From Jon Chait, reviewing a 2001 AEI discussion of the proposed Bush revenue reductions:
[Bob Greenstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities –RE] is taking the sensible position that the 2001 recession seems mild enough that Keynesian tax cuts will not be needed — by the time their stimulative effect kicks in, the economy should be growing again. Hassett [this Kevin Hassett, who shows his face in public anyway because conservatives are genetic mutants literally incapable of feeling shame –RE], the conservative, replies that Keynesian fiscal policy during recessions works, and the only problem is that it’s usually too small. And [Paul, R-WI –RE] Ryan agrees!
Ryan and Hassett, of course, fiercely opposed the concept of fiscal stimulus in 2009. I don’t see how you can explain progressing from that position to opposing Keynesian stimulus during a severe liquidity trap, the worst economic crisis since the depression, except as a function of pure partisanship.
Via Mark Thoma, who theorizes, in my view accurately, that Ryan claimed to care about scholarship at the time because he simply likes reducing tax rates on the wealthy regardless of circumstances.
When you remember that, in addition to the Bush revenue reductions, Ryan supported the invasion & occupation of Iraq and Medicare Part D (and the bailout, come to think of it), it appears that he cares only about shoveling government money to the very wealthiest, completely independent of the merits of the policies that serve that end.
Not that Paul Ryan or any other Republican cares about the deficit, of course, but if they did, this chart (via James Fallows) would be of great interest: