Thursday, September 29, 2011

Is Paul Ryan's 'class war' lighting the fuse for social explosion?

Roger Bybee, longtime editor of Racine Labor newspaper, now a freelancer, writing for In These Times, uncorks a devastating  analysis of what Paul Ryan sees as class warfare.  Highlights:

In his severely distorted view of the “class war” currently splitting America apart, House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who represents southeastern Wisconsin’s crumbling factory towns, reflects a juvenile embrace of the view of his heroine Ayn Rand (required reading for his entire staff).
Like Rand, Ryan interprets any move toward easing America’s crushing inequality as showing ingratitude toward those he worships as the “job creators.” This view is repeated incessantly by Republicans.

However, the fact remains that, it’s been some time since the "job creators” actually created any significant number of jobs in the United States. ..

A vast torrent of dollars, rapidly shooting upward in a jet-stream, has given the top 1% more political power than at any point in the last 90 years. The super-rich have gained more surplus wealth to contribute more massively to candidates who serve their interests and to hire lobbyists to advance policies of tax-cutting, deregulation, privatization and “free trade. "

These are all policies that detach the ruling class further from a commitment to strong public institutions (e.g., schools, healthcare, access to higher education), American workers and the nation itself.

On the other side of the class divide stands a fragmented, atomized, and—until the Wisconsin labor rebellion earlier this year—badly demoralized majority of working families. They face a constant and totally one-sided bombardment by corporate and government policies that undermine their economic security, take away rights to unionization, and make their survival ever more precarious.
Without cohesiveness and organizations, families scramble simply to survive, with political involvement often falling as a priority despite its potential for relieving their suffering...

Of course, Ryan is opposed to increasing the minimum wage, in the same way that he has voted to oppose extended unemployment benefits, foreclosure assistance and expanded S-CHIP healthcare to children. He's been pushing to end taxation on the overseas operations of U.S. corporations.

With a lifestyle reminiscent of Marie Antoinette and his contempt for the plight of workers and the poor, Ryan and his allies may well be lighting the fuse for a social explosion.

There's more. Read it all here.

CNN Puts Lipstick On Ryan's Pig

In what I describe as one of the lamest interviews ever put on by a "professional" news organization, the CNN newsroom participated in what can be accurately described as little more than a image enhancement and calibration campaign masterfully scripted by Rep. Paul Ryan.

CNN Newsroom Sub-title
Rep. Paul Ryan has become popular by pushing the unpopular stance on entitlements. CNN's Gloria Borger profiles him.

No doubt about it, Ryan gave them a tube of lipstick and CNN knew exactly where to apply it.

During the interview, Ryan discombobulated as he described himself as a "messenger" and then claimed he gave up "fear" for Lent. Let me explain.

The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer — through prayer, repentance and self-denial — for the annual Christian commemoration beginning on Ash Wednesday and culminating with Easter. During Lent, modern day practicing Roman Catholics oftentimes will make a personal sacrifice such as fasting or temporarily give up a treat or habit they might usually enjoy. But here's the trick. Ryan says, "I gave fear up for Lent this year." But how does one give up "fear" as a sacrifice? Even CNN's Bolger curiously asks, "how do you do that?" In Ryan's case however, much of what he can show for in the political arena has been built on demogoguery and fearmongering. Ryan thrives and relishes in it so much that had he said he was giving up "fearmongering," people who know his bully style would understand his loss and not question his personal Lenten sacrifice.

Ryan now appears to be in the midst of re-booting his Randian-corrupted Christian morality by dropping hints of his religiosity in recent interviews. The NY Times reported that Ryan is reading the “Read and Learn Bible” to his 6-year-old son and during this CNN interview, he subtly dropped another hint by announcing his sacrifice for Lent. Beyond Ryan's purposely religious remarks, he then frames himself as a fearless "messenger" courageously defending himself against undeserved attacks by Democrats and the Left.

CNN Excerpt:
"There's sort of a shoot-the-messenger strategy these days," he added. "I'm the messenger, and you can't fear that if you are who you are." It's a pattern for Ryan, who has grown in popularity by pushing the unpopular, a fairly unconventional route.

We know who Ryan is. No one in Congress has fear mongered, mocked and demagogued our safety nets or mischaracterized the American Way more than Congressman Ryan. No one. Before he embarked on his crusade to destroy Medicare, previous messages he delivered over the past five years were...

Ryan equated American labor unions to Saddam Hussein's brutal Ba'ath Party.

He joined Glenn Beck in calling progressives a cancer.

