Hey folks, we better start praying for an end to all hurricanes, blizzards, floods, earthquakes and droughts because if Rep. Paul Ryan gets his way, we may have to give up our constitutional government to pay for any future disaster aid. At least that's what it seems what he wants.
Ryan recently voted against providing federal flood disaster insurance for victims of Hurricane Sandy and once again his statements following his vote contradicts some of what he said while on the Romney campaign trail, which by the way contradicts much of his congressional voting record for the past 14 years.
NY Magazine Excerpt:
At the political level, Ryan’s notion of responsibility beggars belief. Under the Bush administration, Republicans — with Ryan’s support and often active leadership — systematically destroyed the fiscal position of the federal government. They voted for large tax cuts, a new entitlement, wars, and twice repealed pay-as-you-go budget rules that would have required them to pay for all these things. As a result, when Obama took office at the outset of the economic crisis, he inherited an annual deficit of well over a trillion dollars.
We also know Ryan comes from the mindset that tax cuts for the wealthy and bailing out Wall Street did not need to be paid for either. But when American workers are struck by sudden unemployment or communities by natural disasters, Ryan leads the way holding them hostage for new demands on Democrats. This latest twist against Sandy relief comes after Ryan "courageously" voted with Democrats on what he admitted was the better alternative on the faux cliff crisis. He now seems like he has to take revenge for that "pragmatic" vote by shooting the next hostage, much to the applause of the Tea Party.
In the video below, Jon Stewart calls out Ryan about his statement for voting against the flood insurance bill. Ryan said, "Unfortunately, Washington’s legislative response fails on both counts. It refuses to distinguish — or even prioritize — disaster relief over pork-barrel spending." That's just wild. The bill Ryan voted against along with 66 other House Republicans was precisely the opposite of that - it was a stand alone authorization to add $9.7B to Federal Emergency Management Agency flood insurance programs. It contained no pork. It was simply a program recapitalization bill - not a itemized spending bill. So in Washington, which by the way he plays a large role in PREVENTING congressional legislative response - you get n-o-t-h-i-n-g in assistance if Ryan wants to politicize the program or thinks it needs reform. Watch it:
But Ryan's full statement on national disaster relief doesn't end there. His hometown newspaper held an interview with Ryan after the flood insurance House vote and they reported ...
On other topics, Ryan said:
-- He would vote for Superstorm Sandy relief measures, but some of that spending must be paid for with spending cuts elsewhere.
So it appears to come down to three basic principles being promoted by Paul Ryan and the callous conservatives on funding government: 1.) Any emergency spending for natural disasters or economic hardship (Unemployment Comp, Welfare Assistance) will not be paid for with new revenue, but instead must be offset with arbitrary cuts elsewhere - CutGo 2.) Raising of the debt ceiling to pay the bills, which used be as routine as brushing teeth, will now be held hostage in exchange for favored tax cuts, sweeping tax reform or cuts to programs. 3.) Existing Federal assistance programs are automatically null and void until they are reformed.
In essence, Paul Ryan sees victims of natural disasters as victims of government circumstances despite playing a leading role in Washington’s legislative failures in destabilizing the response programs he now deems beyond his control. His expected vote against the flood insurance bill was an easy call and fits the mission of his "Atlas Shrugged" ideology. His vote on the fiscal cliff deal also fulfilled his small government ideology since the alternative was tax increases across the board, but the difference was it came at a political cost from various factions of his support base when he voted with the other side. That "image loss" for Ryan needed to be quickly reconciled, so the Sandy flood vote became a convenient offset that also fulfills a pecking order of political results calculated for the strict advancement of his career - not the country.