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Monday, June 19, 2017

SHINE Lobbies For $100M Worth Of Paul Ryan's Decentralized Bootstrap Stimulus

Somehow, some way, the Janesville Gazette was able to publish a story (front page headlines) about a well-connected Janesville "entrepreneur" hiring three lobbying firms to schmooze the federal government out of $100 million for their business project ...and not mention Paul 'Mr. Money' Ryan even once.

I have to give the Gazette some credit however for uncovering the story in the first place. For some reason lately, they have decided to do a little investigative reporting. That's not the norm, so it's a good thing.

But leaving Rep. Paul Ryan out of the SHINE story however is so obvious and of such major consequence, it's nearly impossible to think it was done by accident. That's a shame because it shows the Gazette has a huge political blindspot.

Here's why. When Paul Ryan used to hold town hall meetings, he would remind his constituents that he is the area's "federal go to guy." That was before he was speaker of the house. Ryan would say, "if you have any problems with or requests of the federal government, I'm your guy." He said that repeatedly. SHINE is in Janesville. Janesville is in Paul Ryan's congressional district. The Gazette knows all that.

Secondly, the internet is full of essays, articles and reports about Paul Ryan's philosophy on crony capitalism, centralized control, statism, subsidized jobs and make-believe markets.

Here's just one of many dozens...

Fox Excerpt: (On Solyndra)
This is industrial policy and crony capitalism at its worst. It's exhibit A for how this kind of economic policy doesn't work," he told "Fox News Sunday." "We shouldn't be picking winners or losers in Washington. We should be setting the conditions for economic growth so that the private sector can create jobs. Washington is not good at picking winners and losers, so we shouldn't try."

Remember when President Obama said, "if you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen." Oh my Lord. That was blasphemy to Paul Ryan, back then...

American Enterprise Institute Excerpt:
It was Rep. Paul Ryan’s wife, Janna, who first saw — via Twitter — President Obama’s recent comments about American entrepreneurs, that “if you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Paul Ryan at the time — thought to be on Mitt Romney’s running-mate short list — couldn’t believe it. He thought someone must “have been putting words in the president’s mouth.”

But Obama said it all. And Ryan absolutely tore into the president in a chat I had with him earlier today. Among the highlights:

— “The idea that these entrepreneurs owe all their success to some government bureaucrat or some centralized planner just defies reality.”
— “Every now and then, President Obama pierces the veil. He’s usually pretty coy about his ideology, but he lets the veil slip from time to time.”
— “We believe in free communities and this is a statist attack on free communities.”

So how does any of that reflect on Paul Ryan's position now with hometown pal SHINE CEO Greg Piefer? Well, it doesn't.

First, Ryan doesn't have Barack Obama around anymore to juxtapose his goofy ideas against whether to draw contrasts with, scapegoat or for political expedience.

Secondly, SHINE held a private invite-only "celebration" party a few months ago and among the area's elite in attendance was Rep. Paul Ryan.

Believe it or not, Ryan was taking bows for SHINE and called his pal, Greg Piefer, "the head, the brain, the bird dog.” He told the crowd that SHINE's plan was a "great, fantastic breakthrough," and said it shows Janesville has begun to “decentralize” its local economy and bounce back. The Gazette knows all that. They reported on it.

But, Janesville's "decentralized" economy? LOL. Do you know how disconnected Ryan must be to think that? More than I even thought.

Nothing, and I mean this literally, nothing is done or accomplished in Janesville's economy without the big hand of government at every level, from federal grants, to state tax credits, central "comprehensive" planning and of course millions of dollars in wealth transfers through TIF District abstracts, property tax kickbacks and free land. The other thing is, all of that is escalating. I'm not knocking it all, just saying.

So, if Paul Ryan calls that his idea of decentralization, then I can't blame his local cronies for lobbying DC for $100M in stimulus to bootstrap their decentralization. Particularly with Ryan, now House Speaker, as the area's federal go-to guy.

In days gone by, the national media would be all over a story about a hometown pal of the House Speaker busting on the federal government for $100 million.

Those days are officially over.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very true journalism. You are very perceptive about that dynamic between "go-to" Ryan and SHINE.

Maybe just ignoring this strangeness is supposed to be the norm, but I've seen it all before in Ryan's mom's town, FDL.

And I've studied economics at UW and worked in politics in Washinton, DC in the mid-1990s.

Please continue your reportage, as it it focussed on very real issues, unlike here in FdL where our paper is much like your Gazzette (our paper is the "Reporter," now owned by Gannett).

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