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Paul Ryan: Cruel, not courageous (WaPo)
Katrina vanden Heuvel argues that while Paul Ryan has developed a reputation as a bold and principled policy wonk, his budget plan is the work of an ideologue who's not speaking truth to power so much as whispering sweet nothings in its ear.
Paul Ryan's Self-Made Myth (TAP)
Gabriel Arana notes that the other half of the media narrative about Ryan, that he's a Randian superman who clawed his way up with his bare hands, is slightly undercut by the fact that he's been standing on the government's shoulders the whole time.
What did Ayn Rand teach Paul Ryan about monetary policy? (WaPo)
Brad Plumer writes that Ryan's opposition to quantitative easing and the Federal Reserve's dual mandate stem from his love of all things Rand, including her leprechaun-like belief that FDR ruined everything by stealing all our shiny, shiny gold.
Why Can Paul Ryan Have It All? (HuffPo)
Amanda Terkel points out that while female politicians with young children often face scrutiny for their failure to remain attached by the umbilical cord, no one has been asking Paul Ryan if he feels like he's a terrible dad because of his VP bid.
Compared to Ryan, Romney wants to spend much more on defense, and much less on everything else (WaPo)
The Romney campaign has been trying to distance itself from the Ryan plan, but Suzy Khimm flags a report that shows Romney's own plan would be even more extreme. He just had the good sense not to tell anyone exactly what he's planning.
How Reporters Are Letting Romney Get Away With His Plan to Massively Cut Medicare (TNR)
Jonathan Cohn writes that in order to achieve the spending cuts Romney has proposed, he'd have to gouge as much as $2 trillion out of Medicare. For those keeping score, that's a bit larger than the Obama cuts that would end all life as we know it.
Blaming Obama for George W. Bush's Policies (NYT)
George W. Bush? Which one was he again? Oh, right. Bruce Bartlett takes us on a trip down the Republican memory hole to remind us that unless Obama makes a major breakthrough in time travel, he couldn't have caused a recession in 2007.
Krugman for Treasury! (Salon)
Paul Campos argues that instead of replacing Tim Geithner with Erskine Bowles in a possible second term, President Obama should consider appointing someone who doesn't think Paul Ryan is the best thing to happen to America since independence.
America's Aversion to Taxes (NYT)
Eduardo Porter notes that while most other developed countries have both higher taxes and a stronger social safety net, many Americans remain committed to the belief that nothing we need is worth paying for on the off-chance that they win the lottery.
Happy Birthday, Social Security (CBPP)
Social Security turned 77 years young yesterday, and Kathy Ruffing celebrates the occasion by highlighting how it's rescued millions of America from poverty and why Republicans should really stop insisting that it's time to put it out to pasture.