Ryan not what’s advertised
Paul Ryan is not a fiscal conservative … but he is a social radical.
First things first. While Republicans are agush with praise for the bold Ryan budget plan and principled fiscal conservatism, Ryan’s record belies all of that political rhetoric.
The new campaign buddy of the beleaguered presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has a congressional history that paints a starkly different picture of his fiscal “convictions”.
Paul Ryan supported two wars with funding them; he supported the Medicare prescription plan without paying for it; He supported the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 that created instant annual federal deficits; he supported TARP, the bank bailout, and the auto bailout. The total debt created by these decisions has been, so far, $5.1 trillion dollars and is still rising.
Ryan said he opposed the Obama administrations stimulus, but he later not only applied for and received $20.3 million of stimulus funds for the Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corp., he wrote that the funds would save or create thousands of jobs.
While he, on one hand insisted that the stimulus would never create jobs, he wrote only months later that it would in fact create jobs.
And then of course there are the earmarks.
John McCain has, on principle, refused earmarks for his Arizona constituents for years. Paul Ryan grabbed earmarks until the last day they could be garnered, achieving over $5 million in earmarks through 2008.
Does any of that sound like fiscal conservatism?
But Republicans might argue, this is a different Paul Ryan, Paul Ryan 2.0 perhaps. The new Paul Ryan is a conservative budget guru.
But the new Ryan is not so very different from the old Ryan. The Ryan budget would not balance the federal budget until 2040 and would add $14 trillion to the national debt on the way to that balance, $6 trillion in the next decade alone.
Along the way Ryan would reduce federal tax collections during the next decade by $4.5 trillion to grant tax cuts to the richest Americans while creating tax increases for the middle class.
Ryan the fiscal conservative simply does not match with the facts, but Ryan the social radical? There the facts match perfectly.
Ryan is a self-proclaimed devotee by radical writer Ayn Rand, who proclaimed altruism as “evil”, condemned Christians for helping the poor and was an atheist.
This is Ryan’s real conviction and explains why he once said “This is not a budget, it is a cause.”
In support of his “cause” is his budget that reduces Medicaid, food stamp programs, Pell grants, infrastructure investment, research and reshapes Medicare into a voucher program.
His “cause” has also led him to say in 2011 that Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme.”
His “cause” protects the rich and would end all capital gains taxes, reducing Mr. Romney’s taxes on his $20 million dollar income to 1 percent.
The Ryan cause is for protecting Big Oil tax breaks, keeping defense spending at wartime levels and lowering tax rates while the deficit soars.
The Ryan cause, ostensibly directed to shrink government, expands governments’ reach into women’s lives by mandatory ultrasounds, abortion bans for rape and incest and banning many forms of contraception.
Ryan is certainly no fiscal conservative, but he is absolutely a social radical.
As for being courageous, just how much courage does it take in America to beat up the poor? That is the true blood sport of Mr. Ryan, who would, in his theoretical universe, “free” the poor to be hungry and helpless.
Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney paint a very dark picture of America’s future, a Darwinism that would change the nation forever and deny our historical compassion in favor of an economy by the rich and for the rich.
Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.