Note: I wrote this before Ryan’s convention speech that was eviscerated for its mendacity. Orszag looks really stupid in hindsight.
Regular readers will know I’m not a huge fan of former OMB chief Peter Orszag. But this first paragraph of a recent Washington Post Orszag op-ed demonstrates everything that is wrong with our political discourse (boldface mine):
I’ve worked closely with Rep. Paul Ryan. He’s an honest and amiable guy. In part because of his winning personality, Ryan, Mitt Romney’s running mate in the presidential election, has convinced many in Washington that his budget blueprint is a serious proposal for solving our long-term fiscal problems. Unfortunately, it’s not. Let’s dig into the asterisks of Ryan’s plan and unearth the fine print.
By Orszag’s own admission, Ryan’s plan is full of ‘asterisks’–vague, magical statements that allow his budget numbers to conveniently balance. Ryan has been called on this multiple times, and he still makes stuff up. That is not the mark of an honest person, even if he is pleasant to be around.