Paul Ryan, 2002: Explaining the Stimulus

Here's an economic explanation that Paul Ryan could afford to listen to from... Paul Ryan.

I was watching Up with Chris Hayes when he showed this...

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Hayes: Here's a look at some of that video from February 14th, 2002 in which Congressman Ryan argues on the House floor that government spending has historically created jobs, and that unemployment insurance and health insurance is necessary even after economic recoveries begin.

Ryan: What we're trying to accomplish today with the pass of this third stimulus package is to create jobs and help the unemployed. Now, I've just recently read in our local Capitol Hill newspaper that members from the majority party in the other body want stimulus. They're breaking with their party leadership and asking for stimulus legislation to pass, because in their home states they have a lot of people who are losing their jobs. What we're trying to accomplish is to pass the kinds of legislation that when they passed in the past have grown the economy and gotten people back to work. We want to make it easier for employers to keep people employed. We want to make it easier for employers to invest in their businesses, to invest in their employees and to hire people back to work. And on top of it, for those people that lost their jobs we want to help them with their unemployment insurance and with health insurance. What we're trying to accomplish here is recognition of the fact that in recessions, unemployment lags on, even well after recovery has taken place.

Hayes: You guys get all that? Did you get all that? Do you get the full thing there? In the same House session Ryan, -- I should say when he's talking the majority in the other house, he's talking about Senate Democrats who are helping President George W. Bush pass a stimulus because they think it's the best thing to do even though their partisan interest is to destroy the agenda of the President from the other party. But the Senate Democrats went for the stimulus. -- So, in the same House session Ryan even argues -- I love this -- he argues that those worried about fiscal discipline and deficits, right -- because all this is borrowed money that they're going to spend for the stimulus -- should still support the stimulus because it will get the economy going again which will then lead to a rise in revenue, smaller deficits and extended solvency for programs like Medicaid and Medicare down the road.

Ryan: We have a lot of laid off workers and more layoffs are occurring. We know as a historical fact that even if our economy begins to slowly recover that unemployment is going to linger on and on well after that recovery takes place. What we've been trying to do, starting in October, then in December, and now, is to try to get people back to work. The things we're trying to pass in this bill are the time-tested, proven, bipartisan solutions to get businesses to stop laying off people, to hire people back, and to help those people who have lost their jobs. It's more than just giving someone an unemployment check. It's also helping those people with their health insurance while they've lost their jobs and more important than just that unemployment check is to do what we can to give people a paycheck. We've got to get their engine of economic growth growing again because we now know, because of the recession we don't have the revenues we wanted to. We don't have the revenues we need to fix Medicare, to fix Social Security, to fix these issues, we've got to get Americans back to work, then the surpluses come back, then the jobs come back, that is the constructive answer we're trying to accomplish here on, yes, a bipartisan basis. I urge members to drop the demagoguery and to pass this bill to help work together to get the American people back to work and help those people who have lost their jobs.

Off screen: Who is that guy?

Hayes: It gets better.

Off screen: Where do I get to wear a pin? (cross-talk)

And it's not just a line that he gave in Washington. According to the Wisconsin newspaper, the Journal Times, he goes back to his district and in a town hall meeting with constituents back in his district, he's making the case for Keynesian stimulus spending in much simpler terms. This is what he says, quote, you have to spend a little to grow a little. What we're trying to do is stimulate the part of the economy that's on its back. Paul Ryan, 2012, "You have to spend a little to grow a little". No, Paul Ryan 2002.