Thank Heaven for Paul Krugman; He Does the Math

I read something on the Internet recently about staying young, and one revelation that sticks in my mind is that the people who best resist aging watch the least amount of TV.

I find that easy to believe. Listening to TV pundits is certainly putting wrinkles in my brow.

Recently, as I said in an earlier blog, these sages have come up with the notion that a Wisconsin congressman named Paul Ryan (illustration above, left) is an intellectual who provides a coherent Republican alternative to President Obama’s policies.

In my earlier blog, I noted that  Ryan’s claim to fame is that he keeps trying to pass legislation abolishing Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and children’s health insurance. “In effect, the GOP’s ‘idea man’ wants to wipe out all the social programs that generations of Democrats have won for the American people,” I concluded.

I added:

I don’t know what kind of “voodoo economics” Ryan uses to justify this wicked nonsense. His plan looks like a road map to disaster to me. It would not only destroy all traces of humanity in American society, it would also expand the already huge deficit to astronomical proportions.

Well, thanks to Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman (photo above, right), I now know how Ryan cooks the books. In his New York Times column on Thursday, Krugman took the Ryan “road map” apart and exposed the voodoo arithmetic on which it is based.

Krugman reveals that buried in Ryan’s plan is a proposal to slash taxes for the richest Americans. The “road map” boils down to a scheme to cut benefits to the poor and middle class, while giving more tax breaks to the very rich.

And the Princeton professor exposes Ryan’s arithmetic as totally bogus. As I suspected,his road map would greatly expand the U.S. deficit.

Here’s how Krugman sums up the “road map”:

Mr. Ryan isn’t offering fresh food for thought; he’s serving up leftovers from the 1990s, drenched in flimflam sauce… The Ryan plan is a fraud that makes no useful contribution to the debate over America’s fiscal future…

What gives me wrinkles is the lackluster job today’s TV pundits do in presenting the “flimflam sauce” that so many politicians serve up. When Tim Russert (“Meet the Press”) was alive, American television viewers had someone who did his homework and asked probing questions. I’m sure Russert would have done the math and figured out that Ryan is no “intellectual” but – as Krugman brands him – a charlatan.

Here’s a link to Krugman’s op-ed piece. It’s worth reading:

www.nytimes.com/2010/08/06/opinion/06krugman.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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