Those of us who've been schooled in real math and real economics -- often by Paul Krugman (there are others, like Dean Baker, Jared Bernstein, Joe Stiglitz) -- long ago stopped being fooled by Paul Ryan's policy wonk schtick. Now, after his healthcare disaster, he may never get away with it again:
During last year’s Republican primaries, Marco Rubio famously described Donald Trump as a “con artist.” But this week, with the disastrous rollout of the American Health Care Act, we’ve seen the con artist get played by an even slicker, more professional grifter. And Trump is not alone in being conned: House Speaker Paul Ryan has been fooling a lot of people for a long time, making the world believe that he’s the foremost Republican policy wonk, an expert in the fine print of budgets who could bring a much-needed seriousness to Washington. In an ideal world, the damage caused by Ryan’s role in pushing the deeply flawed AHCA won’t be limited to his relationship with Trump. This episode should strike at the real root cause of the mess: The powerful, persistent Washington myth that Ryan is a policy genius.Ouch indeed. I'm sure folks like David Brooks -- that never learn -- will still throw the policy-wonk moniker his way occasionally, but let's hope it completely disappears among the actual intelligentsia. Knucklehead is more like it.
And, for good measure, read how Politico summed up Ryan's catastrophic bill.