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Saturday, April 09, 2011

Excellent evisceration of the Ryan plan by James Fallows

Not for the faint of stomach.

But Fallows feels the need to add some Ballance. He wrote

Ryan's budget plan is no worse than some other partisan proposals, and it has the virtue of being more detailed than most. Let me hasten to say that it is more comprehensive and convincing than one I could draw up myself. But it's also no big intellectual or conceptual improvement on other partisan proposals. The wonder is that Ryan has managed to convince some people that it is.

Notice that the other partisan proposals which are as bad as Ryans are as mysterious invisible and undescribed as the discretionary spending cuts and tax base broadening in the Ryan budget. Fallows asserts that such proposals exist. I challenge him to find any partisan proposal as bad as Ryans with the single restriction that the party whose partisans make the proposal must not be the Khmer Rouge. Due to the late unlamented fairness doctrine, I have heard the partisan proposals of the US Communist pary and the Socialist Workers Party. Paul Ryan makes those general secretaries look like Ezra Klein. I am sure that Fallows refered to "other partisan proposals" without deciding exactly what was so bad about those other partisan proposals. In fact I am pretty sure theat he didn't decide exactly which other partisan proposals he had in mind.

This is sloppy thinking and writing, but there is worse much worse. Fallows wrote "it is more comprehensive and convincing than one I could draw up myself." This is absolutely absurd. No one who has read anything Fallows wrote (especially including the linked post) could believe such a thing. Charlie Brown's cousin with the irrational inferiority complex couldn't sincerely underestimate himself so. I assert that the quoted text was not "intended to be a factual statement".

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