick wall at maybe 80-90 mph instead of the 100 that Obama and the Congress (in either party’s hands) currently have us at. That does in fact make him better than the rest of the Congressional Republican leadership, and he’s certainly taken plenty of heat for it. Also makes him better than Reagan, but the latter’s situation and goals were quite different, e.g. winning the Cold War was a lot more important and we were so far on the wrong side of the Laffer Curve tax rate changes could make a fantastic difference, as they did after their stupid 3 year phase in.

          Can and will he, Romney, and the current national Republican leadership save us from hitting the brick wall in a most painful way? Almost certainly not. Are they a better choice than Team Obama and the 2009-10 Congressional Democrats (plus of course the still Democratic Senate). Yes. Especially if/when we hit that brick wall during the Romney presidency … although as I keep citing Bob Krumm, there’s a very good chance that “2012 will be the last year that a Republican is ever elected President.

          Enough better to get excited about? That’ll depend on you, but in this area Ryan was the best choice for Romney, and will also refocus the campaign on Romney’s chosen ground (“It’s the economy, and we’re not stupid”).

      • Harold says:

        TARP is a debatable point, I believe, also an unfalsifiable one, we can’t say at this date that without out, we’re sure the financial system wouldn’t have collapsed. Certain parts of it like money market funds certainly were failing in real time when the government realized letting Lehman Brothers fail was a mistake (the dangers of moral hazard, the rescue of Bear Stearns signaled to Lehman and the rest that they’d get rescued and most of them proceeded to act like that). Therefore I don’t consider a vote for TARP in the same category as the rest.

        The auto bailout vote can be explained by his Democratic constituency having a lot of UAW members, his ability to change things has been contingent on his staying in office, after all.

        The rest, though, including a vote to confiscate 90% of AIG “bonuses” (scare quotes because that’s how the financial industry does its compensation, base pay plus a bigger end of year bonus if you make your targets, the vote was in essence to destroy AIG’s ability to recover by depriving it of talent), are impossible to reconcile with his being responsible in the fiscal and financial areas.

        • Patrick H says:

          TARP did nothing but raise inflation and line the pockets of those who should have failed. If anything, in only delayed the financial collapse. All of those banks should have failed, and it actually hurt the economy- it did not help it.

          • Harold says:

            TARP did nothing but raise inflation

            ???—I’m not aware of this happening at all, and it’s pretty unlikely in a crisis including massive deflation (destruction of money and rapid deceleration of its velocity). Can you point to resulting inflation?

            line the pockets of those who should have failed

            Revenge makes poor economic policy.

            If anything, in only delayed the financial collapse.

            Very possible, but if so, 4 years later, that’s due to economic malpractice following TARP, not TARP per se.

            All of those banks should have failed

            Leading us straight to a real, ’30s style post-Credit-Anstalt Great Depression? The only saving grace to that is that Obama doesn’t have a smidgen of the political talent of FDR.

            it actually hurt the economy- it did not help it.

            We do not and cannot know that. If the perception of counter-party risk had continued to skyrocket, if the run on money market funds hadn’t been stopped and we’d let the world financial system freeze up, then your statement is clearly wrong.

            The questions I see are, was TARP a necessary component in addressing the crisis and did it unnecessarily signal panic and make things worse that way?

            • Patrick H says:

              TARP did nothing but raise inflation
              ???—I’m not aware of this happening at all, and it’s pretty unlikely in a crisis including massive deflation (destruction of money and rapid deceleration of its velocity). Can you point to resulting inflation?

              Here’s a great article on the problems of TARP. It raised inflation because the Fed printed money to give to the banks.

              line the pockets of those who should have failed
              Revenge makes poor economic policy.

              What are you talking about? This isn’t about revenge. Its about free markets and letting those who are bad fail. We shouldn’t prop up failing enterprises.

              If anything, in only delayed the financial collapse.
              Very possible, but if so, 4 years later, that’s due to economic malpractice following TARP, not TARP per se.

              No, TARP wasted money on institutions that should have failed. That money should have been used for creation, not for propping up failed institutions.

              All of those banks should have failed
              Leading us straight to a real, ’30s style post-Credit-Anstalt Great Depression? The only saving grace to that is that Obama doesn’t have a smidgen of the political talent of FDR.

              We are already in a depression. Just like FDR, TARP only prolonged the depression. If they would have failed, there would have be pain, no doubt. But that’s because the whole depression is government created anyway. It caused a bubble that needed to be corrected. So the market would have corrected it- the banks would have failed, and then new, better banks would take over.

              it actually hurt the economy- it did not help it.
              We do not and cannot know that. If the perception of counter-party risk had continued to skyrocket, if the run on money market funds hadn’t been stopped and we’d let the world financial system freeze up, then your statement is clearly wrong.
              The questions I see are, was TARP a necessary component in addressing the crisis and did it unnecessarily signal panic and make things worse that way?

