Paul Ryan is set to reveal his 2012 budget today, which he's calling the "Path to Prosperity." To promote it, he's put out a video that features a lot of graphs and charts and ominous-sounding music. And it looks a hell of a lot like Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth.
Aside from the obvious similarity of the steeply spiking graph demonstrating an unsustainable trend, Ryan's video gives us a sort of ultimatum. A computer program he said was used to graph the current level of government debt if current trends continue. It crashed in 2037, he said, "because it can't conceive of any way the U.S. Economy could continue, because of this massive burden of debt." That sounds a lot like Al Gore's prediction that melting ice caps will cause sea levels to rise, submerging cities worldwide. The difference is, Gore makes the connections that demonstrate why he thinks this will happen. Presumably, Ryan will too, when he provides details on his budget today.
In the video, Ryan suggests that all the problematic government spending comes from health and retirement costs, and in fact, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Ryan's budget would eliminate $2.2 billion from health care. But as Politico points out, a recent government audit of the Pentagon found $70 billion in waste over the last two years. Ryan's budget doesn't call for any sweeping defense spending, indicating there may be a few inconvenient truths the congressman has yet to face.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.