PAUL RYAN DOESN’T BELIEVE IN THE TAX FAIRY…. A couple of months ago, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) got the ball rolling on a mind-numbing discussion. He insisted that tax cuts don’t have to be paid for, because they necessarily pay for themselves — an idea so ridiculous that no credible economist takes it seriously. Kyl added, however, that his absurd position is endorsed by “most of the people in my party,” a claim that proved to be true.

To his credit, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the man poised to take over the House Budget Committee next year if there’s a GOP majority, noted on CNBC this morning, “Look, I’m not one of these people who says that all tax cuts pay for themselves.” Good for him. As far as I can tell, he’s literally the only leading Republican in Washington who’s been willing to say this on the record.

What’s more, I’m also inclined to give Paul at least some credit for saying that Republicans are committed to fighting for Bush-era rates for the very wealthy, but that the GOP should try to pay for its policy.

That’s the good news. The bad news comes when contemplating how Paul intends to go about doing this.

There’s “plenty of the room” in the federal budget to cut $700 billion in spending to pay for extending high-end tax cuts, a top Republican said Friday.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, said he’d be happy to draft a budget to make cuts in spending to offset the budget gap that would be created by extending tax cuts for the wealthiest households, which are set to expire at the end of the year.

“[W]e can cut spending to pay for it,” said Ryan, who would likely take over the Budget Committee if Republicans win control of the House this fall, on CNBC…. “There’s plenty of spending to cut to accommodate that,” he explained. “So I’m more than happy to draft legislation to cut $700 billion dollars.”

Great, let’s see it. Let’s get a good long look — before the election — at the Republican plan to pay for their massive tax breaks for America’s very wealthy. There’s $700 billion of unnecessary spending lying around, all of which should be devoted not to deficit reduction, not to economic recovery, but to tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires?

I’m all ears. Let’s have the debate, letting voters know exactly what the GOP’s priorities are.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.