From PKrug at the NYT:
Ryan hasn’t “crunched the numbers”; he has just scribbled some stuff down, without checking at all to see if it makes sense. He asserts that he can cut taxes without net loss of revenue by closing unspecified loopholes; he asserts that he can cut discretionary spending to levels not seen since Calvin Coolidge, without saying how; he asserts that he can convert Medicare to a voucher system, with much lower spending than now projected, without even a hint of how this is supposed to work. This is just a fantasy, not a serious policy proposal.
From Martin Wolf at the FT:
This is what David Stockman, director of the Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan and a true conservative, wrote in the New York Times on August 13: “Mr Ryan’s plan is devoid of credible math or hard policy choices.” This is right, with one exception: Medicare. On that, Mr Ryan does offer a hard choice. But the maths are incredible…
Mr Ryan was pivotal in killing the Bowles-Simpson agreement, which, for all its faults, was (and is) the only politically realistic long-term fiscal solution. Moreover, the Congressional Budget Office’s meticulous analysis of the initial Ryan plan demonstrated that it is smoke and mirrors. He is what the economist Paul Krugman calls a “chicken hawk”.
It would be one thing if Romney had chosen an actual wonk and we could engage in an honest and detailed debate of the issues. Alas, that is not possible because Paul Ryan is a fraud.
The plan also leaves social security and Medicare untouched before 2022. What the plan would do, instead, in Mr Stockman’s words, is “shred the measly means-tested safety net for the vulnerable: the roughly $100bn per year for food stamps and cash assistance for needy families and the $300bn for Medicaid”. The intention here is to turn federal support into block grants of fixed dollar amounts, indexed to consumer prices. This would shift an increasing burden on to already stretched state budgets.
So, what Romney has hilariously achieved is to tie himself to a cruel, lying Austerian for the duration of the election. Given the economy, it was Romney’s election to lose and he has already done it in spades by indirectly attacking the poor.