Paul Ryan's "Smoke and Mirrors"

Paul Ryan, the supposed champion of fiscal restraint among right-wing Republicans, has put his colleagues in an awkward bind. His budget includes a host of unpopular provisions, and if implemented, would eviscerate almost every part of the government except defense, health care, and Social Security by 2050 according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Yesterday, all but 10 House Republicans entered their name in the congressional record as supporters of the bill, providing Democrats with ample material for negative campaigning this fall.

Ryan's proposal shows a reckless disregard for the country's less fortunate. Any social safety net for non-senior citizens would disappear, and while the plan would largely maintain Medicare for current retirees, the move to premium support would rob future generations of needed health care coverage, all to achieve lower taxes 

It might seem like Ryan has never run across a federal program he would like to destroy, but he debunked that theory at forum yesterday where he essentially accused Department of Defense generals of lying to Congress. “We don’t think the generals are giving us their true advice,” Ryan said. "We don't think the generals believe their budget is really the right budget."

National security wonk and Prospect contributing editor Spencer Ackerman did a good job of summing up how ridiculous that claim is over at Wired:

Two things stand out about the accusation. First, Republicans usually fall over themselves to genuflect before the military. Second, accusing the Joint Chiefs of Staff of lying usually requires some kind of evidence. But Ryan didn’t pull out the generals’ “true budget” from his coat pocket or anything. Instead, he merely criticized the budget, calling it full of “smoke and mirrors” and saying it wasn’t “strategy-driven.”

Paul Ryan: on the record as opposing any help for the poor, but opposed to any possible cuts to our national security state, even when the military supports the changes.

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