FORTUNE -- Rep. Paul Ryan laid out his budget blueprint today, and it includes some whoppers about federal energy subsidies.
Here is what Ryan writes on page 48:
"The administration continues to penalize economically competitive sources of energy and to reward their uncompetitive alternatives. On the one hand, it pours money into its favored industries. In 2012, the Congressional Budget Office found total energy subsidies were $24 billion, of which $16 billion were spent on "green" energy programs and $2.5 billion on fossil fuels."
I don't know if Ryan simply misread the CBO report he cited or if he intentionally misstated it. Either way, he got it wrong.
The CBO's $24 billion figure does not refer to "total energy subsidies," but rather to tax preferences and Department of Energy spending on developing and producing energy technologies. Pretty major distinction.
Moreover, the $24 billion figure is for 2011. Guess what happened at the end of that year? Four of the major preferences -- which accounted for around $14.4 billion or the $16 billion Ryan attributes to renewables -- expired on December 31. In other words, his proposed budget savings would come from ending subsidies that already ended 15 months ago. Perhaps I could give Ryan a pass for missing that, except that CBO made it explicit in a brief accompanying the larger report.
If Ryan really cares about "total energy" tax largesse, then perhaps he wants to close the "depletion allowance" loophole, which lets certain extractors shelter around 15% of a well's production. Or end the 6% net income deduction for profitable oil and gas companies. Or deductions on royalties paid by oil and gas companies to foreign governments. Ryan's budget, of course, mentions none of this.
Look, I'm all for a robust debate over how to put America on a path to future prosperity. But Paul Ryan can't help us get there if he can't be honest about where we are today.
Sign up for my daily email newsletter on deals and deal-makers: GetTermSheet.com
The solar energy market is not 'make believe.'
FORTUNE -- It's no secret that Republicans view Solyndra as the corporate embodiment of everything that is wrong with the Obama administration. It received federal loans through a stimulus they opposed, its largest existing investor had ties to a major Obama fundraiser and the company's collapse cost taxpayers around half a billion dollars.
But last night Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) trotted out a new MOREDan Primack - Aug 30, 2012 5:06 PM ET
If he's elected to a second term, President Obama is likely to stop making concessions to the GOP on economic measures and force a confrontation - right away.
By Tory Newmyer, writer
FORTUNE -- President Obama started his first term with a bang, simultaneously engineering an auto industry rescue, stabilizing a teetering Wall Street, and negotiating a massive stimulus package to wrench the economy back from the brink. The experience may MOREAug 16, 2012 5:00 AM ET
In a Fortune interview, the Republican presidential candidate lays out his plan for America now and another four years down the road.
FORTUNE -- On Monday August 6, Mitt Romney spoke by phone to Fortune's Andy Serwer in New York and David Whitford in Boston. He touched on gun control, his tax-cut proposal, his five-point (boiled down from 59) plan to fix the economy, and answered this burning question: If you MOREAug 15, 2012 5:00 AM ET
Helped by an all-star team of advisers - and now Paul Ryan - the Republican candidate maps out ways to stimulate business.
By David Whitford with Doris Burke
FORTUNE -- On the Friday after the Fourth of July, while the Romney clan was enjoying an extended midsummer break at the family manse on New Hampshire's Lake Winnipesaukee and photographers with telephoto lenses were snagging pictures of the candidate in swim trunks, MOREAug 15, 2012 5:00 AM ET
Vice presidential candidate's brother involved with private equity, Bain.
FORTUNE -- Rep. Paul Ryan only has been Mitt Romney's running mate for a few days, but he has a much longer connection to another private equity executive: Tobin Ryan, Paul's older brother and a partner with Seidler Equity Partners.
Seidler is located just outside of Los Angeles, but Tobin Ryan works out of his home state of Wisconsin. He joined the firm MOREDan Primack - Aug 14, 2012 12:20 PM ET
Marc Andreessen among those who have given to Ryan.
FORTUNE -- Rep. Paul Ryan may now be on a political ticket with private equity's favorite candidate, but he hasn't personally received too much campaign support from the industry.
According to a review of Federal Election Commission records, Ryan only has raised $15,250 from private equity and venture capital investment professionals during the most recent election cycle. That's out of more than $3 MOREDan Primack - Aug 13, 2012 2:29 PM ET
Focusing on the (very) small stuff.
FORTUNE -- Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has 187,000 followers on Twitter, plus nearly 100,000 followers on a new account set up by the Romney campaign. Oh, and he's also a tiny investor in the micro-messaging site.
According to Ryan's most recent financial disclosures, he held between $50,000 and $100,000 in the T. Rowe Price New Horizons Fund as of Dec. 31, 2011. It's his largest single MOREDan Primack - Aug 13, 2012 1:17 PM ET
House budget chairman Paul Ryan once credited the philosopher Ayn Rand for guiding him to public service. Now he's realizing she can be as much a curse as a blessing.
By Gary Weiss
FORTUNE -- Paul Ryan is trying very hard to put daylight between himself and Ayn Rand, the right's leading advocate of selfishness, greed and laissez-faire capitalism. It's not working, but it's illuminating to explore why he's making such MOREMay 2, 2012 9:44 AM ET
Republican strategists have noticed that courage sells, even in blue states. Maybe the GOP should step up to the plate and acknowledge they want real reform for Medicare.
By Nina Easton, senior editor-at-large
FORTUNE -- Want to know why the federal government is shouldering a $14.3 trillion debt, why that debt could equal 77% of the total economy by 2021, and why we face market whispers of a looming "debt crisis" that MOREMay 30, 2011 8:25 PM ET
|Apple shares soar on increased buyback|
|What stumps Warren Buffett? Minimum wage|
|HBO shows coming to Amazon ... not Netflix|
|Facebook profit triples on mobile growth|
|Stocks: The win streak is over|