Shocker! FOX asks Tough Questions and Paul Ryan Flubs

Congressman Paul RyanCongressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) was on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace talking about his new GOP budget plan. After the disastrous roll out of last year's budget plan, widely panned for its $6,000 Medicare voucher, Ryan has polished up his approach. He says the new plan would simplify the tax code, "broaden the tax base," and close tax loopholes. You can watch the interview here.

In an uncharacteristic move for a Fox News anchor, Wallace asks some tough questions of the Chair of the House Budget Committee. Since the Ryan plan would lose 10 trillion dollars of revenue over ten years, Wallace asked exactly which tax loopholes would be closed to raise the revenue that would be lost from reducing the tax rate. But Ryan could not name specific loopholes that he would close as part of his plan because "that's not the job of the budget committee."

Since "broadening the tax base" could also be read as "socking it to the middle class," Wallace asks "are you willing to say that it would not only be revenue neutral, but also distributionally neutral which means that the wealthy aren't going to benefit and the middle class isn't going to suffer?"

Ryan's reassuring response? "There's no way to know the answer to that question." Ryan's name is frequently raised as a possible vice presidential candidate.

Mary Bottari

Mary Bottari is a reporter for the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). She helped launch CMD's award-winning ALEC Exposed investigation and is a two-time recipient of the Sidney Prize for public interest journalism from the Sidney Hillman Foundation.


The Ryan Budget plan. What will be the result of this ill concieved plan? Block grants. In other words, let the states care for their own. The problem with Mr. Ryan's thinking is thus: the states are in even worse economic condition than the nation as a whole. Does your state require additional funding? Oh well, to bad. You are on your own. Good luck with all that. Does your state have more people in need than the grant will cover? Tough. Let 'em go without medical care. Rep. Ryans plan ends the Medicare guarantee by promoting his premium support plan which will actually raise the cost of Medicare throughout the system. This will, due to insufficient vouchers for health care, pass the rising cost onto senior citizens and the middle class, which in turn will force folks to make up the difference out of their own pockets. I guess seniors should have thought about that before getting old, right? Another big plus Ryan spouts on about is his "compressed tax code" which only has two tax brackets, 10% and 25%. How can he do this while not cutting military spending and somehow keeping the budget balanced? Eliminate all spending on the so called safety net. This is nothing more than a David Blaine street magic act. An excuse for conservatives to get rid of Social Security and Medicare. Houdini would be proud. . . . . . but it has no basis in reality. It is an illusion. Can't be done without affecting the most vulnerable people in our society. Seniors and the poor. Rep. Ryan is obviously trying to resurrect his failed plan from last year. A few differently worded phrases. A few more mirrors. A little more smoke. And POOF!!!! The Ryan plan redux. Please. Do all politicians think we we are morons? This stupidity will never make it through the Senate, thank God! ( Fingers crossed! ) I'm sure the Dems will come up with something just as ridiculous as Mr. Ryan's plan. It's all about coming up with stupid plans to get the base all riled up. Time to vote in some independents.