Saturday, February 11, 2012

Class Warfare against the Ruling Class?

On Faux News Sunday (September 18, 2011), Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke with Chris Wallace about President Obama's plan to reduce the budget deficit and fund the proposed American Jobs Act.

"Class warfare Chris may make for good politics but it makes for rotten economics. We don't need a system that divides people."

~ Rep. Paul Ryan

Considering the GOP has been waging a non-stop war against the right of workers to engage in collective bargaining, for this blogger, this Wisconsin Representative's comments framing the latest tax battle as class warfare sounded a bit like Rick Santorum lecturing Senator John McCain about the benefits of water boarding.

Who is Paul Ryan?
Representative Ryan is the quintessential, professional Beltway Baby.

How much money has he earned working in the public sector? Based on the Congressional Pay Table, since being elected to Congress in 1998 (at the age of 28), he has earned $2,078,100 (base salary). This figure does not include yearly travel expenses or the random $50 special interest group luncheon.

Prior to earning his own Congressional Franking Privileges, Ryan worked for Wisconsin Sen. Bob Kasten and Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback. 

From battling paper cuts as a Congressional mail room intern, to joining the staffs of two Senators, to eventually being elected to Congress himself, Representative Ryan has spent the majority of his adult life walking the corridors of Capital Hill (as well as collecting a government paycheck). So, when this Beltway Baby gives a supply side economics tax lecture about the Millionaire Club, please forgive this blogger for laughing.

Considering he's already banked over $2,000,000 as a public servant, taken advantage of 12 years of government sponsored health care, did not serve in Afghanistan or Iraq and has already qualified for the Congressional retirement package (not including Social Security), how on earth did this Washington Insider become the so-called Poster Child for the Tea Party Movement

All politicians sell SOAP. In the case of Representative Ryan, he is the SOAP. He is an actual product created by and for the Washington Beltway.

It's easy for a member of the GOP to go on Faux News. It's quite another to give an extended interview with someone like Rachael Maddox. As I've already written, there is no silver bullet for fixing this economy. Should the tax code be simplified? Yes. But with more than 12,000 lobbyists knocking on Congressional doors, I seriously doubt any reform package (which tackles tax loopholes and exemptions) will survive the Tsunami of special interest money.

Class Warfare? Please. The Koch Brothers have already spent more than $100,000,000 selling their Libertarian brand of corporate soap. Power is crack. Money buys crack. Tax reform without serious political reform still leaves a majority of Americans sitting on the sidelines. Confused? What political reforms? Read More...

REPOST: Can you name the first time in American history that the government cut taxes and decreased revenue as it marched off to war?

How many millionaires and billionaires served in Afghanistan or Iraq? How many of these same folks made money off these wars? Anyhow, the term Job Creators has a nicer ring to it than Campaign Contributors.

IF Ryan wants to talk about Class Warfare, bringing back compulsory military service (with a public service option for conscientious objectors) would be a great place to start the conversation.

During this latest debt ceiling debate, President Obama made a serious linguistic blunder. Instead of calling the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts - for the wealthiest Americans - the Buffett Rule, he should have named it the Two War Rule. In 2003, the Bush Administration projected the cost of military operations for Iraq between $50 billion to $60 billion dollars. Where was Ryan when the Congressional Budget Office was crunching those numbers for funding Dick's Halliburton War? Ryan voted for both wars and the Bush-era Tax cuts. 10 years & $1.3 trillion dollars later, this Congressman (now supported by the Tea Party) still refuses to pay the bills for Afghanistan & Iraq. Read Here & Here...

Sadly, even if the President had chosen a different package of words to sell his latest proposal, at the end of the day, Congressman Ryan would still have called it Class Warfare. And you know something...maybe he's right. Being born and raised inside the Washington Beltway gives a person a special interest perspective of this world. Read More...

Photos by Peter Rimar
Total Lobbying: What Lobbyists Want 
(and How They Try to Get It)
Political Lobbying Books)