In his latest blog post, the Nobel Prize winning economist looks at Paul Ryan’s budget, breaks it down into its components (this might a good time go to read what he has to say so the excerpt below has some context) and asks a simple and obvious question…
So if we look at the actual policy proposals, they look like this:
Spending cuts: $1.7 trillion
Tax cuts: $4.3 trillion
This is, then, a plan that would increase the deficit by around $2.6 trillion.
How, then, does Ryan get to call himself a fiscal hawk? By asserting that he will keep his tax cuts revenue-neutral by broadening the base in ways he refuses to specify, and that he will make further large cuts in spending, in ways he refuses to specify.
And this is what passes inside the Beltway for serious thinking and a serious commitment to deficit reduction.
I’ve bold faced the actual numbers, the question that Krugman asks and that last sentence most importantly to remind you of how terribly inept our political media is at its job.