Mitt Romney has provided reporters with plenty of damning clips of past flip-flops — declaring himself “pro-choice”, calling blind trusts a “ruse”, labeling himself a “progressive”, just to name a few — and his newly-minted running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), seems set to emulate him. More specifically, like Romney, Ryan has done a complete flip on Keynesian economics. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes aired the evidence yesterday:
As Jonathan Chait points out, Ryan also made keynesian arguments in favor of the 2001 Bush tax cuts. Add these bits together with his vote for an alternate GOP stimulus package — which was less than 10 percent smaller than Obama’s stimulus and included increased infrastructure spending — and his pursuit of funds from Obama’s stimulus for his district, and Ryan’s claim to being intractably, ideologically opposed to Keynesian stimulus looks paper-thin at best.
As mentioned at the top, Ryan is only copying Mitt Romney’s flip-flop on the issue. Remember this slip-up?
Mitt Romney said Tuesday that cutting spending slows growth in the economy — a rhetorical slip more akin to an argument a Democrat might make than a Republican.
Speaking in Shelby Township, MI, the former Massachusetts governor took a question about the Simpson-Bowles fiscal commission empaneled by President Obama to address the nation’s deficit and debt issues. In his response, he said that addressing taxes and spending issues are essential.
“If you just cut, if all you’re thinking about doing is cutting spending, as you cut spending you’ll slow down the economy,” he said in part of his response. “So you have to, at the same time, create pro-growth tax policies.”
In nominating Ryan, we’re told, Romney has injected a clash of ideologies into the race. We’re told that 2012 is now a grand contest between two competing visions of the role of government. But the truth is that on economics, when Romney, Ryan and indeed Republican leaders past and present have had to stop speechifying and start fostering economic growth, they fall back on “big government,” deficit-running Keynesianism because history shows it works. There are many issues on which the two parties differ significantly — health care, for example, and global warming — but as Ryan’s flip-flop shows, no matter which party wins, Keynesian economics will be alive and well at the end of 2012.