American Elephants

Erskine Bowles Talks About Paul Ryan: by The Elephant's Child

Erskine Bowles at the University of North Carolina, Lambeth Lecture 2011

Democrats are attempting to pile on and declare Paul Ryan as a wild-eyed, dangerous radical: but that theme is apt to come back and bite them; because that is, quite specifically, just what Paul Ryan is definitely not. Not radical, but serious about serious problems that the President and the Democrats in Congress are not prepared to face up to — or deal with.

Ryan has produced two House budgets, voted on and passed. The Senate, under Harry Reid, has refused to produce or pass the legally required budget for over 1,200 days.

Erskine Bowles was most recently co-chair of President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform with Alan Simpson.  Better known as “Simpson-Bowles”— the sensible budget plant that Obama ignored. Before that Bowles was president of the University of North Carolina, and before that, he was Bill Clinton’s Chief of Staff. He is a Democrat.

Have any of you met Paul Ryan? We should get him to come to the university. I’m telling you this guy is amazing, uh. I always thought that I was OK with arithmetic, but this guy can run circles around me. And, he is honest. He is straightforward. He is sincere.

And, the budget that he came forward with is just like Paul Ryan. It is a sensible, straightforward, serious budget and it cut the budget deficit by $4 trillion…just like we did.

The President came out with his own plan and the President came out, as you will remember, with a budget and I don’t think anyone took that budget very seriously. Um, the Senate voted against it 97 to nothing. He, therefore, after a lot of pressure from folks like me, he came out with a new budget framework and, in the new budget framework, he cut the budget deficit by $4 trillion over 12 years. And, to be candid, this $4 trillion cut was very heavily back-end loaded. So, if you looked at it on a 10 year basis and compared apples-to-apples, it was about a $2.5 trillion cut.”

President Obama has sent two budgets to Congress, late, both were rejected unanimously. I suppose if you put a budget on the table, the state of the economy appears in print. To be avoided at all costs. The president is probably putting that off until after the election. He does not want to cut the budget deficit.

4 Comments so far
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What’s the matter with radical? To me it’s not a pejorative term. What matters is the noun that follows it.


Comment by Subsidy Eye

Anything to the right of Obama & Co. would be denounced as “radical”. And from their persective, it would be. It was that “radical” idea of America that Obama sought to change. Since Obama lives in an Obama-centered universe, anything he disagrees with is “radical”.


Comment by Lon Mead

My point is that, to many voters who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, “radical” is not a bad adjective necessarily. So invoking it to slander Paul could backfire.


Comment by Subsidy Eye

No, I get your point, and I agree with it. The Obama campaign’s attempts to portray Ryan as a “radical” WILL blow up in their faces, simply because he’s not going to be perceived as one.


Comment by Lon Mead

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