Paul Maul

By Bill Maher

There are a few “facts” about Paul Ryan that the press keeps repeating that I think we need to grind into dust: 

First, they keep referring to the “Ryan budget.”  There is no Ryan budget.  A budget has numbers attached to it that economists can “score.” The Ryan “budget” is a budget in the way that my doodle of a rocket ship on a cocktail napkin is a blueprint for NASA.

Second, they call him an intellectual. Now, I’m not saying he’s a dummy – he’s not. People equating him to Palin are just wrong on that score. He can read and write and he eats beans with a fork instead of his fingers. Plus, he uses words like “epistemology” in conversation, and he actually knows what they mean. But that still doesn’t make him an intellectual – that just makes him smarter than Sam Brownback. He’s the one guy in the GOP who actually cares about policy, so he’s their intellectual by default.

When Ryan was a 19-year-old intern on the Hill, he was given two books: one by Jude Wanniski and one by George Gilder, the two founders of supply side-economics. These books were discredited looney-tunes nonsense when Ryan got them 23 years ago, yet he devoured them and marked them up with little scribbles in the margins and he still believes their crap to this day. That’s not an intellectual. Intellectuals don’t stop learning at age 19.  

Third, the press acts as if Ryan is some sort of effective legislator. But, according to the Huffington Post, he’s only passed two bills into law in the 13 years he’s been in Congress.  One was to rename a post office in his district after Les Aspin. The other was to reduce the taxes on hunting bows. Why hunting bows? Because Paul Ryan is an expert bow hunter. He goes through arrows like you go through condoms. He was tired of paying the sky-high Federal Arrow Surcharge or whatever it is, so he fixed it. Because that’s what Objectivists do.