JS Online Excerpt:
Inventors and entrepreneurs who would like to see the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office keep the fees it collects - rather than have the agency further decimated by congressional raids on its funds - have a powerful and newly outspoken opponent.
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has signed a strongly worded letter to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, objecting to a key provision in pending patent-reform legislation that would let the patent office retain those fees and spend them on rebuilding itself after years of underfunding.
That sounds a little familiar, doesn't it? A progressive government agency has the opportunity to become fiscally self-sufficient and a right-wing engineer says Congress can do better. That's right - congress can do better.
Rep. Paul Ryan wrote in a letter that this "is a move in exactly the wrong direction, given the [...] commitment to restraining spending, improving accountability and transparency, and reducing the nation's unparalleled deficits and debt." Just like Congress has gone in the right direction on Social Security and Medicare over the past 20 years with the majority of the time under GOP purse strings rule, I suppose.
Yet, Ryan's position with the Patent Office reform is consistent with his position on Social Security surplus revenue - no lock box. Besides, surpluses tend to make a government-run entity look successful and that perception must be suffocated at all costs according to government-hating Randers.
Ryan's letter also contains a partisan swipe about handing over more fiscal power not to the executive branch, but to the "Obama White House."
Ryan's Letter Excerpt:
Placing PTO spending on mandatory auto-pilot as outlined in H.R 1249 would also hand the Congressional "power of the purse" - bestowed in the Constitution - to the Obama White House.
What worries me most though about Ryan's position is the underlying goal driving most of his deliberate actions to undermine and defund government. That because the Patent Office has the potential to operate in the black - it's the perfect candidate to turn over to crony capitalists and privatize. But again, that can only happen if he can bury the federal agency in as much debt and disorder as possible while it's still in the government's hands.
This is one area the Republicans are experts in.
RELATED: The Paul Ryan Watch: Ryan/GOP ransom note: "Give us Medicare or we crash the economy."