YAKIMA, Wash., March 16, 2013 — Paul Ryan’s last budget proposal harkens me back to the 1988 Democratic Convention and Ann Richards of Texas when she said of George Bush, “Poor George, he can’t help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.”
The same can be said about Paul Ryan. “Poor Paul, he can’t help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.” The fact is that Ryan was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. His heritage is that of an immigrant family which settled in Wisconsin before the Civil War and started an earthmoving company, which today has multi-million dollar contracts with the U.S. government and others.
His latest budget proposal reflects the wealthy class of which he is a member and was reflected in his bid for the vice-president as Mitt Romney’s running mate. Neither he, nor Romney, could demonstrate any understanding or feelings for the middle class or the poor. They lost the election by alienating a large portion of the Hispanic voting-block.
Today, his budget proposal reflects once again his complete lack of sympathy for the less fortunate.
His proposal is again designed around less spending and lower taxes. There isn’t an ounce of compassion in the proposed budget, anywhere. It doesn’t even take into consideration funding for disasters or adversities that surely will happen in the course of the next ten years.
One would expect this after witnessing what happened in New Orleans when Katrina hit. It was under Republican President George W. Bush that the Federal government got low marks for mismanagement and a lack of leadership. Apparently, Paul Ryan missed this bit of history.
Just when our transportation and intra-structure (e.g., electrical grid, railroads, highways and bridges) are in dire need of repair, Paul Ryan’s budget discounts these needs by reducing spending on transportation.
Our Federal highway system needs a huge upgrade. Now would be a good time. Funding such a project would create thousands of jobs, reduce unemployment and make our bridges and highways safer places. It would also strengthen the middle class and promote consumer spending.
Once again, Ryan is plugging the ole’ Republican line about privatizing Medicare. This is an old Republican goal because it would grow the wealthy insurance sector of our economy and would reduce Federal support of Medicare.
Ryan’s plan calls for converting Medicare to a block grant program run by the individual states. He would do the same with the food stamps program. One can imagine the inconsistencies and inequities that would be created between the different state programs.
A curmudgeon’s view of this budget is that it’s just the latest salvo by someone wealthy who is unable or unwilling to find an equitable road through the political forest. Ryan and his fellow Republicans say they want to help the middle class, that they want to reduce unemployment, but not at the cost of the wealthy voters sharing the burden.
They tout the fact that they don’t want to burden future generations with giant debt, yet they set up changes to Medicare in such a way that middle class caries the entire burden of future Medicare expenses.
Of course, when they say that, they’re only talking about the children of the wealthy, not the children of the middle class, immigrants, or the poor.
The Tea Party right and the Republican Party have not learned they need to move to the center of the political scale if they truly want to win the next presidential election.
Larry Momo writes for both The Washington Times Community Political Section and the San Pedro News Pilot.
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