HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy

Abstract

As we head into the final weeks of the presidential election, the Romney campaign’s hopes remain fixed on the economy. Specifically, Romney is trusting that enough of the two-thirds of Americans who tell pollsters we’re heading in the “wrong direction” can be persuaded to vote against Barack Obama and overturn the president’s current lead in the polls. The concept of “wrong-track” is vague, of course. Does it mean unemployment? Deficits? Taxes? Whatever it is, Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, was selected largely because of his reputation as the man with a clear, radical solution to fix this wrong-trackness. Congressman Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” budget, combined with his homespun Midwestern manner, are designed to appeal to Americans who have recession-proofed their own finances through a mix of belt-tightening, paying down debt and generally sacrificing what they simply want in favor of what they need. The implication is that the Ryan budget can solve the country’s budget problems and put us back on track by taking a similar approach.

Citation

Bilmes, Linda J. "The Truth Behind the Ryan Budget." WBUR, September 19, 2012.