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Paul Ryan Said "Baseline," He Must Be Smart

Saturday, 25 August 2012 10:00

The Washington Post has long been known for its sycophantic coverage of the rich and powerful but it may have hit a new low today. The theme of an article on the presidential race was that Representative Paul Ryan, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, used the word "baseline" in a discussion of the budget with reporters. The reporter and/or editor was just incredibly impressed with this fact.

Real reporters might ask Ryan to identify some of the loopholes that he plans to close to make up for his tax cuts to the wealthy (e.g. mortgage interest deduction, deduction for employer provided health insurance etc.). A real reporter might also ask him to be more specific about the programs he plans to cut or eliminate over the next decade to meet his spending targets. And, they might ask him if he really intends to eliminate the whole federal government by 2040, except for Social Security, health care and the Defense Department as the Congressional Budget Office's analysis of his budget implies.

But hey, those would be questions raised by real reporters. The Post is just so awed by the fact that Ryan used the word "baseline," wow!

Comments (10)Add Comment
Brave Sir Ryan
written by aaron, August 25, 2012 10:49
Wasn't it Erskine Bowles who was (pun intended) bowled over by the fact that Ryan knows math? (Not algebra. Not calculus. But A + B - C = D.) As Barbie once said, "Math is hard."

But perhaps it's simply that when you sing the praises of Brave Sir Ryan, facts have little to do with it.
Now be fair.....
written by RZ0, August 25, 2012 11:00
....he also brought them cookies.
One should also slog through Ryan's "Pathtoprosperity2013"
written by John Wright, August 25, 2012 11:22
Ryan's willingness to fund the military apparently knows no bounds.

Here is a quote from his 98 page Path...page 13.

"The nation has no higher priority than safeguarding the safety and liberty of its citizens from threats at home and abroad".

One could read that as a potential budget buster requirement to protect USA citizens ANYWHERE in the world.

In his 98 page document, Ryan does name one potential cut, $30 billion over a ten year period, but the Agricultural committee is responsible for implementing the reductions.

Ryan mentions the "crushing burden of debt", but he is referring to government debt, not the credit card, home equity, student loans, and mortgage debt that is really crushing many Americans.

Ryan should be sophisticated enough to know that cutting taxes is much easier than raising them, just as increasing government spending is easier to implement than implementing government spending cuts.

And Ryan voted for the Bush Tax cuts, Medicare Part D,bank and auto bailouts and the Bush Wars, so he clearly has some experience with tax cutting and spending government money to increase the deficit.

Yet he is running as a wonkish "deficit hawk".

Reporters Go Slackjawed as Ryan Reveals Budget Baseline Has Creationist Origins
written by Last Mover, August 25, 2012 12:16
"Baseline" is code for Ayn Rand "Objectivism" which in turn is code for ultimate truth independent of individual interpretation. It represents the ultimate origin of something to which incremental change occurs.

This is why Rand was an atheist, because no religion could supersede the ultimate truth of objectivism.

Conveniently like Rand, Ryan, atheist turned creationist, interjects himself as the ultimate interpreter of baseline truths under objectivism, obviously a contradiction on its face, resolved only if one regards Ryan as a higher religious being with access to the origins of baselines not available to the masses.

Since reporters cannot be expected to know the difference between objective facts and facts created from Randian objectivism, they can be excused for going slackjawed with awe upon hearing and reporting either version when spoken by an Objectivist Creationist.
The WaPo is turning a passed ball into a base hit...
written by diesel, August 25, 2012 1:58
Here's what he really said...

After warning the press corp that he would not answer any questions that he felt were out of bounds, "he fielded a Medicare question from a reporter by bringing up the "B" word--"baseline," saying that although the question was nearly a foul ball, he would give the reporter the benefit of the doubt and answer it as though it were asked in good faith and therefore inside the baseline.
written by reason, August 25, 2012 3:11
He wasn't talking about tennis by any chance was he?
written by Donald Pretari, August 25, 2012 6:19
Whether the Currency gets Debased or not, the Post has managed to Debase "Policy Wonk."
written by david j michel jr,, August 25, 2012 8:43
well then dont piss-off your mommy vote for the black commie!

hard to choose
written by fxt, August 26, 2012 10:51
... but my favorite part is the 'impromptu' visits to the back of his plane.
written by kharris, August 27, 2012 12:09
That was just so much worse than you made it out to be. Soooo much worse. Utterly friggin' breathless. I guess Felicia Somnez has a thing for blue eyes.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.