Ryan also admitted to voting for TARP not on the nuts and bolts of the proposal, but claimed by supporting it, he was saving capitalism from a hallucinatory fascist liberal statist agenda he channeled onto President Obama. Wow, demagoguery - thy name is Paul Ryan.

Interestingly, CNN left these few minor inconveniences out of their select profiling of the congressman.

Yet, through all of these unprovoked public declarations of war against Progressives, Labor and the President, it is Ryan who paints himself up not as a remorseful perpetrator of demagoguery, but as a victim of his target's push back and then sympathetically refers to himself as the "messenger."


Ryan (R-Regressive) -- "What I'm trying to do is indict the entire vision of progressivism, and its important to flush progressives out into the field of open debate."
Beck (R-Regressive) -- "I love you."


Paul Ryan - Scott Walker With a Smile

Paul Ryan Is Not Who You Think

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ryan Gets the Band Back Together for His Plan to End Medicare

David Dayen at Firedog Lake:

 Paul Ryan is desperately trying to resuscitate his failed plan to end Medicare by offering it as the replacement element in the long-sought “repeal and replace” strategy for the Affordable Care Act. [The one the GOP calls Obamacare - Xoff.]

“Giving patients and consumers control over healthcare resources would make all Americans less dependent on big business and big government for our health security; give us more control over the care we get; and force health care providers to compete for our business,” Ryan said.

Ryan argued that a tax credit in lieu of Medicare, Medicaid and government-credited employer-sponsored healthcare would commoditize healthcare costs, enabling individuals to choose their coverage and allowing the free market to drive down prices and make care more affordable — and generous — for all.
So if you liked getting a coupon instead of your Medicare and being pushed out on your own onto the individual marketplace, you’ll love getting the same coupon for Medicaid and for any coverage you get from an employer. It would basically spell the end of risk pooling, the end of collective bargaining for lower costs in health care. The costs would get shifted from government to the individual, and overall health costs would rise, as the insurance industry would be unburdened by the need to negotiate down prices with powerful coalitions of potential customers. This just replaces public debt with private debt, and grows that private debt larger.

This is the fundamental difference between liberals and conservatives on health care: the argument of rugged individualism versus the argument of collective responsibility and the power of bargaining. It’s pretty clear from the available evidence that putting more “skin in the game,” the linchpin of Ryan’s strategy, ends up raising health costs. The health care marketplace simply does not act like a real marketplace.

Read the rest.

Monday, September 26, 2011

' Paul Ryan’s lack of popularity means he’s popular' - Just ask CNN

Remember how hard Rep. Paul Ryan tried to spin his disastrous budget with its scheme to end Medicare? Back during the spring recess, he insisted that the constituents booing him at his town meetings loooooved his Medicare plan, saying the “crowds are overwhelmingly supportive.”

When that didn’t really work, he shifted his spin saying that, really, the plan wasn’t unpopular, it was just misunderstood. People would love it, really, once the Republicans figured out a way to talk about it that didn’t terrify people.

Meanwhile, there were the polls. Like this PPP poll done in June in North Carolina, finding that voters were opposed to the plan by an almost 2:1 margin. In North Carolina. There are any number of polls demonstrating just how unpopular it is.

Undaunted, Ryan has kept up his happy talk, and finally found a buyer. Check out the headline from CNN’s Gloria Borger and Kevin Bohn: “Paul Ryan: Popular by pushing the unpopular.”
More here.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

GOP Picks Third Most Unpopular Republican For Fund Raising

USA Today Excerpt:
House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, considered a rising Republican star, has been tapped to lead a high-profile party fundraising group tasked with raising money for the GOP's 2012 ground game.

Hot Air Excerpt: (June, 2011)
The poll also found Ryan is now the nation’s third most disliked Republican, with net unfavorable ratings that trail only former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Obviously the GOP has no chance or use to campaign for piddly $20 donations from working class wage earners, so it's only logical to choose a connected Wall Street crony capitalist.

But these appear to be more signs that the Republican Party is preparing for a major war to defend the wayward class war congressman's House seat in 2012. They know we know Ryan has absolutely nothing to show for in 14 years, so they redrew his district boundaries by throwing in chunks of GOP-infested Walkersha County and now the party gives him a confidence boosting empty title to what amounts to a publicity stunt befitting an empty suit.

They are pulling out all the stops.

Friday, September 23, 2011

House Budget Guy Ryan, to Fundraise from Corporate Elite to defeat Obama. Big Surprise?

