Paul Ryan fell apart today when George Stephanopoulos asked the deer in headlights vice presidential nominee how Mitt Romney will pay for $5 trillion in tax cuts for the rich.
Here’s the video:
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Transcript from ABC’s This Week:
STEPHANOPOULOS: How do you make the math work without eliminating the big deductions that middle-class families rely on?
RYAN: Well, first of all, that — those claims have been pretty discredited. There have been five different studies —
STEPHANOPOULOS: How have they been discredited?
RYAN: — that show — that this — that this plan works. So the analysis you’re citing wasn’t even an analysis of the Romney plan.
But here’s the point I am trying to make here, George. We think the secret to economic growth is lower tax rates for families and successful small businesses by plugging loopholes.
Now the question is, not necessarily what loopholes go, but who gets them. High-income earners use most of the loopholes. That means they can shelter their income from taxation. But if you take those loopholes, those tax shelters away from high-income earners, more of their income is subject to taxation. And that allows us to lower tax rates on everybody — small businesses, families, economic growth.
Here’s where the president wants to take the country. He wants to add a job-killing small-business tax increase on top of the current code, add even more loopholes and deductions to the code, more Washington picking winners and losers. That will crush jobs. You have to remember, George, that most of our small businesses, they pay their taxes as individuals. Most of our jobs come from these successful small businesses. So we’ve shown — look, the Princeton study, the Harvard analysis, they have shown that you can lower tax rates, broaden the tax base, and, yes, there is still room left for broad-based policies that the middle class enjoy so that nobody has a tax increase. We just stop picking winners and losers in the tax code.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Congressman, as you know —
RYAN: When Reagan did this, it worked —
STEPHANOPOULOS: — many say it’s difficult —
RYAN: Go ahead, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: — to accept your word if you’re not going to specify which tax loopholes you’re willing to close. Don’t voters have a right to know which loopholes you’re going to go after?
RYAN: So Mitt Romney and I, based on our experience, think the best way to do this is to show the framework, show the outlines of these plans, and then to work with Congress to do this. That’s how you get things done. The other thing, George, is–
STEPHANOPOULOS: Isn’t that a secret plan?
RYAN: — we don’t want to — no, no. No, no. What we don’t want is a secret plan. What we don’t want to do is cut some backroom deal like ObamaCare, and then hatch (ph) it (ph) to the country.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But why not specify the —
RYAN: We want to do this —
STEPHANOPOULOS: — loopholes now?
RYAN: — out in the open —
STEPHANOPOULOS: Why not say right now —
RYAN: — because we want to do this —
RYAN: — we want to have this — George, because we want to have this debate in the public. We want to have this debate with Congress. And we want to do this with the consent of the elected representatives of the people, and figure out what loopholes should stay or go and who should or should not get them.
And our priorities are high-income earners should not get these kinds of loopholes. And we should have broad-based policies that go to middle-class taxpayers, to make sure we can advance things that we care about, like charities. But that is a debate we shouldn’t cut in a back room, shouldn’t hatch a secret plan like ObamaCare. We should do it out in the public view where the public can participate.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s exactly what I’m suggesting, having it in public before the election so voters can have that information before they make up their minds.
RYAN: We think the best way to get — look, I’ve been in Congress a number of years. I’ve been on the Ways and Means Committee for 12 years. And we think the best way to do this is to get this framework in place, and then negotiate, work with Democrats, work with people across the aisle, have these kinds of hearings, have this conversation to get this objective.
Paul Ryan’s answer on how he and Romney would pay for $5 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthy was trust us. Ryan wants America to take his word for it that this plan really works. Of course he could cite no specific evidence that it works, and he won’t tell voters how it will work, but he knows that it will work.
However, the evidence can be found in our own recent history to prove that this policy doesn’t work. George W. Bush cut taxes for the wealthy and the jobs never came. President Obama was ransomed into extending the Bush tax cuts and the jobs never came, but even more telling is the fact the Ryan won’t disclosed how they are going to pay for their gift to the wealthy.
In fact when Paul Ryan was pressed ever so slightly by George Stephanopoulos for specifics, the vice presidential nominee fell apart. Like a snowman on sunny day, Paul Ryan melted down to nothing when a little heat was put on him.
Romney and Ryan say their plan isn’t a secret, but they won’t tell America what the plan is.
Ryan did lie and claim that the president planned to raise taxes on small businesses, when in reality Obama’s plan is to cut taxes for 97% of small businesses. He also insinuated that Obama wants to add more loopholes for the wealthy to avoid paying taxes, when in reality, the president has been proposing more deductions to help people pay for things like education and healthcare.
There is no big secret to Romney’s tax cut plan. Under his proposal the top 1% get trillions of dollars in tax cuts, and a person earning $40,000-$50,000 would have seen a $54 tax cut in 2011. According to the Tax Policy Center, the only way that Romney can pay for his gift to the rich is by making everyone else pay more.
Since Ryan doesn’t want to say that the plan won’t create jobs, but it will raise your taxes, he has to dance around and pretend that his secret plan isn’t really a secret.
All it took was one simple question to reduce the Republican budget guru/vice presidential nominee to a pile of evasive sniveling talking points.
So Paul Ryan, how are you going to pay for that?
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association