In Town Halls, Ryan Accused Of Overstating Debt Crisis


Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc) is holding his first town hall meetings since failing to win the vice presidency last fall. Ryan has renewed his controversial campaign against the federal debt.

Ryan has boosted his national standing with conservatives in recent years by warning of huge federal debt problems down the road. He resumed his “crisis is coming” campaign during town hall meetings Monday in Dousman and Janesville. But Janesville resident Tom Breu says the national economy has grown for the last three and a half years and argues that Ryan is misusing the term “crisis.”

Breu: “We’re all familiar with the story about the boy who cried wolf. You’re the boy who cries crisis. But there is no wolf and there is no federal debt crisis.”

Ryan: “God, I hope you’re right.”

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Ryan continued his defense of the term “crisis,” saying he doesn’t want to go through the debt problems part of Europe is experiencing.

“Do we know exactly when this is going to happen? No, but we clearly know we are on this path and trajectory. You really can’t, I would argue, statistically say [that] this isn’t a problem.”

Ryan says the economy needs to grow faster.

“That really helps us with this debt problem – debt crisis … crisis! I’m just messing with you there.”

Ryan has proposed a federal budget that he says would begin to fix things, but Democrats say Ryan has often voted to raise the national debt ceiling.