Taking pay-to-play to a new level, the guy pulling the nations purse strings, Paul Ryan, is the GOP’s special interest front man for presidential fund raising. Nothing like in-your-face corporatism.
WAOW: U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, Chairman of the House Budget Committee, will be spearheading the GOP's fundraising effort to win back the presidency. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus announced Friday that Ryan will serve as chairman of the RNC Presidential Trust.

Ryan says in a statement that raising the money necessary to win the presidential election will be the difference maker.

Big brother corporations, otherwise known as “job creators,” just put a face on creeping fascism; Paul Ryan. 
Below, the full text of a self-explanatory letter sent to Paul Ryan by economist Dean Baker:

September 21, 2011

The Honorable Paul Ryan
1233 Longworth House Office Building
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative Ryan:

During a recent interview, you made a number of remarks about Social Security, among them, characterizing Social Security as a “Ponzi Scheme,” that would yield a negative rate of return, and saying, “…[Social Security] is not working, it is going bankrupt, and that current seniors will be jeopardized the most by the status quo.” None of these statements are accurate.

Almost no one will get a negative real return on their Social Security taxes. This issue has been researched extensively and assuming a 2 percent real discount rate, even as late as 2030, most new retirees will receive more in benefits than they paid in taxes. There is simply no basis for the claim that beneficiaries will receive negative returns on their taxes as the value of scheduled benefits actually rises in later years since life expectancy, and therefore the expected period of retirement, will continue to increase. The only way we would see negative returns would be if Congress voted to cut benefits.

In fact, if Congress makes no changes at all to the program, the latest CBO projections show that Social Security will remain fully solvent through 2038 and would pay about 80 percent of full scheduled benefits from then on, indefinitely. It is quite difficult to make the case that a system that pays full benefits for the next 27 years is not working or is going bankrupt, let alone claim that it jeopardizes the retirement security of current seniors.

As a member of the House Budget Committee charged with making recommendations about our nation’s budget, I hope that you will be careful to present the situation more accurately in future public statements. If you would like any additional background on the program, I would be happy to assist you.

Best regards,

Dean Baker

Dean Baker, Co-Director, Center for Economic and Policy Research

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ryan supports putting the unemployed to work -- for free

Video at Crooks and Liars
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) isn't a fan of President Barack Obama's American Jobs Act, but he does like the idea of allowing people who are receiving unemployment benefits to work for free.

The plan is based on a program called Georgia Works which matches job seekers with employers. Under the plan, employers agree to provide up to eight weeks of on-the-job training. Workers, who can only work for 24 hours a week, continue to receive unemployment benefits instead of getting paid.

"The Georgia plan sounds pretty interesting," Ryan told Fox News' Chris Wallace Sunday. "I think that's something we are looking at, which is unemployment reform."

Ryan's remarks echo House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-VA) support of the idea. "We stand ready to work with [President Obama] if there is interest in implementing a similar program on the federal level," Cantor said.

According to data the Georgia Department of Labor provided to The Huffington Post's Arthur Delaney, the program isn't very successful. Between 2003 and 2010, only 16.4 percent of people that participated in the program found work, about the same rate as those who were not participating. As of late August, there were only 19 trainees enrolled in Georgia Works.

The top weekly unemployment benefit in Georgia is about $330.

Colbert shows why Paul Ryan math doesn't add up

Class warfare? Killing jobs? We yield the floor to Stephen Colbert: Hat tip: Dane 101

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ryan agrees with Perry: Social Security is a Ponzi scheme

Maybe Paul Ryan really does want to be the vice presidential candidate.  What else explains this lunacy?
On Laura Ingraham’s radio show, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) agreed with Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) that Social Security resembles a Ponzi scheme. “It’s not a criminal enterprise, but it is a pay as you go system where earlier investors, or say taxpayers, get a positive rate of return and the most recent investors, or taxpayers, get a negative rate of return,” said Ryan. “That’s how those schemes work." -- Washington Post.
"For being such a self-proclaimed expert on economics and finance, it is telling that Paul Ryan deliberately confuses what Bernie Madoff did to the Social Security benefits milllions of Americans have earned by the sweat of their brow," Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Wednesday. "It looks like the author of the plan to end Medicare is creating the rhetorical conditions under which, to finance tax cuts for the super-rich, Social Security can be ended as well."

Doubling Down On The Stoopid

Even after being told that calling SS benefits a Ponzi Scheme is killing GOP electability, Pompador Paul just can't help himself.

“Paul Ryan’s belief that Social Security works like a Ponzi scheme proves —
once and for all — that House Republicans have really declared war on seniors,”
DCCC spokesperson Jesse Ferguson told the

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Paul Ryan's Class Warfare Moment...

