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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Paul Ryan's Personal Statism: Crony Capitalism

We already knew that Rep. Paul Ryan is a key servant for Wall Street in Congress and a highly commissioned representative of the health care insurance industry, but now comes more damning reports from Newsweek/The Daily Beast that his family's mining businesses stood to benefit from tax law changes that he proposed in his budget. As James Rowen of The Political Environment pointed out - who knew?

Think Progress Excerpt:
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the architect of the GOP budget plan, has put forth a plan that calls for ending a number of tax subsidies. However, he has hedged multiple times when asked about oil subsidies. When given the opportunity to end billions in taxpayer giveaways to big oil companies, Ryan voted to preserve the generous subsidies.

Here's why.

The Daily Beast Excerpt:

Ryan's Shrewd Budget Payday

The congressman stands to make money from his stakes in four businesses that lease land to energy companies which would benefit from $45 billion in tax breaks and subsidies in his proposed budget. Daniel Stone reports.

According to a report from the Joint Committee on Taxation, Ryan himself would be eligible to recover money from the government for investments the four family companies might make in such things as machines and maintenance if they didn’t pan out on the properties and failed to generate revenue.

Stephen Comstock, a tax analyst with the American Petroleum Institute, says the provision and several others like it would be protected under Ryan’s budget.

Wall Street Cheat Sheet Excerpt:
Ryan’s father-in-law runs the companies that are currently leasing land for mining and drilling to Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK), Devon (NYSE:DVN), XTO Energy, and a subsidiary of ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM). Ryan’s stake in these companies immediately poses a conflict of interest, especially when Ryan is lining his pockets with big oil money while expecting senior citizens, children, and the disabled to endure cuts to already underfunded programs.

If I got this right and I believe I do, Ryan is shamelessly using his congressional budget writing chairmanship to legislate risk guarantees on the investment holdings of his tightly knit family and capitalist cronies.

It can't get much worse than that, but as usual we can expect Ryan and his corporate media enablers to spin the story around and demagogue the report as an attack on his family - ala Sarah Palin.

Related: Ryan Tells Constituents One Thing - Votes Another

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