Our new Vice Presidential pick is the Chairman of the House Budget Committee. This Ayn Rand devotee who would give more tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, including an elimination of all taxes on corporate profits, capital gains, and dividends in his budget, was quoted once saying “We don’t want to turn this safety net into a hammock that ends up lulling people in their lives into dependency and complacency”. That was after just having voted against extending unemployment benefits to the long term unemployed. He then turned around and voted for extending benefits when it was coupled with extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy adding seven billion dollars to the deficit.
As he said in his response to the President’s State of the Union address “spending cuts have to come first”. This is precisely the mindset that is devastating our economy. Ryan seems oblivious to the fact that weak consumer buying power brought on by long term unemployment and falling wages is devastating our economy making the recession worse. Now let’s get into the weeds of the “Ryan Road Map”.
The road map, touted as a cure for what ails America, advocates partial privatization of Social Security and turns Medicare and Medicaid into voucher programs with limited benefits. It would also eliminate The Affordable Care Act or “Obomney Care” as some likes to call it. UAW member Diane Hrovaiten, who was among 3,800 workers who lost their jobs when the Delphi auto-parts plant in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, relocated work to Mexico, is not fond of Ryan’s plan. “Ryan’s ‘Road map’ protects the fortunes of the rich,” she says, “but for the rest of us, it’s an eight-lane expressway to destruction.”
Ryan has a long voting record going as far back as 1999 when he voted to repeal the Glass-Steagall Bill thereby removing limits on the risk commercial banks could take. As if that wasn’t enough he voted for the Commodity Futures Modernization Act which blocked regulation of derivatives. He voted against new regulations on the banking industry in 2007. He voted against monitoring TARP funds, and voted against modifying bankruptcy rules to avoid foreclosure. He has been a good friend to Wall Street.
Ryan has seduced the mainstream media into praising him for his intellectual audacity and has labeled him as “the thinker” in Congress. The Washington Post labeled him as the GOP’s leading intellectual.
I am now in the throes of coming up with a new sign for my first anniversary trek to Occupy Wall Street this coming September 17th. The last one was yawned at by CNN because its theme was a chart depicting the ravages of income equality. I think my new one will depict A Romney/Ryan Presidency stomping us workers into the ground then shoveling us off a cliff if they are elected. See you on Wall Street September 17th.