The Washington Post put together this short but true Paul Ryan video:

Ryan works on his image: Just a regular guy, up to his elbows in deer guts, grinding venison sausage to feed his kids

Frank Bruni in the NY Times, in a column titled, "Deer hunts and dirt bikes:"
Paul Ryan may not be running for president this time around, but if you have any doubt about his ambitions for a long, prominent future in government, just look at his comments in a Q. and A. published in Sunday’s Times. They’re a minor masterpiece of image calibration.

In the span of two dozen sentences, Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, mentioned the Bible, or rather a beginner’s version of it, which he said he was reading aloud to his 6-year-old son. He mentioned his truck and his appetite for hard rock, thus establishing automotive and musical affinities that balance his wonkier, number-crunching bona fides. He mentioned hunting — with a bow, no less.

Then came the capper. He mentioned his talent for what I’d like to call venison charcuterie, just because he so clearly wouldn’t. “I butcher my own deer, grind the meat, stuff it in casings and then smoke it,” he said, making clear that Sarah Palin in all her moose-eviscerating glory has nothing on him.

And thus his self-portrait as an outside-the-Beltway guy’s guy with grime (and maybe guts) under his fingernails was complete, and he had discharged one of the more ridiculous obligations of the contemporary politician. He had asserted that he was just like the rest of us, even though there’s no such thing as one uniform us and if there were, it would be buying its Bambi sausages in bulk at Costco.

Bruni goes on to bemoan the fact that politicians feel forced to play the "I'm-just-a-regular-person" gambit and dumb themselves down (well, some like Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry don't have to do that). But if that's the game, deal Ryan in.

He may be a millionaire who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but the image he projects is that of a guy up to his elbows in deer guts.

Ryan Opposes Millionaires' Tax; His Home County Constituents Pull In About $12 Hourly

To help find Paul Ryan's hometown millionaire constituency, I put some data over at The Political Environment.
Annual  per capita income in Rock County, where Janesville is located: $24,135.

Unemployment in the County: 10%.
There are roughly 2,080 hours in a working year, so wages in Rock County average a tad under $12 an hour.

Probably not too many local millionaires there banging down Ryan's door for a tax break and a glass of $350 wine.

Video: 1st Congressional District Do-It-Yourself Townhall

After previously being subjected to police action under orders from Rep. Paul Ryan, constituents from Kenosha and Racine gathered together without the congressman in attendance for a townhall meeting in safety and with the knowledge that they would not be subjected to arrest for voicing their concerns.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Did someone say class warfare? Was it Paul "Silver Spoon" Ryan?

Paul Ryan says President Obama's proposed tax increase for millionaires is nothing short of class warfare.

If a class war breaks out, we know which side Paul Ryan will be fighting for -- the entitled class into which he was born.

L. S. Carbonell on LezGet Real blog:

If you would like to know what shaped Paul Ryan’s economic philosophy, Google Ryan Incorporated Central. The company was founded by his great-grandfather and is responsible for the fact that when Ryan’s father died at the age of 55, Ryan was able to bank his entire Social Security survivor benefits for college instead of living on them the way my siblings did when our father died at the same age...

Ryan’s big “real business” experience was working for one branch of the family conglomerate as a “marketing consultant.”

He actually has a B.A. in economics and political science from Miami University, but some people are never capable of letting book learning override personal experience. Ryan is apparently one of them. He ended up in politics at his mother’s urging because she was afraid he was going to end up “a ski bum.”
Paul Begala says it better in a CNN opinion piece:
Mr. Ryan won the genetic lottery. There is no doubt that his great-grandfather worked hard to build that company. But a century and a quarter later, young Mr. Ryan -- who estimates his net worth at up to $2.4 million -- has no calluses on his hands. Just on his heart.

Ryan For The Rich: We've Heard This Fine Whine Before

He's come a long way from Janesville.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ryan Claims Class Warfare on 1 Percent of Americans!!

In an amazing example of projection, Paul Ryan accuses Democrats of doing just what Republicans have been so successful at doing for the last decade, using “fear, envy and anxiety.”
(Paul Ryan) accused President Obama of appealing to Americans' "fear, envy and anxiety" by pushing a new tax rate on people making more than $1 million annually, saying the "class warfare path" will only hurt the economy. 
Can you imagine starting a “class war” with opponents so wealthy that they could buy enough influence and power to crush you like an ant? Who would be that dumb? Paul Ryan thinks we are. Fox 47:

Like all Humpty Dumptyisms, where “you can make words mean so many different things,” Ryan tests the bounds of credulity with every pronouncement.  
"If you tax something more, you get less of it," Ryan said. 

