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Monday, August 13, 2012

Janesville Is Not Paul Ryan's Kind Of Town

During an interview with asshat Glenn Beck, Paul Ryan said progressivism is the source for all the big government problems facing us today. When Beck referred to progressives as a cancer, Ryan agreed and told Beck to consider where he was born and raised – in Janesville, Wisconsin.

Listen to the interview here.

After catching the report that Paul Ryan's first celebratory homecoming to Wisconsin as Mitt Romney's running mate will be held in Waukesha and not in his hometown of Janesville, I figured that the teatards in Walkersha must be more important to him. Obviously, there's more to that than meets the eye. J.R. at the Political Environment picked up on Ryan's slight to his hometown as well. He wrote in his blog...

Political Environment Excerpt:
But don't forget that Janesville's signature but shuttered GM and Parker Pen assembly plants don't exactly offer TV crews the kind of news-at-10 "B-roll" footage that the candidates' handlers are looking for.

I agree. Mit Romney doesn't have a bus big enough to block Big Media's spotlight from the sprawling 250 acre vacant factory compound with it's 4 foot tall weeds and stained dirty chimneys. So that's not going to happen. But there's another side to the story.

You see, typically when major news agencies flood a town like Janesville, they want to play nice. They want to shine a light on it's landmark attractions and all the positive things happening economically since the closing of the GM plant and it's dependent subsidaries. That's only natural. I would expect they would want to focus on Janesville's comeback, especially since Paul Ryan is considered the GOP's economic whiz and philosophical job creator extraordinaire. I mean, they've called themselves the comeback team right? Under that light, most would expect Janesville's slow but steady economic growth would serve as a perfect example of Ryan's small government/free market influence and success, right? But it doesn't. Not at all.

Why is that? Well, because nearly every major piece of business development and jobs creation in Janesville has been plumbed and perked by the big hand of government. From cash-rich W.W. Grainger picking up a cool $227,000 from city government for an office expansion to a new medical technology firm picking up free land, a city-backed taxpayer guaranteed loan and over $20 millon in federal grant money. When challenged by a Janesville city council member as to why they need a government-backed loan vs a privately insured loan, the CEO of the medical tech firm said without that feature, he would have to look elsewhere to start his business.

So, most of the recent major business construction and "job creation" in Ryan's hometown has been perked with government aid such as TIF District advantages, cash-back for maintaining a minimum employee quota, free infrastructure, taxpayer-paid rent, free TIF surplus money and forgivable loans including federal contracts and state grant monies. Plus, Janesville is in a state-tax-credit enterprise zone and area businesses are also expected to share in the $1.5 billion federal and state funded interstate expansion soon to pass through the county over the next few years. Unless the state hires Chinese firms to do the work to "save" money - then that too could change.

Before anyone screams at me that they built it all by themselves, I do acknowledge that there are individual "mom and pop" entrepreneurs opening up small businesses like hotdog/beef stands, resale shops and delivery services, etc., in Janesville with very little to no government help. Absolutely. That's happening too. But the fact is, Janesville's post-GM economic development growth, as modest as it is, is largely built on a foundation of government and it's being done under make-or-break pressure, where those receiving the helping hand from government also claim the start-ups and growth would not be happening without it.

So let's put it this way, the concept of government at nearly every level plays a huge role in Janesville's comeback, so much that I submit that we may as well change the city's name to Julia-ville. But according to Ryan's philosophy, government stifles economic growth and progressivism is largely responsible for all it's failures.

Okay, now get ready for this. The irony here is that those lobbying for and receiving government largess are mostly local Paul Ryan supporters and members of Forward Janesville and the "Divide and Conquer" redstate Rock County 5.0 business cartels. That's right. How does that work? Let's just say that most of these people aren't "poor" folk. There are no means-testing eligibility requirements used to qualify for this type of government assistance. Yet they feverishly support a candidate whose entire political and economic philosophy is built on wild-ass government-less austerity where the only bootstraps are your own, even if you don't have any to start with. In the meantime however ...they don't practice what Ryan preaches. Why? Well, the short answer for that one is what some of us have only recently come to learn. Most of these so-called "job creators" feel that the money collected by the government belongs to them anyways since they are under the impression half of the country doesn't pay any taxes - only they do. That is where it stands right now.

There's an additional irony to this however. Because the core message to Ryan's shape-shifting ideological proposal is to severely diminish the role of government, Janesville's recent government-aided progress in economic growth is also a liability to showcase to a national media. It doesn't do Paul Ryan's ill-conceived proposals any favors at all. So, when Big Media comes snooping around Janesville for a Ryan event, you can be assured that Ryan's local media enablers (primarily the Gazette) will steer the big boys away from any of this as much as possible.

The bottom line is that Janesville's past doesn't serve Ryan's personal quest for stardom, and if Ryan has any say about it, Janesville's future won't be well served by Paul Ryan.

By the way, where is Ryan's government unfettered free-market city on the hill? Where is Aynrandsville?

1 comment:

Paul Berge said...

Isn't Aynsville just up the railroad tracks a ways?

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