Those of you who are regular readers of Blogging Blue may remember the “Thirteen Gaffes of Tommy,” which chronicled a baker’s dozen of the best gaffes from former governor (and current U.S. Senate candidate) Tommy Thompson.
As I’ve been pondering Mitt Romney’s choice of Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate, I’ve come to the realization Rep. Ryan has said and done a lot of really really stupid things during his career as a politician, so what better way to chronicle Rep. Ryan’s career as a professional moocher and all-around despicable human being than with what I’m calling “Despicable Me” – Starring Paul Ryan.
- Paul Ryan is so uninterested in hearing what his constituents have to say to him that he actually charged a $15 admission fee to anyone who wanted to attend one of his town hall meetings.
- Though his proposed federal budget cuts a lot of discretionary spending, one program it didn’t cut was government subsidies to the oil industry. Not surprisingly, Paul Ryan’s family directly benefits from those very oil industry subsidies. Apparently government spending that benefits Paul Ryan and conservatives is good, but everything else should be cut, cut cut!
- While holding himself up as a fiscal conservative, let’s not forget that during his time in Congress Paul Ryan has been anything but a fiscal conservative.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the two main contributors to the massive increases in our budget deficits were President Bush’s high income tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 (which coincidentally enough Rep. Ryan voted in favor of) and defense spending. Together the Bush tax cuts and defense spending (which includes the war in Iraq, which Rep. Ryan voted for) account for 85% of the spending that has contributed to our increased budget deficits.
- Paul Ryan – and Mitt Romney for that matter – wants to make it harder for students to go to college, proposing in his budget plan to cut Pell Grant funding by $170 billion, resulting in more than 1 million students not being able to go to college.
- While Paul Ryan is fond of warning anyone who will listen that our country in in danger of becoming a “collectivist society overseen by a social-welfare state,” Ryan himself benefited directly from the Social Security system to help pay his way through college.
- Elitist Paul Ryan really loves to quaff $350 bottles of imported French wine with his lobbyist friends.
- While many conservatives are lauding Paul Ryan as an expert on all things budget-related (he’s Chairman of the House Budget Committee, after all), let’s not forget that once upon a time, Ryan actually said he “loves” Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan, a plan that was widely discredited as being unserious and that would actually poor and middle class Americans.
- Ryan’s vaunted budget plan? According to economist Paul Krugman it’s essentially nothing more than tax cuts and a huge asterisk.
The plan is a big bunch of tax cuts, some specified spending cuts, basically for poor people, and then a huge magic asterisk which is supposed to turn into a deficit reduction plan, but, in fact, if you look what’s actually in it, it’s a deficit-increasing plan.
- Have I mentioned that Paul Ryan wants to end Medicare as we know it and replace it with a coupon system? Under Ryan’s Medicare “reform” program, the current Medicare system would be replaced with subsidies to help retirees enroll in private health care plans. Notice the word “help,” which is certainly different than the guarantee of health care coverage that Medicare provides. Under Ryan’s plan seniors would be given a coupon and forced to find their own health care coverage, and if the coupon didn’t cover the cost of their coverage, those seniors would be forced to make up the difference. Talk about “throwing granny under the bus…”
Here’s what one constituent of Ryan’s thinks of his plans for Medicare.
- Paul Ryan really doesn’t understand his Catholicism very well. While Ryan loves to talk about how his views on government have been shaped by his religion, the Catholic Church of which Ryan is a member teaches that government and other agencies should be “dedicating the equipment, resources and energy so that the greatest number of people can have access” to health care.
- And last (but most certainly not least), Rep. Ryan laughs as a 71 year-old constituent is taken to the ground and then arrested by police at one of Ryan’s town hall meetings.
It takes a special brand of insensitivity and lack of regard to laugh while an elderly man is being forced to the ground and handcuffed, but apparently Paul Ryan gets his kicks out of seeing his elderly constituents get arrested.