Is that supposed to make us sad? The rich get less? For the last 20 years, the middle class got less in wages. Polling says yes, tax the richest 1% for gods sake, the ones who have enjoyed the lowest percentage of taxes ever.
In a string of idea’s that can’t possibly make sense, Ryan starts with a doozy.
"If you tax job creators more, you get less job creation. If you tax their investment more, you get less investment." 

The job creators have already got their tax cuts, nothing has changed since the Bush tax cuts, and they did nothing. As for the investor class; Is Ryan saying the wealthy will stop trying to make more money? Someone should ask Ryan if investors will be willing to give up on their already fat incomes. I'm guessing not.

Fact check: Ryan's wrong in claiming payroll tax cuts "don't work"

On Fox News Sunday, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (WI-01) ignored Republican leadership’s call to work together with President Obama on creating jobs and refused to embrace Obama’s plan to cut payroll taxes that would help working Americans. Ryan falsely claimed payroll tax cuts “don’t work.”

In reality, Ryan voted for a bill that included a temporary payroll tax cut last year and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that reducing payroll taxes helps create more jobs than tax breaks for the wealthy. The National Federation of Independent Business also concluded that payroll tax cuts help small businesses and “can can reduce unemployment and keep people working during a period of slowed economic growth.”

Ryan ignored Speaker Boehner’s call for Congress to work together to improve the economy. Boehner said: “If we want to create a better environment for job creation, politicians of all stripes can leave the ‘my way or the highway’ philosophy behind.”

Paul Ryan Voted For a Bill That Included a Temporary Payroll Tax Cut. On December 17, 2010, Ryan voted in favor of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. In addition to extending certain provisions of the Bush tax cuts, the bill included a temporary employee payroll tax cut for the 2011 calendar year. [HR 4853, Vote #647, 12/17/10; PL 111-312, 12/17/10; Washington Post, 12/16/10]

Reducing Payroll Taxes on Firms Creates More Jobs Than Tax Cuts for the Wealthy. In January 2010, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office wrote that reducing payroll taxes for firms was among the policies “that would have the largest effect on output and employment per dollar on budgetary cost in 2010 and 2011. By contrast, policies that would temporarily increase the after-tax income of people with relatively high income, such as an across-the-board reduction in income taxes […] would have a smaller effects because such tax cuts would probably not affect the recipients’ spending significantly.” [Congressional Budget Office, 1/10]

National Federation of Independent Business: Payroll Tax Holiday Can Create Jobs. The National Federation of Independent Business has said that a payroll tax holiday for small businesses would help “struggling businesses reduce costs” and “can reduce unemployment and keep people working during a period of slowed economic growth.” [NFIB, accessed 9/16/11]

Speaker Boehner: Leave the “My Way or the Highway” Philosophy Behind. On September 15, 2011, Speaker John Boehner outlined his economic plan to help a struggling economy. During his speech before the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., the House Speaker urged both political parties to work together. “The responsibility for fixing this toxic environment for job creation is a bipartisan one,” said Boehner. “And lastly, if we want to create a better environment for job creation, politicians of all stripes can leave the ‘my way or the highway’ philosophy behind.” [National Journal, 9/15/11]

Source: DCCC

Ryan wants to raise taxes on middle class, but not on millionaires

Huffington Post:

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said on Sunday that House Republicans would oppose President Barack Obama's payroll tax cuts for both employers and employees, arguing that the policy had already failed to provide a sufficient boost to the economy. "It hasn't worked," Ryan said, suggesting the current temporary tax cut should be allowed to expire, which will amount to a 50 percent tax hike on workers making less than $106,000 per year.

He also said that he opposes the president's plan to require millionaires to pay the same tax rate as the middle class. As chairman of the House Budget Committee and the author of a long-term plan that radically alters Medicare and slashes tax rates for the wealthy as well as social spending, Ryan serves as something of an economic spokesman for House Republicans.
The payroll tax cut hasn't worked?

It has put more money into the hands of working families and, along with other Obama policies, has prevented the recession from becoming a full-fledged depression.

Ryan continues to promote the theory that giving more money to millionaires will somehow stimulate the economy and create jobs. But guess what?   That's the policy that really hasn't worked.

UPDATE: A fact check finds the Congressional Budget Office agrees that reducing payroll taxes creates more jobs than tax cuts for the wealthy.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Rick Perry signs on to Ryan's bait-and-switch, end-Medicare scheme

Rick "Ponzi Scheme" Perry has signed on to the Paul Ryan plan to end Medicare as we know it and replace it with a voucher-type system that will cost seniors much more for health care -- if they can afford it at all.

Isn't calling that "Medicare" when it's really something quite different a bait and switch con job? It sure seems like it.

Politico reports:
Perry also said he spoke Friday with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and backs the House Budget Committee chairman’s fiscal proposal.
“I talked with Paul Ryan today and told him that I thank you for standing up and having the courage and I’m proud to join you in having this discussion were having with America.”
Perry defended his description of Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme.”
“Kids know that paying into something that won’t be there in the future is a Ponzi scheme,” he said.
No word on whether Ryan reciprocated by endorsing Perry's call for states that don't like what Congress does to secede from the union.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Republican won in NY by running from, not embracing, Ryan Medicare plan

Much is being made of the Republican victory in a special House election in New York, including the claim that Paul Ryan's Medicare plan is no longer poison for Republicans.  

Politico declared Ryan one of the winners in Tuesday's election:

“Three months ago, Democrats successfully seized on the House Budget Committee chairman’s controversial plan to rewrite Medicare in an upstate New York special election. But that message didn’t work this time for Weprin, who hammered Turner over the plan and who raced into senior centers during the final days of the race to brand the Republican as scary. Icing on the cake for Ryan: The approach didn’t work for Democrats in Nevada either, where Republican Mark Amodei won by a landslide in Tuesday’s other special election.”
That's not quite the whole story, according to Fred Bauer on a Republican blog, Frum Forum:

[The Republican winner] Bob Turner distanced himself from the Ryan budget on Medicare and from Rick Perry (or at least the Perry of Fed Up!) on Social Security. The “Issues” page on his website reads (emphasis added):

Social Security and Medicare represent solemn commitments made by the government to people who have been paying into this system their entire lives. I believe that these programs should be preserved as they are for those in or near retirement and that we should work to strengthen and preserve them for our children and future generations. I oppose efforts to privatize or bankrupt either. I would work with members of both parties to reach a solution that will meet our obligations on both of these programs.
Mediscare couldn’t work against Turner because he pledged his total support for Medicare. Indeed, he has spoken strongly against the Ryan budget. This election is less a sign of victory for the Ryan budget and more a sign that Republicans can run away from this budget (at least if they haven’t voted for it) and win.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ryan on jobless Wisconsinites: Let them eat candy

A Capital Times editorial, clearly written after watching video footage of the Ryan family in a Labor Day parade:

The truth is that Paul Ryan has no interest in fighting for working families — in Janesville or anywhere else in the United States.

In 2008, the sprawling General Motors plant that had been Janesville's top employer for nine decades was shuttered. Thousands of jobs were lost. Unemployment soared. Working families in Janesville and surrounding Rock County are still struggling.

What was Ryan's response? He proposed schemes to gamble Social Security funds in the stock market and to gut Medicare and Medicaid.

Paul Ryan has never done anything for Janesville ... until now.

At the Janesville Labor Day parade, the congressman was confronted by an unemployed worker. The man wanted to know what his representative planned to do to aid his unemployed constituents.

Ryan tried to brush his questioner off. But when the man persisted, Ryan finally offered something:

Candy or a Green Bay Packers schedule.

That's all job-seeking Wisconsinites will ever be able to expect from Paul Ryan.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Kenosha group plans do-it-yourself town hall meeting for Ryan

The Racine Journal Times:

KENOSHA - The local progressive group Community for Change will hold a do-it-yourself town hall meeting Thursday for U.S. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, likely without the congressman.

At the meeting, area residents will be able to address a photo of Congressman Ryan, who represents Racine County, and make a statement or ask a question as if it were an actual listening session, according to a news release from Community for Change. The town hall will be taped, and speakers' names and addresses will be recorded and forwarded to Ryan.

This summer Ryan has received criticism for not holding public town hall meetings over Congress' recent breaks. But that is not stopping Community for Change from holding its own forum.

"Community for Change recognizes the dialog every citizen should have with their elected representative should not be silenced just because he or she has been unwilling to schedule the time. We look forward to a celebration of free speech," the release states.

Kelly Gallaher, Community for Change's organizer, said Ryan is invited to attend, but she never formally sent him an invitation and assumes he will not be in the area.

The forum will be at Gateway Technical College's Madrigrano Auditorium, 3520 30th Ave., Kenosha.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. and residents can sign up for two-minute speaking spots starting at 7 p.m.

The session will end at 9 p.m.

Paul Ryan Dismisses Consumer Demand as Job Creator: "I'd like to see us focus more on the corporate tax reform stuff."

Even worse than the title comment, when asked about the trade bills Ryan himself oversees, jobs took a back seat. Surprised?
Host: "when you asked the question (to the White House why the trade policy hasn't move forward)...what answer did you get back?"

Ryan: "Labor, uh, pressure from their base on the "left."
The word Ryan is searching for is "Democratic Party." Not "left," not the "base," but Democratic Party. The only other major political group that is now being marginalized and accused of stealing our country. They're horrified that they would have protecting jobs. Instead, they would like displaced workers to go through the nightmarish alternative of job retraining, which they think makes up for the job losses.

But according to the actual business community, in the real world and away from corporate lobbyists, Ryan is wrong. It's all about DEMAND! NY Times:
The dismal state of the economy is the main reason many companies are reluctant to hire workers, and few executives are saying that President Obama’s jobs plan — while welcome — will change their minds any time soon … many employers … said they tended to hire more workers or expand when the economy improved.

Companies are focused on jittery consumer confidence … and above all, swings in demand for their products. “You still need to have the business need to hire,” said Jeffery Braverman, owner of Nutsonline. “Business demand is what drives hiring,” he said. The proposed payroll tax cuts for individuals should spur consumer spending and in turn, prompt companies to hire more people.

Chesapeake Energy, one of the biggest explorers of oil and gas in shale fields said it had 800 positions open, and had already received tax credits for hiring the long-term unemployed … Michael Kehs, vice president for strategic affairs and public relations, said the credit “does not drive our hiring.” Most of those jobs would be added, economists say, as workers spend the additional take-home pay that would result from a proposed payroll tax cut for employees. As consumers increase spending, that can prompt more hiring by retailers, washing machine makers, restaurants and more. 

A Front Row Seat; Paul Ryan at the Janesville Labor Day Parade!!

It's Paul Ryan, upfront and as usual, impersonal? This crystal clear footage of Ryan shows a guy feeling the heat like never before. I'm hoping his challenger Rob Zerban (zer-bon) is watching.

For some reason, Rep. Paul Ryan thinks his political career can be put on hold, so he can march in a parade he has no business in, while his policies continue to pummel the middle class every minute of the day.

It was a tough day again for Paul even with his family in tow. But why did he think his presence, around those celebrating labor, would be tolerated by workers most affected by his corporate shilling? As for his kids, he could have marched ahead, instead of putting them between himself and angry constituents. As long as Ryan continues to play the invisible man, the people in his district will only have their signs and shouts to get their message across. Thanks to Suburban Guerrila for the great video.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ryan's World; He'll have order or you'll be arrested. Treating the "Leader" Elite like Royalty.

Still more video of Paul Ryan's Whitnall Park Rotary Luncheon where the public had to pay $15 to see and talk their representative. Any question about whether Ryan is sociopathic is answered here.

Ryan is under the false impression that only polite agreeable attendees have the right to ask questions without interruption from their elected officials. But for those backed-into-a-corner desperate Americans...jail. It's obvious from the video that security had been told to remove dissenters immediately, without the pleasantries of being asked to keep it down, wait their turn...etc. Apparently speaking out of order is cause for arrest in Ryan's world. 

Ryan amazingly did not try to stop the police from arresting and fining the protesters. It will take all the self control you can muster when you see Ryan wave sarcastically goodbye to protesters on his way out of town. This is campaign ad gold....

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wonkette: Ryan arrests every human who asks him questions he doesn't like

Wonkette: Paul Ryan arrests every human who asks him questions he does not like:
Corporate wart Paul Ryan had town hall attendees arrested after they interrupted him during his speech to ask questions about why he is trying to murder Medicare, old people, sunshine, etc. Uh, because those things are fun if you are a sociopath? OFF TO THE COMMUNIST GULAGS WITH YOU THEN.
With video.

Video: Janesville Constituents Speak Out To Paul Ryan

Club TNT Presents: Where Are The Jobs Rally - Ask Congressman Paul Ryan

Video submitted by Breitlinks.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

VIDEO: Rep. Paul Ryan cracks a joke at the expense of a 71 year-old man being put on ground and handcuffed by police

Watch as Republican Rep. Paul Ryan cracks a joke about a 71 year-old man as the man is being put on the ground and handcuffed by police officers during Ryan's recent "pay to play" town hall meeting.

The fact that Paul Ryan seems to think it's funny to crack jokes about 71 year-olds who are being arrested for daring to speak out against him at a town hall he charged admission to is simply disgusting, and Paul Ryan should be ashamed of himself.

What a role model Ryan is for his children. "See kids, it's okay to make jokes about senior citizens as they're being put on the ground and arrested by the police, because it's funny to make fun of old people!"

Jeff has more on what a scumbag Paul Ryan is.

Labor Pains In Hometown Grow Louder Against Paul Ryan

JG Excerpt:
JANESVILLE — At Monday's Labor Day parade through downtown Janesville, people cheered and applauded for Janesville native and 1st District Republican Congressman Paul Ryan.

In the same article from the Janesville Gazette they wrote, "When a small group of labor supporters went by holding "Recall Scott Walker" signs, however, the cheers turned to whoops, and the applause got louder." Let's put it this way, despite Janesville being Congressman Paul Ryan's hometown, the overall tone from the labor crowd toward him was only slightly less "enthusiastic" to that shown towards Scott Walker.

Due to an embarrassing technical difficulty at the worst possible time, I do not have photos or video proof. But I walked about half the route in step behind Paul Ryan and heard plenty of boos and jeers for him and saw individual spectators holding anti-Ryan signs along the Main Street parade route. I also noticed significant areas of spectators that did not acknowledge him at all, almost as if they were respectfully giving him the cold shoulder when he passed by. Remember this is Ryan's hometown and many of these folks know each other. So did “people cheer and applaud him?” Sure, he had pockets of diehard supporters along the route, but to imply he was widely cheered is blatantly false. The Gazette at least acknowledged that their report was covering only a city block of the parade. The parade stretched for a mile.

Speaking of Ryan, he was pushing a baby stroller during the event, which I think shows extremely poor judgment on his part if he believes in his own fearmongering rhetoric. Remember, Ryan referred to the labor protests in Madison earlier in the year as riots similar to those going on in Cairo, Egypt at the time, and a few years ago smeared union members as violent thugs similar to Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party. So why would he subject his young children to that potential for harm if that's what he really thinks of labor? Or is he just a 24/7 lying hyper-ventilator who can't pass up an opportunity to demagogue those who disagree with him at every chance he gets?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ryan calls protesting citizens, "the new norm." Ah, I think they're trying to tell you something Paul?

Think Paul Ryan is going to cake walk his way into office this time around? Just because he has a high national profile doesn't guarantee his districts support this time around. Good for Greenfield residents with the courage to really tell Ryan how they feel. TMJ4:
Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan had to walk through and talk over protesters Tuesday during a public appearance in Greenfield.

3 people were arrested and 20 in all were removed from Klemmer's Banquet Center for disrupting Ryan's speech. Outside the building both pro and anti Ryan demonstrators marched around the area and chanted.

Like Ryan said in the clip nonchalantly, "Protests are something that are here to stay, I think." Funny, it wasn't like this a year ago Paul.

Ryan's secret redistricting plan was about self-interest

The Hill reports that Paul Ryan is among the 10 incumbent House members most helped by redistricting -- especially noteworthy since Ryan is the one who drew the secret plan to redraw Wisconsin's Congressional districts, with no participation from Democrats.  The Lord helps those who help themselves, they say. 

Ryan's self-help program makes it less likely he will be targeted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, The Hill says.

Sean Duffy is also in the top ten, thanks to Ryan's dirty work.

More here.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Ryan, on the “Promises of Job Creation.”

You can blame the media, again, for pretending “predictions” are more than just that…a prediction. Predictions aren’t promises either, like Rep. Paul Ryan suggests.  

Yet that’s the meme posed over and over by Ryan and the Republican Party, who oddly enough, are successfully portraying Obama as a lousy two bit version of Nostradamus.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) blasted the White House; “Today’s report confirms that the President’s policies have failed to deliver on his promises of job creation, deficit reduction, and much-needed economic growth. Today’s report estimates that the unemployment rate — despite assumptions of stronger economic growth — will remain above 8% through the end of the President’s term in office.”

The presumed precision of “promises and assumptions” is something Ryan continues to get away with, despite his own poor record of promises and assumptions about deregulation that created the Great Recession.
No one would “promise” lower unemployment, but they sure as hell would try to achieve it.
My fear is that we’ll continue to vote against our own self-interest, to lower the standard of living, and to cede control to private interests in our quest to downsize government.
Giving up our government to corporate interests, while at the same time defining corporations as “people,” is not a subtle reinterpretation of the Constitution. It's a takeover. We’re one president away from realizing this scenario.