(I’m on vacation. I spent today in a pool throwing Sal 11000 Beta up in the air. So, this week, I will just have an occasional post when the family’s asleep and I haven’t had too much to drink yet.)
I’ll give Team Romney credit for this: his VP pick sure has the Left shitting their pants. Today, some protesters tried to rush the stage. And the Democratic leadership, with Ms. Verbal Diarrhea in the lead, has been … to put it mildly … lying their asses off about him:
It had the makings of a scandal: Paul Ryan traded banking stocks during the financial crisis the same day as a meeting with top Treasury Department officials, a Virginia blog wrote Monday. But the rumor, which spread rapidly across the Internet, doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.
The meeting in question took place on Sept. 18, 2008, between Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and congressional leaders including Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner and Harry Reid. The Richmonder, a progressive Virginia blog, noted on Monday that Ryan’s financial disclosure form from 2008 showed that he sold stock in Citigroup and JP Morgan, who were in crisis, the same day and bought stock in Goldman Sachs, which proved to be stronger. The blog claimed that Ryan also attended the meeting. The implication, they stated, was that he was using information gleaned from the briefing for personal profit.
It was wrong. In fact, the meeting with Bernanke took place in the evening after trading hours, meaning Ryan wouldn’t have had time to execute the move if he wanted to.
The Romney campaign said Ryan had nothing to do with the trades in the first place. They were part of a Russell 1000 index fund that automatically traded stocks as part of a pre-set formula. Ryan’s disclosure forms include several similar trade patterns at various points throughout the year.
There have been other lies too. There has been what Politifact labelled as their Lie of 20011: that the Ryan Plan ends Medicare as we know it. The Democrats are leaving out the part where people over 55 will not be moved to vouchers and other can opt out. They also incorrectly claimed that the Federal Personhood bill he supported (which was bad enough) tried to outlaw abortion, which it did not. It simply called on the states to recognize that life begins at conception. And so on.
Look, Ryan has a lot of controversial views. We can discuss them. But we don’t need to resort to making shit up, do we? No? No? OK. I don’t like his views on a number of issues, including abortion. But, as I said on Twitter, it’s unlikely abortion is going to be outlawed in the near future. It is likely — very likely — that we will go bankrupt or have a major fiscal crisis. And Ryan is one of the few people who has proposed doing something about it.
I expect, that as time goes on, most attention will focus on Ryan’s budget plan. This is a good thing; we need to be discussing the budget. Ryan will take a lot of heat for his plan but … well, this is what he gets for actually having a plan (unlike Obama) and not trying to have every plan simultaneously (like Romney).
The big problem is Ryan’s plan hits Medicare. You want to criticize him for it? Fine. But first you have to put out a plan that balances the budget without cutting Medicare (no, raising taxes on the rich won’t get us there).
You can’t. It’s impossible. Because, without changes, Medicare is going to swell to gobble up an unrealistic section of our economy. No budget plan — no plan — works without reining in MedicareMedicare. As Ryan said in testimony to the House, Medicare as we know it is ending. That’s not up for debate. What we’re discussing is how it’s going to change. Both Simpson-Bowles and the President’s semi-plan incorporate cost controls to Medicare. Medicare changes are going to happen; the debate is over how we are going to fix the program.
So all the people screaming about the Ryan plan need to shut up. Because what they are advocating is no plan. What they are advocating is bankruptcy.