              No its correct in that it hurt it. It prolonged the depression and made the pain that was coming further down the road. Without TARP the economy would have recovered by now.

              TARP was the worst way of addressing the crisis- by making it appear things were okay. Instead the market should have allowed the correction, making short term pain for long term gain. Instead we still have a weak economy.

            • Patrick H says:

              Whoops, forgot the link

              Was TARP good for the Taxpayers?

              • Harold says:

                The only relevant point of that was “Did TARP Prevent Another Depression?” and that section is ludicrous (it quotes a pundit on 1929-31 history and says he’s wrong; the analysis is so superficial the analogy to 2008 and beyond is useless). The following section on business lending is important, but that was beyond the scope of TARP, and was addressed by other stuff (e.g. the FED buying scads of commercial paper).

                Perhaps most relevant of all in our—can’t call it a discussion since we are talking past each other—it wisely makes no claim about TARP and inflation.

                • Patrick H says:

                  Ludicrous? That section is dead on- though you will have to read the book he linked to understand. The “standard” thought on the Great Depression is so wrong its almost funny.

                  It doesn’t, but that wasn’t my point of linking it. TARP did cause additional inflation- and he has a hint about it in there. The Fed printed more money, which is the definition of inflation.

                  Regardless, even if I’m wrong in that fact, In no universe was TARP good for the economy or America.

                  • Harold says:

                    The Fed printed more money, which is the definition of inflation.

                    Let’s do the following thought experiment. In two adjacent rooms in the Treasury, a printing press in one prints money at the rate of $100 per second. In the other, a furnace burns money at a rate of $N per second.

                    If N = 100, no inflation will occur. If less, the money supply increases, and all things being equal (hand wave/ignore the velocity of money, although you really need to have a grasp of that to e.g. understand what triggered the Wiemar inflation and what might trigger the same in the US (perhaps nothing less than a US city getting nuked)) and you have inflation, more dollars chasing around (all things being equal) the same amount of goods.

                    If N is more, the money supply at net is decreasing, and you have deflation. When e.g. the real estate asset bubble popped, money started getting “burned”, it ceased to exist as e.g. the value of a lot of houses went way down. AKA deflation.

                    So whether TARP was at net inflationary is not something you can determine by just looking at it alone.

                    • Sebastian says:

                      Printing money is not all that is required for inflation. If everyone hoards the printed money, you won’t have inflation. Look up the “Velocity of money,” which is also a component of inflation.

                    • Patrick H says:

                      Okay nice thought experiment. Except in the US there is no furnace burning money.

                      Money didn’t disappear when the housing bubble popped. What something is “worth” doesn’t affect how big the money supply is. People “lost” money when they had a loan that was greater than the house was worth- but they loan didn’t disappear.

                      Where did that $700 Billion TARP provided came from? It came in the form of debt. Which means future tax payments or inflation.

                      BTW, the “velocity of money” is a fallacy. Two men smarter than me already disproved it:

                      Is Velocity Magic?
                      The Velocity of Circulation

                      As you can tell, I think Keynes economics is bunk. I’m a through and through Misesian.

                    • Sebastian says:

                      If velocity were bunk, we’d have massive inflation right now. It’s hard to see how it’s bunk. If you earn money, or take printed money, and hoard it, it’s not going to have an effect on price levels because you’re not spending it.

                    • Harold says:

                      It could well be bunk in the mechanist MV=PT equation sense. Don’t know, will certainly entertain the Henry Hazlitt article on this.

                      But at the extremes … well, the very low velocity extreme sure seems to make sense and to match what’s happening now and in previous times. The insane velocity extreme that should go with the Weimar monetary base increase followed a few years later by the occupation of the Ruhr destroying confidence in the government … well, my skim of the Hazlitt article sounded like it went into confidence issues.

                      More later.

  4. Granny says:

    Interesting that you wish the ticket was reversed, that was my thought as soon as I listened to him speak this morning and then went online and read about him.

  5. NotClauswitz says:

    I really like that Ryan co-sponsored the Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act – the antis will be apoplectic and that’s always good.
    Social Issue-politics are a Luxury at a time when nobody has a job and the .Gov fat-cats are out golfing. When do you ever see Romney on a golf course?

  6. whathey says:

    Voting is a government hoax that teaches stupid citizens to believe in free will.

    • Harold says:

      I wonder if the people who voted for Ronald Reagan in 1980 believe that.

      • whathey says:

        Beliefs? Who cares? Freedom doesn’t matter after you’ve died from old age, and neither do one’s beliefs. Not that Reagan supported freedom or anything.

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