Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Paul Ryan: Just Another Pretty Face

The last six months have totally suuuuuuucked for Paul Ryan and the next six months aren't looking any better.

Ryan has watched his public persona veer from "serious guy" to a punchline in almost record speed for a Republican - and that's saying something. Largely, this transformation has been due to his own hubris - carefully cultivated and nurtured in a sealed bubble of his own bullshit.

The national press ate him alive when they got a hold of the weasely mathematics he has been selling the senior citizen crowd in Wisconsin for the last decade. Then of course there was the stimulus lie, the marathon time lie and the fake soup kitchen photo-op.

By the time the out-takes of his Time magazine photo shoot (above) hit the internet - Ryan's goose was cooked leading him directly to a home state election loss that will haunt him forever.

So with no one really caring anymore what Paul Ryan has to say - and not really believing it when they do - Ryan has been struck with perhaps a quiet but lethal mortal blow to his legacy.

In two words: Reinhart and Rogoff.

Paul Ryan has been basing his Ayn Rand style austerity doctrine on the work of Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, two Harvard economists who issued a study in 2010 which basically said countries who spend more than 90% of GDP do much worse than countries who do not. Hence, Mr. Makers-and-Takers had all the evidence he needed to justify social programming cuts that U.S. bishops called immoral.

Ryan sited their work specifically in spite of the fact that many world renown economists have been saying he's wrong for years. He based his motherfucking budgets on it.

The Reinhart and Rogoff study was Ryan's song and dance that vaulted him to the veep spot and the cover of magazines. It was what made him "serious" and "wonky."

Well, it turns out Reinhart and Rogoff made a mathematical mistake that was uncovered by a graduate student at UMass who just doing some homework. But it wasn't just a mistake - Reinhart and Rogoff didn't read and calculate the entire spread sheet of numbers - they forgot 5 rows.

When recalculating the findings with all the data not only did it change the outcome - Reinhart, Rogoff and biggest fan, Paul Ryan, turned out to be dead wrong. Countries who spend more than 90% of GDP not only do not experience drop in growth - they actually see an increase in growth.

Oh. My. God. OMG! We already know they'll let anyone in to Congress, Louie Gohmert is proof of that - but they'll let anyone teach at Harvard whether they can read a spread-sheet or not. All those Ryan power-points, all those hours wasted on a math mistake.

Everything Ryan stands for has now been called in to question. The guy just cannot tell the truth - about anything.

It will take time for the general public to understand the magnitude of Ryan's blunder and he'll do his best to worm out of it. But if you are interested in the toll Ryan's lies have already taken - he's hosting listening sessions all across SE Wisconsin this week - and no one cares.

Even Lindsey Lohan still has fans.