Paul Ryan has been so busy campaigning with Mitt Romney that he seems to have forgotten he’s also on the ballot in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District. His Democratic challenger, Rob Zerban, has been trying to get Paul Ryan to debate him, to no avail. According to The Shepherd Express, Paul Ryan is full of excuses. Ryan even told Zerban to wait until he made it through his primary- and Zerban didn’t have a Democratic opponent. Perhaps Ryan has been stalling on the debate because he doesn’t want voters to get a chance to know who Rob Zerban really is?
To know Rob Zerban is to like him. I’ve spoken with Zerban numerous times, and he’s more than just a nice guy. Rob Zerban‘s story is a Republican’s wet dream.
Zerban was raised by a single mother and had to rely on government programs as a kid. He ate government cheese. But he didn’t allow circumstances to hold him in place; he utilized his resources to further his position in life.
(He pulled himself up by his own bootstraps-Republicans love that!)
Zerban used Pell grants and Stafford loans to put himself through college, and he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.
Then he started his own small business.
(Republicans love small business owners!)
Rob Zerban told The Shepherd Express:
“I started out with 12 employees and I grew it into two companies. I started a catering company that worked in conjunction with my first company, which was in contract food services. Between the two companies I was employing 45 people, providing excellent family-sustaining wages and good benefits. I tell people the health insurance I provided my employees was one of the best packages out there. I subsidized it by 70%, and 90% of my employees were on it.”
Now Zerban wants to give back:
“Because I was able to get my education with the help of the government, I was able to live my version of the American dream. In 2008 I sold my last business, and since then I’ve dedicated my life to public service. I want to make sure that everybody has economic opportunity in this country, not just the wealthy and the well connected.”
And he’s got plans for Social Security and health care. (Republicans love plans!):
“Social Security is an easy fix. I support eliminating the cap. There’s a cap on wages above $110,000—you don’t pay Social Security after that. If you eliminate that cap altogether, you fix the Social Security problem.
My proposal for Medicaid and Medicare is to have Medicare for all. I say that not because I want to rehash all of the debate over the Affordable Care Act. But as a small-business owner, insurance was the second-largest expense I had, next to my payroll. I saw my rates go up year after year to the tune of 10%, 15%, at times 18%. So we had one industry cannibalizing my profits. I would have gladly paid a higher contribution into Medicare and have my employees take advantage of it now. Because if you increase the size of the risk pool and include more people and adjust the contributions to make it solvent, you’re done.
And it’s also an economic engine for our economy. Once you address health care in a complete fashion, you would unleash the economic powerhouse of the entrepreneur again. You know how many people I have talked to who have not started a business because they were afraid of being bankrupted by unpaid medical bills or because they couldn’t afford a good policy? For me, it makes sense from an economic standpoint. We have industries and big companies that don’t build plants in the United States, and choose to go to Canada because they have national health care.”
Zerban also believes in government efficiency and wants to stop government waste (Republicans love that stuff, too!):
“Obviously, if you make an investment in roads and bridges, you’re creating a safe environment for those who travel on them. But it doesn’t help when you have a congressman who will vote five times for the Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska but then hasn’t brought home the dollars to repair the roads and bridges in his own district. We have 15 structurally deficient bridges in the First Congressional District, a combination of federal, state and local bridges and highways. Somebody has to explain that one to me. How do you vote five times for the Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska? Paul Ryan talks about these budgetary boondoggles, but that’s one of the biggest boondoggles that’s existed.”
Best of all, Zerban is confident in his abilities and is not afraid to take on the establishment. He’s more than ready to debate Paul Ryan:
“If he wants to run for both offices, I think he definitely has a duty to debate me. “
Paul Ryan should debate Rob Zerban already.