Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), the current Republican vice presidential nominee, has recently been condemning the whole idea of stimulus spending as wasteful, at least in public. Ryan said, at least as early as 2010 that he would not request and had not requested those supposedly worthless stimulus funds for his district, and he denied it again at least as recently as August. But it turns out that Ryan in fact did request stimulus funds, even stating that the funds were needed to create jobs and help with his district’s recovery.
Now video has surfaced showing Congressman Ryan arguing on the House floor that another round of stimulus financed by deficit spending was critical to improve economic conditions. Calling for tax breaks, extensions of unemployment benefits, and health insurance for laid-off workers, Ryan said, “What we’re trying to accomplish here is the recognition of the fact that in recessions, unemployment lags on well after a recovery has taken place. We have a lot of laid-off workers, and more layoffs are occurring. And we know, as a historical fact, that even if our economy begins to slowly recover, unemployment is going to linger on and on well after that recovery takes place.”
Ryan even argued (quite correctly) that those concerned about deficits should support an additional stimulus financed by borrowing, because experience showed that helping the economy recover would in the end increase tax revenues.
Ryan didn’t make those arguments at the time he was requesting stimulus funds, however, but a few years earlier, during the administration of President George W. Bush.
Below Chris Hayes introduces some video clips Ryan arguing with himself: