Thursday, February 25, 2010

Paul Ryan Can't Have it Both Ways

On the eve of tomorrow's healthcare summit where it will be made plain for all to see that GOPstructionist party has no real solutions, our company has received word that our health insurance premiums will rise by 22% again this year. I suppose we should be thankful that this broken system isn't delivering the 39% skyrocket attempted by the profiteers in California, yet. Yet our cost has doubled twice in the last 8 years even with more out of pocket costs, and at 22% it will double again in 4 years. this is unsustainable and somethings got to give, so far it's us. Well of course even more so the 30,000 Americans who die annually due to lack of health coverage while the party of "right to life" dithers and obfuscates for their corporate masters.

Meanwhile the GOPsters are talking out of both sides of their face, with Paully "wanna-cracker" Ryan, such a pretty boy ahhhhhhk, parroting the talking points puffed out in his finest plumage. Below is an insightful piece authored by Kelly Gallaher which was posted on Yes We CA Racine and run in the Racine Journal times.

The past few weeks have been very exciting for Congressman Paul Ryan(R-WI). On January 29, the Congressman had the opportunity to spar with President Obama at the televised GOP retreat in Baltimore in front of thenational press. The attention continued with the unveiling of his budget plancalled “A Roadmap for America’s Future 2.0.” Ryan’s budget was initially regarded as a serious effort to propose a counterpoint to the Administration’s 2010 budget. That is, until people read it.

Congressman Ryan’s limelight became a glaring spotlight when closer examination revealed the Roadmap for America’s Future sought to radically dismantle Medicare by replacing the current system with vouchers andreplace a traditional safety net with a sweeping effort to privatize SocialSecurity for Americans under 55 years old. His plan would undermine the securityof these programs for millions of Americans and subject them to the volatilityof Wall Street and unabated greed of corporate health care. Nobel Prizee conomist Paul Krugman called it a “breathtaking act of staggering hypocrisy.”GOP members staking their future campaigns on protecting Medicare and Social Security scattered.

Then came the Wall Street Journal that singled out Ryan this past week for his hypocrisy in slamming the stimulus plan, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Ryan called the stimulus a"wasteful spending spree" while requesting these same funds last October from the Department of Labor saying “I support the Energy Center of Wisconsin’s grant application for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Energy Training and Partnership Grants.” He went further in his request tosay the grant “would make effective use of the funds they would receive. ”

How does a program like the stimulus that "misses the mark on all counts” and “hasn’t created the jobs” also manage to “propose to develop an industry-driven training and placement agenda that intends to place 1,000 workers in green jobs” as he stated in his stimulus request? Easy, it’s called dishonesty. It is dishonest to say the stimulus doesn’t create jobs atthe same time you ask for stimulus money to create jobs. In December, Ryan called for the repeal of the Recovery Act even though his own hometown of Janesville had received more than $4 million of stimulus money for jobs and newprograms.

Erroneously characterized as a “deficit hawk,” Paul Ryan’s public profile completely contradicts the way he votes. Ryan voted for record spending, unfunded tax cuts for the wealthiest, the bank bailouts and trilliondollar wars which created our deficit nightmare. Also called a policy “wonk;”Ryan championed unsustainable expansions of Medicare Advantage resulting inbillions of overpayments while he seeks to create a policy to dismantle Medicare and Social Security for Americans long after he’s gone from office.

Democrats are not the only people who have questions about Ryan and his agenda. He has mystified conservatives as well. In response to his votes in favor of the auto bailout and the AIG confiscatory bonus tax even conservativepundit Michelle Malkin was moved to scold him to “practice what you preach when itmatters. Not after the fact.” Perhaps Wisconsinites could take comfort that his vote was in support of workers. Sadly this was not the case. When questioned about his vote on the auto bailout just last week to Daily Beast writer, Benjamin Sarlin, Ryan confessed he was moved to vote for it not to keep autoworkers employed, but because he believed “that a second Depression would threaten capitalism—and rescue Obama's presidency.”

Congressman Ryan has been practicing the most cynical kind of political hypocrisy and hoping we would not notice. In this age of internet communication, that kind of pretense is no longer possible, and hisconstituents must hold him accountable. Ryan deserves credit for having an idea; not many of his colleagues have shown the same initiative. However, it has alsogiven us the opportunity to look deeper in to what the future would look like if many in the GOP had their way. Ryan perhaps said it best in a recentinterview with the New York Times, “I’m worried that if we get the majority back by default, we’ll screw up again.” On that, we can both agree.

Kelly Gallaher

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