Under Bush, Ryan said stimulus spending would spur growth

In 2002, then-President George W. Bush proposed a stimulus plan that was smaller but not entirely unlike the one President Obama signed into law seven years later.

Bush’s objective, like Obama’s, was to stimulate the economy through an influx of government spending. And Paul Ryan was all for it, as we see here:





  1. This Washington ladder climber would say or do anything to help himself. Folks in Janesville are probably starting to scratch their heads wondering why they voted him over these many years. Certainly hasn’t done much at home unless you count the post office name change and requesting stimulus money but then that’s a secret he doesn’t want to reveal.

  2. Neftali

    The joke is on Think Progress and anyone that believes them.

    Bush’s original 2002 stimulus plan originally included income tax cuts, which were later taken out. The bill that ended up getting signed included tax cuts for businesses and an extension of unemployment benefits.

    The difference of course is that Obama’s stimulus contained billions in wasteful government spending programs, payoffs to unions, and money for “shovel ready” projects that never existed. (Yeah, I know…Obama’s stimulus also had a bunch of tax cuts, but Bush’s stimulus didn’t outright throw away tax dollars.)


  3. Yep Stevo,

    They voted for him over and over by wide margins.

    Makes you wonder what they know about the man that the mud slinging of politics is obscuring.

    Trashing Ryan based on his character or morals is like beating up Mr. Rogers because you don’t like the color of sweater he picked out of the closet.

  4. Under Bush, if Congress would have listened to Ryan, think of what could have been avoided.


    On July 27, 2000, a first-term Congressman from Wisconsin signed his name to the Housing Finance Regulatory Improvement Act. The 30-year-old legislator didn’t have much company. Of 435 Members of the House, only 12 were willing to join Paul Ryan in sponsoring a bill to reduce the taxpayer risks at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    Eight years later to the day, a federal bailout of the two mortgage giants was on its way to the desk of President George W. Bush. Almost $190 billion in taxpayer financing later, the toxic twins of the housing crisis maintain their massive role in mortgage finance.


    “In order to maintain double-digit growth,” noted Mr. Ryan at a 2000 Congressional hearing, “Fannie Mae will have to take on more and more risk” in order to “increase profitability to shareholders.” He added, “This is not a mission of public policy.”

    As the government-fueled housing party heated up, Mr. Ryan continued to warn that many of Fan and Fred’s profit-making activities carried little benefit for homeowners. In 2002, he sponsored a bill to remove the exemptions Fan and Fred enjoyed from the disclosure requirements in federal securities laws.

    Mr. Ryan continued his sometimes lonely effort to reform the mortgage giants, for which he endured their usual political wrath. In 2008 he told us that Fannie once called every mortgage holder in his district, claiming falsely that Mr. Ryan wanted to raise the cost of their mortgage and asking if Fannie could tell the Congressman to stop on their behalf. He received some 6,000 telegrams. (See “The Fannie Mae Gang,” July 23, 2008.)

    Mr. Ryan’s embrace of reform in his first term in Congress compares favorably to the efforts of a freshman Senator from Illinois in 2005. President Obama likes to pretend he was a warning voice in the wilderness because he later issued vague statements of displeasure once the housing market was already cracking.

    What Mr. Obama doesn’t say is that he failed to support any of the serious reform efforts to reduce the role of Fannie and Freddie in the mortgage market. The same is true of old Senate hand Joe Biden.

  5. Mr. Rogers? Oh that’s rich Doc.

  6. So what you’re saying doc is that the Republican Congress wouldn’t listen to the little man. Guess he wasn’t much of a leader. And you are saying the Republican Congress was responsible for Fannie and Freddie’s crash because they didn’t listen to the little man.

    So you want to put the blame on Obama and Biden even though the rest of Congress was not listening, also. I see.

    Well doc, it’s like this. Fannie and Freddie were not the cause of the housing collapse anyway. Put that in your stethoscope.

  7. I know for math challenged liberals such as yourself that 300 billion here or there is no big deal Tex, but I bet it matters to most people.


    As far as Ryan being a leader Tex?

    He was in his first or second term. Now at age 42 he heads up one of the most powerful committees in the house. He also has had the rare ability to actually explain what he believes, put it into a real live budget and get it passed.

    Yep, sounds just like a leader to me.

  8. Check out Krugman’s piece on your dear leader in the NYT. It’s a doozy.

  9. A doozy?

    It’s totally predictable crap. I particularly liked this paragraph from his piece-

    “If this sounds like a joke, that’s because it is. Yet Mr. Ryan’s “plan” has been treated with great respect in Washington. He even received an award for fiscal responsibility from three of the leading deficit-scold pressure groups. What’s going on? ”

    What Krugman is basically saying in this piece is that he disagrees with Paul Ryan’s approach, he’s jealous that Ryan is reasonable and good looking and that he (Krugman) is so brilliant that he knows better than others who believe Ryan to be a serious thinker on deficit reduction.


