What's the Difference Between Paul Ryan and Donald Trump?
For the last several days, the Beltway media have been gripped by the impasse between the GOP's presumptive 2016 presidential nominee and the Republican speaker of the House. "Paul Ryan," Politico announced, "is stuck in a Trump trap." Endorsing the uncouth vulgarian overwhelmingly supported by GOP primary voters, Tiger Beat on the Potomac argued, "is a major risk to Ryan's brand." Josh Barro agreed, declaring "Ryan's real priority is policy, not power." He's just "not ready" to give his backing to Donald Trump "because he's genuinely despondent and sees no good options available to himself." Writing in the Washington Post, Ruth Marcus went so far as to pen a speech a pained Speaker Ryan could deliver to explain "my reservations about what a Trump nomination would mean for our party--and, more important, what a Trump presidency would mean for our nation."
Yet for all of this manufactured drama, there has been little discussion about the real difference between Donald Trump and Paul Ryan. To be sure, the purportedly "serious" and "thoughtful" idea man Paul Ryan would not use expletives in campaign rallies or boast about the size of his phallus. And while Ryan at least sticks to his core convictions, Trump's gymnastic flip-flops show he has none at all.
But one of these two Republicans is a charlatan, a polished con man of the people who uses elegant spreadsheets, impressive policy jargon, and soaring rhetorical flourishes to create an elaborate façade for massive tax cuts for the rich, oceans of red ink for the U.S. Treasury, and devastating spending cuts to programs designed to help the most vulnerable Americans. The other man is Donald Trump. To put it another way, Paul Ryan is a dumb person's idea of a smart person; Donald Trump is a smart person's idea of a dumb person.
Consider, for starters, their respective tax plans.
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