Sunday, January 6, 2013

Paul Ryan - Callous Conservative

We brought you the story of how 67 republicans told their fellow Americans who were ravaged by Hurricane Sandy to fend for themselves.

 We also pointed out that of those 67 were 4 Wisconsin republican congressmen. The chief of them being former Vice Presidential candidate and "clean" dish washer Paul Ryan(R - Urban Legend).

Martin Bashir looked into this vote a little deeper and found out that not only is Paul Ryan(R-Ayn Rand) NOT a fiscal conservative, he is more of a callous ass than originally thought! 

H/T mediaite:

Bashir then noted, of Rep. Ryan, that “in 2008 he voted in favor of additional disaster response funding for the flood ravaged Midwest. It was called roll call vote 432, to be precise. He touted it in his own press release. Has he lost all compassion in the last four years, or does he just not like people in the Northeast?”

With another knowing laugh, Viquiera responded, “Well, Martin, I cannot look into the man’s heart, but we can look at the fact that his own district around Racine, Wisconsin, Janesville was affected by some of that flooding in 2008. That was an enormous bill. Your producer sent me that roll call number, great work there. That was a $162 billion catch-all of the old school in Congress, that had all kinds of stuff in it. There was money there for overseas operations. there was money for military construction. There was money for flood relief. That was in 2008, and Paul Ryan and a lot of other people voted for that, you’re right.

But Ryan’s sick hypocrisy goes even deeper than that. In a statement that Bashir read on the air, Ryan explained his vote against the Hurricane Sandy aid by saying that the National Flood Insurance Program needs to be reformed. “It would be irresponsible to raise an insolvent program’s debt ceiling without making the necessary reforms,” Ryan said.

On its face, this is a somewhat ridiculous assertion, that people who are homeless due to an unprecedented storm should sit around and wait for Congress to reform a huge government program before receiving any relief. That’s akin to watching a house burn down while you go over the fire department’s bookkeeping. Still, a Ryan fan might be tempted to take him at his wide-eyed word, that this is really an agonizing vote of conscience in favor of a deeply-held principle. Sure, even a “reformed” National Flood Insurance Program might have had trouble anticipating the damage from the storm of the century, but Ryan is taking a stand for needed reform, right?

Well, not exactly. Rep. Paul Ryan took a stand for needed reform of the National Flood Insurance Program more than six months ago. It was called roll call vote 451, to be precise, and the measure that Ryan voted for contained a provision to address the very problem he now professes needs to be fixed before Sandy victims can get any help. Like any insurance program, the NFIP is required to keep a certain amount of cash in reserve for payment of claims, and the measure that Ryan voted for in June contained a requirement for the program to maintain a reserve equal to “1 percent of the sum of the total potential loss exposure of all outstanding flood insurance policies in force in the prior fiscal year; or… such higher percentage as the Administrator determines to be appropriate, taking into consideration any circumstance that may raise a significant risk of substantial future losses to the Reserve Fund.”

The act, which President Obama signed into law last June, contains a detailed schedule of when and how the program must meet that requirement, a schedule that Paul Ryan personally approved:

The phase-in requirements under this subsection are as follows:
`(1) IN GENERAL- Beginning in fiscal year 2013 and not ending until the fiscal year in which the ratio required under subsection (b) is achieved, in each such fiscal year the Administrator shall place in the Reserve Fund an amount equal to not less than 7.5 percent of the reserve ratio required under subsection (b).
`(2) AMOUNT SATISFIED- As soon as the ratio required under subsection (b) is achieved, and except as provided in paragraph (3), the Administrator shall not be required to set aside any amounts for the Reserve Fund.
`(3) EXCEPTION- If at any time after the ratio required under subsection (b) is achieved, the Reserve Fund falls below the required ratio under subsection (b), the Administrator shall place in the Reserve Fund for that fiscal year an amount equal to not less than 7.5 percent of the reserve ratio required under subsection (b).
So, Ryan is insisting on reforming a program that President Obama already reformed exactly how Paul Ryan wanted him to. His next objection will surely involve waiting until water is wet.


  1. There is an excellent profile of Ryan in a back issue of the London Review of Books which I dug out from behind my desk last night:

    "Ryan learned his anti-government ideology from an intoxicated early exposure to the writings of Ayn Rand...The central tenets of her politics, hatred of anything that could be construed as self-sacrifice and cruelty towards the helpless, are the exact inverse of the worship of collective sacrifice and blind solidarity that she detested in communism. For a lonely but well-fed achiever in Janesville, this doctrine was a gift...

    He has a lean and hungry look even when he smiles; and a relentless eagerness also, which will wear on people over time. His constant demeanour is cocksure; his face never registers reflection. Listening to other people is a formality, for Ryan, to be endured before he springs his answers. And how the answers pour out! There is an attractive, efficient speed in the way he works, but also a kind of deadness. And the deadness is there in his eyes – the hard eyes of the self-fulfilled and self-justified, clean of mind and clean of body, a whole mental mansion trip-wired against invasion by entities seeking pity and bearing excuses."

    Good stuff.

    1. The responses to that LRB profile were entertaining. Paul even had a fellow Randian there to defend him as he bungled his way from dishwashing to marathon running.

      Please note that whereas I simply referred to David Bromwich’s snobbishness in my defence of Paul Ryan the liberals who replied to me from both sides of the Atlantic immediately resorted to alarmist language about Tea Party members (Letters, 25 October). I actually agree with Tony Dennis that the Tea Party is a ‘right-wing populist movement’. So? It is not a crime (yet) to be right-wing or populist. And, yes, there is (thank goodness) a growing right-wing media. But it is tiny compared to the liberal mainstream media. And the Tea Party does not conceal its ‘profoundly conservative core values’. It glories in them. And we are not ‘angry’, ‘ignorant’, ‘bigoted’ or ‘borderline psychotic’ (or even just plain psychotic) but reasonable people who do not attempt to portray all those who disagree with us as mentally ill.