I’ve covered elsewhere (here, here and here) Paul Ryan’s budget flimflam and faux “courage,” so little in his speech’s dishonesty Wednesday night was surprising (though it remains audacious). Instead, the thing that lingered with me was Ryan’s socialist strawman. In my scribbled notes, Ryan said President Obama and the Democrats saw life as one “dull, unadventurous journey from one entitlement to the next,” as part of a “government-planned life.” He vowed to repulse the “supervision and sanctimony of the central planners.” There were other jabs in the same Ayn Randian spirit.
All I can say is: What is the man talking about? Under Obama, the stock market has doubled; corporate profits have reached record highs; nearly all the benefits of the recovery have been reaped by the top 1 percent; Democrats modeled their health reform on Mitt Romney’s sensible Republican design; and the share of income going to labor, as opposed to capital, has reached all-time lows. If this is how capitalists fare under a “socialist,”you’d think they’d be cheering for more. Just reflecting on those facts versus the fictional dystopia Ryan wants as his foil shows once more how far removed Republican rhetoric is from anything resembling reality.