The Paint Is Peeling

by Mark Wilson

When Paul Ryan sprang forth to become Mitt Romney’s running mate, he was touted as an “intellectual” and a “wonk.” This story in The New Republic demonstrates that’s he’s neither of those things. Paul Ryan is smart, but in the way that he knows whom to please. Now that he has to talk to the nation and not just the echo chamber of the Republican cloakroom (and he has to deal with, you know, actual economists), the paint is starting to peel.

Take this PowerPoint (please!). What is it supposed to show on slide 1? Scary debt? Debt isn’t a problem so long as we can pay the interest year over year, which we can. Once again, folks — and we knew this fifty years ago — nations’ finances aren’t analogous to the checkbooks of private households.