Why Paul Ryan? You have to ask?
For one, Ryan's hometown of Janesville is typical of the capital exhausted industrial communities in the 1st congressional district of Wisconsin that have had their wealth and potential legislated out from their pursuit of prosperity over the past 30 years.
Last year, local business, labor, education, governmental and health care leaders gathered together and scheduled a once in a lifetime presentation about what they need for economic recovery from the federal government. They proposed a list of eight items totaling $40 million and turned it over to the White House counsel of community recovery, Dr. Ed Montgomery. Rep. Paul Ryan was not present at this event. Instead, he was elsewhere promoting his hyper-partisan GOP recruitment booklet "Young Guns." Yet at Townhalls, he begins his presentation by claiming he's the area's "federal guy," and those are issues he wishes to discuss. I bring this episode up primarily as an example of Ryan's concern and response to the economic suffering and injustice occurring on the Main Streets of his district. Apparently, he's got other priorities.
If you consider Ryan's overall congressional voting record against the working poor and the middle class, his misguided personal ideology based on the fictional writings of anti-American Ayn Rand, his harsh polluting hyper-partisanship, his sycophancy for old money and his ideologically calculated proposals that would turn Social Security and Medicare over to Big Insurance and the capital markets on Wall Street - Paul Ryan is easily the Number One Wall Street Congressman.
Now it is true that Democrats and Republicans have both taken campaign donations from Wall Street just like they have from labor unions, but how many congressional's political philosophy and even further, their entire reason for congressional existence is built on the wealth expansion of the private Wall Street merchants (the few) at the expense of everything public (the many) on Main Street? Two or three perhaps. But make no mistake, Paul Ryan is at the top. He is it! Pat Toomey might be a distant second. Timothy Geithner is up there too but he's not an elected congressman.
Ryan also voted for TARP. But he did so against the 100 to 1 wishes of his district constituency and instead voted with the 1%. People wanted a market based solution, not a government solution to the crisis. He not only voted for it, but he was one of the GOP's top point men pushing for its passage on the Hill.
Ryan is also the guy who rubber stamped party-line annual deficits totaling almost $6 trillion during the Bush error and who boldly, almost mockingly so, defies everyone in his district except the top 5%. Yet, he wins re-election again and again. By comparison, Russ Feingold not only voted against TARP, he voted to end it twice afterwards and authored the Control Spending Now Act, which would have taken unspent Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds and use them to pay down the debt. Hello Tea Party? Feingold, far more fiscally responsible than Ryan can ever dream to be and courageous enough to cast principled constitutional votes that frequently rankled Wall Street and his own party, lost to a corporate driven empty suit by the name of Ron Johnson. It doesn't defy logic because once an elected official takes a balanced legislative approach in dealing with the rigged Wall Street status quo - they're finished politically. Alan Grayson was another one. Toast. Wall Street and their corporate media enablers crushed Feingold and Grayson with the help of the Tea Party, of all people. Ryan in the meantime appears to freewheel on by.
So Ryan voted for and promoted the Big Bank bailouts. Some might argue that TARP was justified. Perhaps so, but only providing that the same level of economic justice was distributed across Main Street America. It wasn't. In addition, not a single person has been indicted or convicted for destroying over twenty percent of our personal net worth, so there was a gaping absence of social justice as well, and those are just two of the many reasons why we have ongoing protests today. Again, Paul Ryan seems to get a pass on this.
After Ryan completed his now infamously known ideological manifesto "Roadmap for America's Future," he submitted it first to the barons on Wall Street for their approval before presenting it his constituents. Now, I can understand some might not read too much into that, but his "Roadmap" deals with our most important personal health and national economic stability programs - Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. These three cornerstones of American Exceptionalism belong to the American people - not the profit-takers on Wall Street to decide their fate over. But Ryan belongs to Wall Street. In my view, Ryan submitting his Roadmap proposal to Wall Street for approval before to his constituents was extremely symbolic of where his loyalty is placed.
In fact, Ryan belongs to Wall Street so much that when the U.S. Government was teetering on default due to the crisis fabricated by Republicans, he again went straight to his masters on Wall Street for advice and consent. He, along with Eric Cantor, issued a report that Wall Street would be just fine with the US flirting with default for a few days. Never mind the wishes of the American people.
But his ideologically-driven budget manifestos take the cake. I can't think of any other congressman out of the House or the Senate that has proposed to legislate more theft of private capital under the conveyance and auspice of the U.S. Government to the merchants on Wall Street than Paul Ryan. No one. So, this is where the Occupy Wall Street/99 Percent movement should come into play. Crack pot ideas designed to sell out America should be exposed and their authors should be called out and banished, not applauded. Time is of the essence.
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Let's Put Paul Ryan Back Into The Wisconsin Backwoods Where He Belongs