Paul Ryan spoke with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, where he claimed the Romney/Ryan campaign is not changing strategy, they’re simply “entering a new phase”. Most voters can’t even tell you what the previous “phase” was about because the GOP ticket just doesn’t think Americans need silly little thing like details. For his part, Paul Ryan just “doesn’t have the time” to lay out facts:
Ryan:The problem that we’ve had is that not everybody knows all these specifics that we’ve put out there. Not everybody knows these plans — our five-point plan for a stronger middle class. Not everybody knows that we have these solutions that will get people better job security. [...]
…PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:No matter how many times they tell you they are going to talk specifics, really soon — they don’t do it! And, the reason is, because the math doesn’t work. [...]
RYAN: Well, I don’t have the — it would take me too long to go through all of that, but let me say it this way. You can lower tax rates by 20 percent across the board by closing loopholes and still have preferences for the middle class for things like charitable deductions, for home purchases, for health care.
As for Ryan’s assertion that “not everybody knows the specifics”, having read all 87 pages of “Believe In America, Mitt Romney’s Plan For Jobs and Economic Growth“, I can tell you there are no specifics in there. But don’t take my word for it, read what Nobel Prize winning Economist, Paul Krugman has to say (all emphases are mine):
It’s not just that the plan’s rhetoric is the same as every other GOP plan since 2004. Nor is it just the complete absence of specifics. It’s the fact that the plan is written in code; Romney doesn’t dare say explicitly what he’s talking about, because his actual agenda is so unpopular.
So, let’s look at the “plan”:
And unlike the president, I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs. It has 5 steps.
 First, by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables.
 Second, we will give our fellow citizens the skills they need for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow. When it comes to the school your child will attend, every parent should have a choice, and every child should have a chance.
 Third, we will make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements. And when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable consequences.
 Fourth, to assure every entrepreneur and every job creator that their investments in America will not vanish as have those in Greece, we will cut the deficit and put America on track to a balanced budget.
 And fifth, we will champion SMALL businesses, America’s engine of job growth. That means reducing taxes on business, not raising them. It means simplifying and modernizing the regulations that hurt small business the most. And it means that we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare.
Point by point:
1. This describes what Romney wants to see happen, not what he’d do to make it happen. But to the extent it means anything, it means scrapping environmental protection so that we can drill, baby, drill. Why doesn’t he say that? Because voters care about the environment.
2. Again, what does this mean? If it means anything, it means school vouchers — which are unpopular.
3. Trade agreements per se aren’t big job creators — they increase exports, but they also increase imports. And while a confrontation with China is the implicit subtext of the second part, Romney is apparently unwilling to get explicit.
4. Romney’s claim that he will reduce the deficit rests on the assertion that he will offset huge tax cuts by closing loopholes — but he refuses to name a single example, because tax breaks are popular. Also, Medicaid — his biggest single spending target — turns out to have substantial public support, too.
5. Tax cuts for small businesses actually means tax cuts for rich people; there’s a small subset of rich people who own small businesses. But Romney has to cloak the real policy in mom-and-pop rhetoric.
According to Think Progress, Paul Ryan was asked for specifics again on the campaign trail yesterday:
A woman at a rally in Clinton, Iowa challenged Paul Ryan for not providing specifics about the GOP presidential proposals on Tuesday, echoing a growing concern among reporters, pundits and voters alike:
QUESTION: My question is, you know, you keep talking about China and jobs and then we talk about the unemployment, but where are the answers? I mean, why aren’t you more specific? I heard you, was it Sunday, when you were on Fox. And you didn’t answer his question about what are your plans.
RYAN: No look, when you get in a math conversation it can take a little while….when you’re on a 30-second T.V. show, you can’t do it as much. But the point is, go to our website. Mitt Romney has put more specifics, more details…than the incumbent president of the United States has. [...]
Ryan appeared unable to respond in specifics, even as he spent more than 8 minutes laying out the ticket’s proposals. Instead, he recycled the campaign’s 5-point plan — in generalities — with standard replies he often employs on the stump like, build the Keystone Pipeline, allow parents to send their children to charter schools, and open new markets for American products.
“We have to cut spending,” Ryan said, towards the end of his answer, without specifying the reductions. He didn’t identify any tax loopholes Romney/Ryan would close in order to ensure that their proposal of implementing a 20 percent tax cut across the board remains revenue neutral.
Why are some voters willing to play fiscal Russian Roulette with these guys when many of them have literally everything to lose?