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Barney Frank on Ryan: 'An extremist who understands politics'

Paul Ryan is keeping quiet on his tax plan for good reason—Americans won't like it, according to Rep.

Paul Ryan is keeping quiet on his tax plan for good reason—Americans won't like it, according to Rep. Barney Frank.

Ryan—an "extremist who understands politics," according to Frank—is carefully editing the details of his and Romney's tax plans for his political advantage, the chair of the House Financial Services Committee told PoliticsNation host Rev. Al Sharpton.

The newly-appointed vice-presidential candidate is "a combination of a very right wing ideologue and a pretty good politician," Frank said. "He understands that much of what he wants to do is very unpopular with the American people."

Ryan's "Path to Prosperity", released earlier this year, proposed to end Medicare as we know it, increased defense spending, and cut taxes for the wealthy significantly, but omitted to say where the difference would be made up in order to avoid expanding the deficit. Since the announcement last week, he's been unwilling to detail his plan past those ideas—much like Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, who also has been vague about his tax and budget plans.

For Frank, the control of information is all about staying popular.

"Some of [the plan] has some popularity, so what you get is 'yes, if you're very wealthy we're going to cut your taxes substantially,' Frank said. "They'll tell you where they're going to cut, but not where they're going to increase. What's clear is that's going to come from the people who are less wealthy."

The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center's report on Romney's tax plan found that it would raise taxes on 95 percent of Americans, with researchers explaining that the only mathematically possible way to attain Romney's cut goals is to ask the middle class to pay more in taxes.

Romney slammed the report. “They made garbage assumptions and they reached a garbage conclusion,” he told Fortune magazine in an interview published today.