Political Animal


January 27, 2013 10:38 AM Paul Ryan: We won’t shut down the government

By Samuel Knight

Paul Ryan, in his first live interview since November, offered a lot of the same combative and duplicitous talking points about fiscal policy that he employed in the run up to his and Mitt Romney’s loss.

But he seemed to indicate that Republicans will employ a less Talibanic strategy when the next round of budget negotiations take place over the next few weeks, as we approach the debt ceiling and sequestration cuts set for March 1.

“We’re not interested in shutting the government down,” Ryan told David Gregory, saying that he would rather see more continuing resolutions and let the debate drag on as a long-term deal is hammered out.

So Republicans won’t use suicide bomber negotiation tactics. That can only be a good thing.

But Ryan still seemed to think that his was the only plan, as if Democrats didn’t offer a myriad of fiscal visions during the 112th Congress.

The Extremely Serious™ House Budget Committee chair also told Gregory he was in favor of tax reform and closing loopholes, but simultaneously, somehow, said that he rejected Sen. Chuck Schumer’s call for more tax revenue.

“This isn’t a Republican or Democrat thing. This is a math thing,” he said at one point.

So continuing resolutions until January 2015, then.

Samuel Knight is a freelance journalist living in DC and a former intern at the Washington Monthly.


  • martin on January 27, 2013 11:36 AM:

    “We’re not interested in shutting the government down,” Ryan told David Gregory,

    Let's not be hasty here. Ryan and his fellow wingnuts are a slippery bunch. They may not be "interested" in shutting down the Gov't, but if they don't get what they want, they may be "forced" to despite what they are "interested" in. They'll just blame it on Obama.

  • Josef K on January 27, 2013 11:53 AM:

    I echo martin's observation at 11:36am. Ryan wasn't saying the Republicans wouldn't cause a government shutdown, just that they aren't "interested" in doing so. I'm sure you'd have gotten the same sentiments from the staffers of then-Speaker Newt Gingrinch back in the 1990s.

    The next four years aren't going to be much fun to live through.

  • c u n d gulag on January 27, 2013 12:00 PM:

    I suspect it's less a "math thing," and more of a 'meth thing.'

    What this Ryan punk knows about math, would fit on the back of a postage stamp.

    He thinks Al-Gebra is an Islamist plot, to muliply the number of Sharia Laws in the US.

    And that Cal-culus, is a Blue Coastal State plot, to further gay marriage - oh, and tax increases on the wealthiest - you know, Ryan's core political constituency.

    Paul "Privatizing" Ryan, is the new Sarah "The Whore of Babblin'-on" Palin - only with a better vocabulary, and a more polished PR team.

    From now on, every legitimate reporter should do what Joe Biden did every time 'Widdle Pauwie Wyan' opened his blue-eyed pie-hole, which is laugh derisively!

    Of course, sadly, that will exclude our MSM Sunday Bloviation Fest hosts, "Disco-dancin' 'N Rappin' " Dave Gregory, "Caesar's Rubicon-Crossing PR Advisor" Boob Schieffer, and George Vowel-a-lot-a-lous.

    But then, they get paid a lot of money to remain clue-free.

  • beanie&cecil on January 27, 2013 12:07 PM:

    “This isn’t a Republican or Democrat thing. This is a math thing,” he said at one point.

    ...said the failed Vice President candidate, realizing that the clobbering he and Romney received was due, in part, to the fact that the Democratic team successfully pointed out that Ryan's math was horribly and demonstrably wrong.

    Maybe, just maybe, in this latest PR blitz for the March deadline, if he gets out in front of everyone else with the meme that he has "good math", and maybe if he and the mighty Republican Wurlitzer can control the meme, he won't have to actually "show the work" (as all Math Professors demand when the solution is presented).

    But the tide has turned and the mighty Republican Wurlitzer is seen for what it is by the majority of Americans.

    Message to Mr. Ryan: Paul, you can continue to try to fake it, but in the end you will really have to show your work and demonstrate how your "math" will affect the country.

  • SYSPROG on January 27, 2013 12:09 PM:

    How positively 'Clintonesque' of Mr. Ryan...'it's a math thing'...of course, he gives no specifics, 'can't get into it' but BY GOD 'it's a math thing'...He never acknowledges that spending is DOWN or that the economy is showing signs of a better recovery...no 'it's a spending problem' because otherwise he's got no game. What a fraud.

