“We need to stop spending money we don’t have,” said Paul Ryan at the Iowa State Fair on Monday. “President Obama has given us four years of trillion dollar-plus deficits. He is making matters worse, and he is spending our children into a diminished future.”
It’s a slippery word, “spending.” As Paul Ryan understands it—as do almost all of the Republicans in office—”spending” means writing a check. The federal government takes in money through taxes, then spends it on programs. This makes intuitive sense. It’s also wrong.