Paul Ryan’s Budget

Always nice to find someone who wants to point out the inconsistencies (or lies) included in Ryan’s budget. Here’s the Economist’s DIA blog using the L word, in a piece titled, Ryan the fibberoo. The article concerns Ryan’s statement on page 35 of his budget which discusses various criticisms of Barack Obama’s energy policy.

He has over-regulated, held up permits for drilling and thrown subsidies at renewable energy. I could quibble with the over-regulation part (surely offshore drilling was under-regulated before the Gulf spill, in practice if not in theory), but otherwise, there’s little to disagree with there. It was the next line that threw me: “The results are plain to see: gas prices have more than doubled since the president took office.”

The author of the piece calls Mr. Ryan out on his obvious mendacity. He points out,

The idea that holding up permits or adding to oil firms’ costs through other forms of regulation somehow led to the doubling of gas prices is just ridiculous. Those two things may have had a minuscule effect on the margins, but the main factors behind the oil price’s rise, as Mr Ryan well knows, are the improved performance of the world economy, which has led to increased demand, and growing instability in the Middle East, which has prompted fears about supply.

So, as he says,

In other words, Mr Ryan is lying. The recent rise in gas prices is not, in any meaningful sense, the result of the president’s energy policies. The Republicans are no more capable of lowering the oil price by fiat than the president is. That is one truth it would not have done Mr Ryan any harm to admit.

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