Paul Ryan- Stimulous Lovin' , Earmarks Grabbin Career Politician (August 17 2012)Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


 

Paul Ryan- Stimulous Lovin' , Earmarks Grabbin Career Politician (August 17 2012)
 


17 August 2012 at 1:56:51 PM
salon

Going for those earmarks

The Republican vice presidential candidate has often used the powers of his office over his 13 years in Congress to seek federal funds for his Wisconsin district, sometimes from existing pools of money and other times in ways that would increase federal spending. His success has meant funding for projects ranging from a runway extension at a local airport to an environmental study of the Kenosha Harbor.

There’s nothing illegal or even unusual about what Ryan has done — in fact, it’s the essence of what many congressmen do and what many of their constituents expect. But it complicates the image that Ryan, and now the Romney campaign, have sought to project of a man who is single-mindedly focused on sharply cutting the federal budget and erasing the nation’s deficit.

AND some more

Federal aid for Janestown, WI. Wait, I thought Paul Ryan was against handouts?

With Republican Rep. Paul Ryan joining the Republican ticket for the White House, his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin, is now in the national spotlight. Thousands have struggled with unemployment in Janesville since General Motors shut down its century-old plant there in 2008, causing mass layoffs. As the town tries to get back on its feet, Ryan has said Janesville has become a microcosm for the economic woes facing the nation. But much of its economic recovery is in fact due, in part, to money from President Obama’s stimulus package and other federal grants. We speak to Brad Lichtenstein, director of the new documentary, "As Goes Janesville," which follows the lives of laid off GM workers who try to reinvent themselves through federally funded job training programs, or by moving to work at other GM factories that stayed open after the auto industry bailout. We also play excerpts and outtakes from the film, including interviews with Ryan that did not make the final cut.

Here's what Ryan's Catholic priest in WI said about him.

Umhoefer said that Ryan's lack of attention to the poor and the emphasis on individualism espoused by role models such as Ayn Rand concerned him. "Paul would say that the only way to save the country from a coming [fiscal] disaster is 'follow my plan.'" But according to Umhoefer, the problem is "you can't tell somebody that in ten years your economic situation is going to be just wonderful because meanwhile your kids may starve to death."

Umhoefer said that in Janesville, which lost some 5,000 jobs related to the auto industry after a GM plant closed in 2009, residents continue to seek emergency food and housing support and social service organizations have been running out of funds. A house across the street from the church sits with a red "condemned" sticker prominently on the door, and another house on the block has a sign that declares, "Price Reduced."

Murderer of Opportunity

Paul Ryan is an authentically dangerous zealot. He does not want to reform entitlements. He wants to eliminate them. He wants to eliminate them because he doesn't believe they are a legitimate function of government. He is a smiling, aw-shucks murderer of opportunity, a creator of dystopias in which he never will have to live. This now is an argument not over what kind of political commonwealth we will have, but rather whether or not we will have one at all, because Paul Ryan does not believe in the most primary institution of that commonwealth: our government. The first three words of the Preamble to the Constitution make a lie out of every speech he's ever given. He looks at the country and sees its government as something alien that is holding down the individual entrepreneurial genius of 200 million people, and not as their creation, and the vehicle through which that genius can be channelled for the general welfare.

In the lengthy — and now, very prescient — profile of Ryan that ran in The New Yorker this week, Ryan Lizza pinned him down on this very point. Ryan responded in fluent Weaselspeak....

When I pointed out to Ryan that government spending programs were at the heart of his home town's recovery, he didn't disagree. But he insisted that he has been misunderstood. "Obama is trying to paint us as a caricature," he said. "As if we're some bizarre individualists who are hardcore libertarians. It's a false dichotomy and intellectually lazy." He added, "Of course we believe in government. We think government should do what it does really well, but that it has limits, and obviously within those limits are things like infrastructure, interstate highways, and airports."

The fact is that his "budget" will demolish federal spending on those very things, either directly, or by sending the deficit off in the direction of Alpha Centauri. But the quote illustrates something else about Paul Ryan: get him out of his comfort zone of being thought an intellectual by the likes of Louie Gohmert, and of being thought of as a bold thinker by half the buffet-grazers in the Beltway media, and he really is quite the political coward. (In this way, he is a perfect match for the man who picked him.) He does not have the raw balls to explain to the country that, no, he does not believe in government — not the federal government, anyway, and not as it was originally conceived, as the fundamental expression of a political commonwealth. He's grandfathered his plan to chloroform Medicare so that, despite the deficit that he considers such an urgent problem, nobody alive today who might vote against him will be affected by it. For the same reason, he will not specify the cuts that he will make or the tax "loopholes" —coughMortgageInterestDeductioncough — that he will close. In any way that will come to matter to the people whose lives his policies will make harder and more miserable, Paul Ryan is still the high-school kid living off Social Security survivor benefits and reading Ayn Rand by flashlight under the sheets. Instead, he's a guy pretending to be something he's not, and doing so back in Janesville in a very swell Georgian mansion, which just happens to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 
 
In 2005, Paul Ryan explained that he often looks to Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged” as inspiration for his views on monetary policy. “I always go back to, you know, Francisco d’Anconia’s speech, at Bill Taggart’s wedding, on money when I think about monetary policy,” he said in a speech to the Atlas Society.
 