  • Mudge on January 27, 2013 12:10 PM:

    Yes, most gulagish one and b&c, when Paul Ryan invokes math, hide the silverware.

  • hells littlest angel on January 27, 2013 12:46 PM:

    'it's a math thing'

    Brass balls.

  • Ron Byers on January 27, 2013 12:56 PM:

    The budget battle will be over long before the return of the debt ceiling. The fight will be sequestration and the CR. The sad thing is the military industrial complexes buds in both parties will keep that giant ball of bloat off the table. We will be left with a choice between giving up our home mortgage deductions and medicare for grandma.

  • Rick B on January 27, 2013 12:57 PM:

    Nothing Ryan says has any meaning in reality. He has focus groups that determine what words and phrases get the largest public reaction and then he uses those phrases.

    The focus groups have been working overtime since someone finally convinced the sainted Ryan that he will not be moving into the Vice President's mansion. "It's a math thing" was one of the phrases that defeated Romney/Ryan, so now he will use it.

    Ryan's use of the phrase effectively strips it of all meaning. It has gone through the same libertarian/Republican acidifying bath as have all the previous lies Ryan has spouted.

    Paul Ryan. Where reasonable concepts and the language associated with them go to die before becoming conservative lies and propaganda.

  • TCinLA on January 27, 2013 1:00 PM:

    Further proof that Eddie Munster and the rest of the cross-eyed granny starvers know they have had their asses handed to them, but can't admit it.

  • jjm on January 27, 2013 1:05 PM:

    So why is this loser still the darling of the mainstream media? They must have some kind of unconscious sexual attraction to this L'il Abner of a man (although L'il Abner was much better looking, much nicer, and perhaps a bit smarter!)

  • biggerbox on January 27, 2013 2:37 PM:

    Of course they are not interested in shutting down the government.

    They are interested in "drowning it in the bathtub"!

    And, if that means they have to shut it down, and blame it on the Democrats "refusing to negotiate", well, so be it.

  • Joe Friday on January 27, 2013 3:36 PM:

    Well, it's common knowledge that Paul Ryan is a lying propagandist, so not much further needs to be stated.

    The other more interesting statement during 'Meet the Press' came from Bob Woodward:

    "Look at North Korea announcing they are going to target the United states. They have nuclear weapons."

    Ah, NO.

    North Korea does not possess nuclear weapons, they possess nuclear devices. A nuclear device is similar in size to a 1970s vintage Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham. North Korea has nothing they can launch atop a missile.

    Woodward is either a lazy idiot or yet another lying propagandist. The question is who is he carrying water for ?

  • Mimikatz on January 27, 2013 3:43 PM:

    This is not necessarily a good development. The more extreme and outlandish the GOP is, the less likely there will be a "Grand Bargain" that raises the Medicare age and adds chained CPI to reduse Social Security benefits. Ryan may have reason to believe he can get those things in a prolonged negotiation.

    Ryan's patrons might be ok with closing some loopholes as long as others are left open. The debit as always in the details. It was so promising when Obama didn't mention the deficit at all in his inaugural address. We will have to wait for the State of the Union and budget messages to see where the Admin is really going, but here's hoping they realize their coalition, who they hope to turn out in 2014, isn't interested in deficit reduction as much as job growth and economic security. We really need to do well in 2014 to keep the momentum going.

  • Kathryn on January 27, 2013 4:30 PM:

    Lyin Ryan is just chanelling Bill Clinton's use of arithmetic in his speech at the Democratic National Convention, except Bill's numbers add up and Paul's don't. As Rick B. stated earlier, focus tested for use by the Ryan robot.

  • Rick Massimo on January 27, 2013 4:30 PM:

    Joe Biden had the right idea for how to deal with Paul Ryan. Honest to God, I'll give $100 to the first pundit who openly laughs at him. $200 for using the word "lie."

  • MuddyLee on January 28, 2013 8:33 AM:

    Of course, it's not a math thing at all - it's a philosophy thing - and Paul Ryan loves Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged. But I don't understand how he can sleep at night thinking about all that money his family made paving roads for "the government". Does being a government contractor put you in the 47 percent aka "taker" category? Just spent a day with relatives who don't understand how the stock market can be going up after Obama was re-elected. I started to tell them it was in anticipation of Palin getting dumped by Fox News - productivity among middle aged white males will definitely increase as distractions are reduced.