Yesterday on Hardball, Congressman Paul Ryan -- you know, one of the smart Republicans -- was outlining for Chris Matthews the specific areas the Republicans would like to cut in order to pay for the Bush tax cuts and to reduce the deficit.
One of the ideas he mentioned was to discontinue the heretofore unspent Recovery Act money. In other words, ARRA was set up to disperse money and benefits throughout a specific schedule. Anything not spent right now -- money earmarked for spending in the rest of 2010 and 2011 -- would be rescinded from the program.
RYAN: I would rescind the unspent stimulus funds, I would rescind all the TARP funds they aren’t spending, I would do a federal hiring freeze and pay freeze for the rest of the year, and I would go back and cut discretionary spending back to ‘08 levels and freeze that spending going forward.
Wow. Paul Ryan is smart! He's the smart and reasonable Republican!
According to Recovery.gov, $55 billion of the unspent ARRA money comes in the form of tax benefits for middle class and working families. (Incidentally, Ryan's district has received over $302 million in ARRA funds, not including tax benefits. ARRA has created over 10,000 jobs in Wisconsin.)
Paul Ryan wants to take away your tax cuts. Which, in Republican parlance, is the equivalent of a tax hike -- in the middle of a slow-growth recovery.