House budget guru Paul Ryan appeared on Fox News this morning to offer his take on the recent Obama-Romney economic back-and-forth. As ever, Ryan provides a very approachable breakdown of the situation, and I think it’s worth the seven minutes if you’ve got ’em:

 

“In the fact that we’re running against a huge machine and Mitt Romney is still tied, I think that’s pretty amazing. Here in Wisconsin we had a pretty big test vote last week, and we passed with flying colors,” Ryan said, referencing the failed recall effort against Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. …

But Ryan, a prominent Romney surrogate, argued that the GOP candidate could draw a sharp contrast with the president over the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts. The president has said he’d like to extend the cuts for all but the wealthiest Americans, while Republicans have argued to make the full slate permanent.

“Look, President Obama is promising one of the largest tax increases in American history in January, and we wonder why small businesses aren’t creating jobs?” Ryan said. “On day one, because we need a new president, Mitt Romney will fix this.”

What a boon of a surrogate Ryan is for the Romney campaign — those are some crackerjack communication skills he’s got there, and he manages to effectively elucidate some of the finer points of this larger free-enterprise debate over which Mitt Romney himself sometimes stumbles.

I have to agree that I’m pretty encouraged by (or, at least, I’m not wallowing in despair about) Mitt Romney’s position right now. Who knows what’s in store in the long campaign-summer ahead, but Romney’s already showing that he’s at least worth his salt against incumbent Obama’s formidably expansive campaign operation. Romney already out-raised Obama in May, Obama’s having a widely-recognized bad few weeks, and Rep. Ryan’s right that simple facts about the economy simply speak for themselves — the Federal Reserve’s recent estimate that Americans’ wealth plummeted a whopping 40 percent between 2007 and 2010 alone is enough to make anyone’s jaw drop. If I were President Obama, I’d be getting pretty dang worried right about now.