“Do what I say, and not what I do.” He’s no Boy Scout.
Ryan, you see, was the Huge Government Republican who backed this era’s massive corporate bailouts — the one who picked politically connected companies as winners and taxpayers as losers. He was the Huge Government Republican who regularly voted for profligate war spending bills — the ones that blew a gaping hole in the federal budget. And he is the Huge Government Republican now using his committee chairmanship to oppose serious cuts to the deficit-exploding corporate welfare still embedded in the bloated Pentagon budget.
Similarly, Ryan claims to be, and is billed in the press as, a libertarian-inspired acolyte of Rand — a man who supposedly values freedom and limited government. But as a Huge Government Republican, he has consistently voted to expand the surveillance state, endorse warrantless wiretapping and permit indefinite detention. Oh, and in contradiction to Rand’s writings, he has also pushed to use the power of Huge Government to end a woman’s right to choose an abortion.
Like so many Republicans, Ryan genuflects to the private sector and insinuates that the government is not a job creator.
It’s funny coming from a guy who has spent most of his adult life as a federal employee and whose family’s construction company brags of building its fortune off government highway contracts.
Ryan labels himself an opponent of “crony capitalism” and is often promoted by reporters as someone who can help Mitt Romney thwart the Washington insiders who corrupt our politics. Somehow, we are expected to ignore the fact that Ryan has spent the vast majority of his adult life in Washington; that his wife served as a top pharmaceutical and oil lobbyist in Washington; and that, as Newsweek reported in 2011, he tried to insert special provisions into federal law that would boost his personal oil investment portfolio.
Then there are Ryan’s budget proposals, whose central premises are that Medicare must be gutted and Social Security must be turned over to Wall Street because we allegedly don’t have enough revenue to fund them. In response, the press often credits Ryan’s blueprint for being courageous and honest. Yet, in the very same plans, Ryan proposes to severely deplete public revenues by eliminating all taxes on capital gains, interest and dividends, meaning that, according to The Atlantic magazine, Mitt Romney would pay a 0.82 percent tax rate on his $21 million annual earnings.