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April 05, 2011

"Washington Isn't Telling You The Truth"
Update: Ryan & Budget Committee Reps Unveiling Plan in Press Conference Right Now

Update: Ryan and his gang can be seen previewing the plan on CSPAN3 or their live feed here. Oh, he just hit the "faster growth" argument, noting an analysis indicates the plan will increase economic activity by $1.5 trillion over a decade, and reduce unemployment to... 4% by 2016.

Terrific video, and I think that line is great-- politics is the art of forming coalitions, after all, and people have a natural tendency to dislike those telling them lies and like those telling them truths.

I do have a complaint: The relationship between reduced government spending and increased economic activity isn't hit nearly hard enough. The public's number two concern is debt and the future, but their number one concern is the economy in the present. An argument about all the scared money sitting out of the economy due to quite-rational beliefs that the country is going to implode, and how a safe, secure, certain economic environment would ignite the economy, would have been helpful.

Oh, I know he mentions that obliquely, sort of, by mentioning a "diminished future" and lower growth if we don't take the Path to Prosperity, but it would be better to also include the positive version of that statement -- the good stuff that happens if we do choose this path. And yes, he throws in a disposable line about "getting the economy growing today," but he's not making an argument about how that would happen, explaining the mechanism by which Policy Choice A translates to National Goal X.

I see in the post-queue that the Doom Master Monty notes that Ryan's plan is 'necessary, but not sufficient." I take that position on all of these things -- no single plan, even one as big and comprehensive as this, is enough. We still need to do more after this.

But still, every journey begins with a single step.

The stagecraft of the video is good. Ryan doesn't begin addressing the camera. He's shown doing his homework, burning the midnight oil, near a display case showing photos of his family.Visually pushing the idea that this isn't just a campaign pitch, it's a hard-thought plan that took a lot of work and expertise, and establishing, with just a suggestive photo, that this is of crucial importance to our ultimate legacy, our children.

Only after that preparatory work does Ryan walk down the hallway and stand, uncomfortably (another useful visual cue -- as if he doesn't like the politics part of his job) in front of the camera to explain, as if a scientist, his findings and predictions.

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