Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the newly unwrapped Republican vice presidential candidate, was very much against the stimulus plan that President Obama got through Congress in February 2009. In fact, he was so against it that he told reporters last week that he didn’t even want his Wisconsin congressional district to get any of the government handout because it would not help. Of course, then we found out that he actually did ask for stimulus funds for his district, but he countered with basically, “Well, I didn’t really ask for it; that was my staff…” Way to go, Mr. Personal Responsibility: blame the staff.
But it turns out that Mr. Ryan is hugely in favor of stimulus spending after all. He said it was necessary for the government to lend a hand to businesses and communities, especially in tough times; it was a good thing. In fact, he even went against some members of his own party to urge Congress to pass a stimulus plan to get the economy going again. It’s vital to show America that we can all work together, right?
How can this be? Has he suddenly gone off the reservation? Is he secretly running to replace Joe Biden on the Democratic ticket? Well, no. The Paul Ryan who was so gung ho for stimulus was speaking in 2002, when George W. Bush was trying to stimulate a limping economy. Seven years later, it was Barack Obama doing the same thing. And the rule is anything proposed by a Republican is a good thing; anything proposed by a Democrat is socialism.
Chris Hayes dug up the tape. Watch and enjoy.