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Speaker Paul Ryan retires: his legacy is debt and disappointment

Paul Ryan’s long con. He betrayed his promises and left a legacy of debt and disappointment

Romney Ryan Rolls Royce Hood

From the Department of Headlines I Agree With

Vox:

Paul Ryan’s long con. He betrayed his promises and left a legacy of debt and disappointment.

House Speaker Paul Ryan’s legacy can be summed up in just one number: $343 billion.

That’s the increase between the deficit for fiscal year 2015 and fiscal year 2018 — that is, the difference between the fiscal year before Ryan became speaker of the House and the fiscal year in which he retired.

If the economy had fallen into recession between 2015 and 2018, Ryan’s record would be understandable. But it didn’t. In fact, growth quickened and the labor market tightened — which means deficits should’ve fallen. Indeed, that’s exactly what happened in each of the five years preceding Ryan’s speakership; from 2011 to 2015, annual deficits fell each year.

As he prepares to leave office, Ryan says that debt reduction is one of those things “I wish we could have gotten done.” Ryan, the man with the single most power over the federal budget in recent years, sounds like a bystander, as if he watched laws happen rather than made them happen.

(click here to continue reading Speaker Paul Ryan retires: his legacy is debt and disappointment – Vox.)

Bedtime Story - drawing by Barry Blitt

Ryan was always a fake wonk, and a full-on Koch Brother acolyte. For some reason, many in political media gave Ryan a pass, even when his economic policies never, ever had the outcome of stabilizing the government’s finances, and always always increased income inequality.

History will not be kind to Paul Ryan’s legacy, but that is of little comfort right now.

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