Good Paul on Bad Paul

William Saletan wrote what may be the single stupidest column in the history of American electoral coverage, which has a long and lamentable history, over at Slate, on the subject of this complete nitwit Paul Ryan.

Paul Krugman, Nobel-winning economist, has a suitably harsh rebuttal over at the NYT on his blog, which is rapidly becoming the best non-arts writing the Times publishes. Here are the money grafs:

“Look, Ryan hasn’t “crunched the numbers”; he has just scribbled some stuff down, without checking at all to see if it makes sense. He asserts that he can cut taxes without net loss of revenue by closing unspecified loopholes; he asserts that he can cut discretionary spending to levels not seen since Calvin Coolidge, without saying how; he asserts that he can convert Medicare to a voucher system, with much lower spending than now projected, without even a hint of how this is supposed to work. This is just a fantasy, not a serious policy proposal.

"So why does Saletan believe otherwise? Has he crunched the numbers himself? Of course not. What he’s doing – and what the whole Beltway media crowd has done – is to slot Ryan into a role someone is supposed to be playing in their political play, that of the thoughtful, serious conservative wonk. In reality, Ryan is nothing like that; he’s a hard-core conservative, with a voting record as far right as Michelle Bachman’s, who has shown no competence at all on the numbers thing.”