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Paul Ryan, Fiscal Conservative?

August 15, 2012

Paul Ryan is the poster boy for small government, tea party republicans. The most likely reason he was chosen as Romney’s VP is to shore up support among that group. Looking at his voting record in congress, however, it appears he has been anything but fiscally conservative.

In June, I broke down, by administration, tax and spending policies enacted between 2001 and 2011 which added to the national debt. $5.7T was added to the debt by policies enacted under George W Bush. Paul Ryan voted for all of them – including the Medicare Prescription Drug bill, the Bush Stimulus Plan and TARP. In the first two years of the Obama administration, enacted policies added $1.4T to the debt. Paul Ryan voted for the Tax Act of 2010, but against Obama’s Stimulus Plan.

All told, there was about $7.1T added to the national debt by policies enacted between 2001 and 2011. Paul Ryan voted for approximately $6.1T of that total.

After so many decades of tax cuts and spending hikes, how is it that the GOP can still successfully perpetuate the myth that they are fiscally conservative? In fact, almost all of our current debt is courtesy of Reagan and the Bushes.

The recent spike in the debt is mostly from a decrease in tax revenues due to the recession. As mentioned in a previous post, Obama’s spending increases have been even less than Clinton’s, at 3.1% on a annualized basis. For true fiscal conservatives, the choice is clear. Vote for the Democrats.

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