  10. doc says Paul Ryan is “good looking.”

    Sounds like a man-crush, right?

    But in this case, of course, one must also think of Eddie Munster as “good looking.”

  11. Eddie Munster did P90x?

    At least Ryan doesn’t have the intellect and delivery issues of our current Vice President. That God the press is there to protect him.


    DAVID GREGORY, HOST: Peggy, what did you make of this whole episode this week?

    PEGGY NOONAN, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Oh, well I thought everything Rudy Giuliani just said was true. If it had been a Republican vice presidential candidate who had made those gaffes, one after another, so comically, and all on tape, the subject today of the panel would be how stupid is this person, can this person possibly govern?

    Giuliani said on tape moments earlier, “I truly believe if that were a Republican, if Sarah Palin made that level of mistakes, Dick Cheney, he’d be plastered all over the media. The New York Times would go nuts.”

  12. doc said:” It’s totally predictable crap.”

    and then this: “that he (Krugman) is so brilliant that he knows better than others ”

    I think you just described yourself doc. I know you think you are the great debater and better educated, but Krugman’s comments are more valid than anything you have ever said on this blog. Add the other Liberal MSNBC commenters that you badmouth to that list.

    Anything you post here is “totally predictable crap.”

  13. Hey Steverino,

    If you’re looking for a doozy, read this lengthy cover piece from Newsweek. He not only takes apart the President’s first four years in office, he explains why Paul Ryan’s solutions are much closer to what the country needs.


    It is a sign of just how completely Barack Obama has “lost his narrative” since getting elected that the best case he has yet made for reelection is that Mitt Romney should not be president. In his notorious “you didn’t build that” speech, Obama listed what he considers the greatest achievements of big government: the Internet, the GI Bill, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Hoover Dam, the Apollo moon landing, and even (bizarrely) the creation of the middle class. Sadly, he couldn’t mention anything comparable that his administration has achieved.
    Now Obama is going head-to-head with his nemesis: a politician who believes more in content than in form, more in reform than in rhetoric. In the past days much has been written about Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s choice of running mate. I know, like, and admire Paul Ryan. For me, the point about him is simple. He is one of only a handful of politicians in Washington who is truly sincere about addressing this country’s fiscal crisis.

    Over the past few years Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” has evolved, but the essential points are clear: replace Medicare with a voucher program for those now under 55 (not current or imminent recipients), turn Medicaid and food stamps into block grants for the states, and—crucially—simplify the tax code and lower tax rates to try to inject some supply-side life back into the U.S. private sector. Ryan is not preaching austerity. He is preaching growth. And though Reagan-era veterans like David Stockman may have their doubts, they underestimate Ryan’s mastery of this subject. There is literally no one in Washington who understands the challenges of fiscal reform better.
    Just as importantly, Ryan has learned that politics is the art of the possible. There are parts of his plan that he is understandably soft-pedaling right now—notably the new source of federal revenue referred to in his 2010 “Roadmap for America’s Future” as a “business consumption tax.” Stockman needs to remind himself that the real “fairy-tale budget plans” have been the ones produced by the White House since 2009.


    But one thing is clear. Ryan psychs Obama out. This has been apparent ever since the White House went on the offensive against Ryan in the spring of last year. And the reason he psychs him out is that, unlike Obama, Ryan has a plan—as opposed to a narrative—for this country.
    Mitt Romney is not the best candidate for the presidency I can imagine. But he was clearly the best of the Republican contenders for the nomination. He brings to the presidency precisely the kind of experience—both in the business world and in executive office—that Barack Obama manifestly lacked four years ago. (If only Obama had worked at Bain Capital for a few years, instead of as a community organizer in Chicago, he might understand exactly why the private sector is not “doing fine” right now.) And by picking Ryan as his running mate, Romney has given the first real sign that—unlike Obama—he is a courageous leader who will not duck the challenges America faces.

  14. doc: The very idea of Rudy Giuliani, one of the greatest political frauds of all time, dissing Joe Biden is beyond laughable.

    But, of course, you and Peggy Noonan are quite impressed, aren’t you?

  15. Then you should stop reading it Tex.

    I know I’m not going to change your mind and I’d feel bad if I was to ruin your day.

  16. Impressed with Joe Biden?

    Only as cannon fodder for political humor. Too bad most of the leftie Hollywood comedian types are too afraid to capitalize.

  17. Giuliani can’t hold a candle to our current President. Biden makes Dan Quayle look like a genius, heck Biden even makes Pat seem smart.

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