How can you possibly write that passage and dismiss idly as a "contradiction" the ironic — not to mention hilariously hypocritical — fact that, after his father passed, and while working the fry station and toting canoes at a YMCA summer camp, Ryan was also the beneficiary of Social Security survivor's benefits? These did precisely what they were designed to do, which was to help young Paul Ryan get the education that would help him become the adult Paul Ryan who's been on one government payroll or another since he left college, and who goes around telling half-dim audiences that people on government assistance are mired in a "culture of dependency."

But don't you know he grooves to Rage Against The Machine?

Except, oops, Rage Against the Machine said

“Paul Ryan's love of Rage Against the Machine is amusing, because he is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades," Morello wrote in an op-Ed for Rolling Stone.

"I wonder what Ryan's favorite Rage song is," Morello continued. "Is it the one where we condemn the genocide of Native Americans? The one lambasting American imperialism? Our cover of "F--- the Police"? Or is it the one where we call on the people to seize the means of production? So many excellent choices to jam out to at Young Republican meetings!"

 
 

Mr. Ryan showed his conservative mettle in 2008 when he folded like a lawn chair on the auto bailout and the Wall Street bailout. But the greater hypocrisy is his phony “plan” to solve the entitlements mess by deferring changes to social insurance by at least a decade.

A true agenda to reform the welfare state would require a sweeping, income-based eligibility test, which would reduce or eliminate social insurance benefits for millions of affluent retirees. Without it, there is no math that can avoid giant tax increases or vast new borrowing. Yet the supposedly courageous Ryan plan would not cut one dime over the next decade from the $1.3 trillion-per-year cost of Social Security and Medicare.

Instead, it shreds the measly means-tested safety net for the vulnerable: the roughly $100 billion per year for food stamps and cash assistance for needy families and the $300 billion budget for Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor and disabled. Shifting more Medicaid costs to the states will be mere make-believe if federal financing is drastically cut.

Likewise, hacking away at the roughly $400 billion domestic discretionary budget (what’s left of the federal budget after defense, Social Security, health and safety-net spending and interest on the national debt) will yield only a rounding error’s worth of savings after popular programs (which Republicans heartily favor) like cancer research, national parks, veterans’ benefits, farm aid, highway subsidies, education grants and small-business loans are accommodated.

 

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Comments!  
1 - Coz   30 Aug 2012 @ 11:34:14 AM 

Its funny,

 

The reporter reports GM closing in 2008, the subject of his article and P. Ryan say the plant closed in 2009.

 

The truth is, either way? Obama had no business going there telling those people that he could save that plant if they were that close to closing anyway.

 

This is just another mindless liberal distraction that isn't going to work.



2 - salon   31 Aug 2012 @ 10:05:02 AM 

You are mistaken. President Obama, then candidate Obama, did not tell Janesville he was going to save the plant. That is a misleading lie told by career poltician(as his brother calls him) Paul Ryan. I realize that the Romney camp doesn't care about whether they actually tell the truth or not, but here is CNN Fact Check.

Ryan reportedly alleged that Obama said he'd "keep that plant open," and therefore broke his promise because the plant closed.

"That plant was shut down in 2009. I remember President Obama visiting it when he was first running, saying he'll keep that plant open," Ryan said, according to the Janesville Gazette. "One more broken promise."

The Detroit News pointed out that Obama made no such promise in the February 13, 2008, speech, and indeed, we've seen no account suggesting that Obama did. Here is the quote at issue, according to an account kept by the Council on Foreign Relations:

"I know that General Motors received some bad news yesterday, and I know how hard your governor has fought to keep jobs in this plant. But I also know how much progress you've made -- how many hybrids and fuel-efficient vehicles you're churning out," Obama said. "And I believe that if our government is there to support you, and give you the assistance you need to re-tool and make this transition, that this plant will be here for another hundred years."

Here's part of that article from the Detroit Free Press

Obama could not have promised to keep the plant open because it's a privately owned plant. But he did say government assistance could keep it open. And even though he wasn't president, General Motors and Chrysler did get word that they would be receiving a bridge loan from the U.S. Treasury in mid-December, 2008, before the plant stopped producing GM vehicles. It continued to produce some cars for Isuzu and completely shut down mid-2009.

At the time of the loan from the George W. Bush administration, then-President-elect Obama believed auto companies needed help to survive. But he and his aides were talking more about tough rules -- not about saving Janesville, or other specific plants.

Clearly, if Obama had wanted to bring it up at that time, he could have.

In fact, Steve Rattner calls out Paul Ryan for this baloney

TAMPA, Fla. — Steve Rattner, who oversaw the Obama administration’s auto rescue, told TPM Thursday that Paul Ryan personally lobbied him in 2009 to intervene to reopen the Janesville, Wis., plant he cited in his convention speech on Wednesday.

Rattner recalled telling him the same thing he had told other lawmakers with similar requests: The White House left those decisions to the car companies.

“We did not get involved with individual plant decisions in the auto task force,” Rattner said in an interview with TPM. “So I find it ironic that Paul Ryan, who thinks the government should stay out of all this, was nonetheless lobbying to change that decision.”

Ryan actually voted for the 2008 auto rescue, breaking with most of his Republican colleagues in the House as well as Mitt Romney. However, he frequently criticizes the Obama administration for “picking winners and losers” in the economy. A spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment on his conversation with Rattner.


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