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Budget Chair Paul Ryan Takes Us, Once Again, to the Movies

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, May 25 2011

House Budget Committee chair Paul Ryan is back in front of the cameras, this time pushing back against criticisms of his plan for Medicare that have resonated everywhere from New York's 26th district's special election to between the ears of Newt Gingrich. This is the second "episode" in the Wisconsin Republican's "The Path to Prosperity" YouTube series; part one has pulled in about 200,000 views since it went up in early April.

"Washington has not been honest with you about Medicare," says a gesticulating Ryan as he opens the five-minute video. He goes on to lay out has take on the economics of Medicare, but those current and what would result from his budget plan. Politico's Mike Allen noted this morning that Ryan hurriedly recording his part of the clip two Fridays ago in the Budget Committee hearing room before heading home to Wisconsin. But the clip doesn't reflect that: the video stars well-produced infographics that balance intelligibly expressing the broad strokes of the debate and keeping it wonky enough to mean something.

Now, the important thing in all this is, of course, the fate of the health care program relied upon by so many of America's seniors. Bigger picture, Ryan's video should be parsed for how accurately it conveys the nuances of the policy debate. But man, you just can't help but notice the production values on these things. Count this former Hill staffer amazed at their ability to put together a video short that features floating charts. And multiple camera angles! What is this, Hollywood?

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