The Disheartening Politics Of Speaker Paul Ryan

Mar 23, 2016

The Disheartening Politics Of Speaker Paul Ryan 
Faced with mounting division within the Republican Party, House Speaker Paul Ryan attempted to rally his party’s lagging electoral hopes today, with a 45-minute speech about the “disheartening state of politics.” Unfortunately for Speaker Ryan, his own long history of disheartening and divisive politics put him squarely in line with the person much of his speech was aimed at – GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.

The Speaker has a long record of being anti-senior, anti-student, anti-women’s rights, anti-immigration, and anti-working families (unless it’s his own, of course.)  A more detailed account of the Speaker’s record is below: 

  • 2014: Paul Ryan Said he wanted to reform Social Security to allow investing “a generous portion” of Social Security money in the stock market
  • 2011: Even the conservative Wall Street Journal called out the Ryan budget that “would essentially end Medicare.”
  • 2010: Paul Ryan introduced a budget that would “institute large [social security] cuts” according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. 
  • 2014: Ryan’s budget planned to charge students interest on their loans while they are still in school, costing them $40 billion. 
  • 2014: The same budget proposed freezing Pell Grant amounts and making annual funding for Pell Grants options. 

Anti- Women’s Rights 

  • Paul Ryan has cosponsored at least six personhood bills: 
    – 2011: Ryan Co-Sponsored HR 212, The Sanctity Of Human Life Act, A Personhood Bill That
               Defines Life As Beginning At Conception. 
    – 2009: Ryan Co-Sponsored  HR 227, The Sanctity Of Human Life Act.
    – 2008: Ryan Co-Sponsored HR 618, The Right ToLife Act Of 2007.
    – 2006: Ryan Co-Sponsored HR 552, The Right ToLife Act of 2005
    – 1999: Ryan Co-Sponsored HR 639, The Right ToLife Act of 1999 

  • 2015: Paul Ryan horse traded immigration deal for the House Speakership 

Anti-Working Families 

  • 2014: Paul Ryan’s budget proposed forcing 3.8 million people off of SNAP. 
  • 2014: In the same budget, Ryan proposed cutting $1,5 trillion from Medicaid over 10 years.
  • Ryan voted against increasing the minimum wage at least 10 separate times.  
  • 2012: Not only did Ryan call working families “takers”, he characterized them as living lives of “deficiency.”

The Speaker constantly talks about turning a new leaf for the Republican-controlled House, but Ryan continues to show he’s still the same leader of the extreme right-wing forces that have obstructed President Obama from day one. After becoming Speaker, Ryan immediately promised to repeal access to affordable health care for 18 million Americans and hung his hat on passing the vote through the House – after more than 60 attempts by House Republicans. Ryan’s latest move screams more of the same right-wing extremism as he attempts to push a highly regressive tax plan. 

“Bumper sticker slogans and empty platitudes won’t make lives for better for citizens in this state or anywhere across our country,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Communications Director Brandon Weathersby said on Wednesday. “Whether it’s his draconian budgets or his current obstruction of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Speaker Ryan’s ideas are just as dangerous as the hateful rhetoric from the presumptive GOP presidential nominee who’s campaign Ryan refuses to denounce. If Speaker Ryan wants to be a part of the solution he should start now and stand up to the most extreme elements of his own party.”