The American Conservative Union gives Paul Ryan a lifetime score of 91%. Not too shabby, until you look a little closer at his performance on several key votes. Consider the following provided by Matt Lewis with The Daily Caller. Rep. Ryan voted FOR:
The Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, whereby the government purchased assets and equity from financial institutions.
The auto-bailout, which essentially implied he agrees car companies—especially the ones with an auto plant in his district—are too big to fail.
And for a confiscatory tax on CEO bonuses, which essentially says the government has the right to take away private property—if it doesn’t like you.
When I look at these votes under the microscope of Ryan’s lifetime ACU rating, I’m reminded of a quote attributed to Mark Twain:
“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”
Even though Mr. Ryan’s ACU score is high, it’s really nothing more than a lying statistic. As Matt Lewis concluded in his article:
“While Ryan’s overall voting record is very conservative, the problem with casting these high-profile votes is that they demonstrate he is willing to fundamentally reject conservatism when the heat is on.” (emphasis mine)
I wish those votes were just a blip on the screen in an otherwise staunchly conservative career. I wish they were, but they aren’t.
The latest example of Paul Ryan’s inability to live by the conservative principles he claims to hold were revealed with the recently passed Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. This bill, a “compromise” made with Senate Budget Committee chairman Patty Murray (D-WA), raises spending over the next two years with a promise of recouping it ten years down the road. Yeah, that makes me feel better.
So long, sequester. Who needs reduced spending when Republicans have the mid-term elections coming up, not to mention the presidential aspirations Ryan has in 2016 (although he denies this had anything to do with his support of the bill). No, his support of this bill is motivated purely by his belief that it moves the budget in the “right direction.”
“This isn’t the greatest agreement of all time, but this is a step in the right direction.”
Oddly enough, he used similar words when he supported the sequester that he is now abandoning back in August, 2011:
“The Budget Control Act marks a positive step forward in getting government spending under control.”
Maybe Mr. Ryan needs to be more careful about where he steps.
Particularly troubling during these budget negotiations has been the ease in which Mr. Ryan has resorted to using Washington-speak to justify his support of this most recent Republican surrender.
He claims this bill reduces the budget, even though it increases spending. The truth is, over half of the “reduction” in the budget doesn’t begin until 2022, which means that it isn’t likely to happen. In the end, we abandon spending restraints for a promise to offset it later. And as we all know, politicians always keep their promises.
The “reduction” in the deficit—a measly $2.3 billion a year, which is slightly more than the government spends every 6 hours—doesn’t really exist. It’s really just one of those creative financing gimmicks politicians use when they lie about spending. In fact, the Ryan-Murray bill raises the deficit by approximately $15.5 billion.
- Ryan proudly proclaims that the budget agreement was accomplished without raising taxes. Classic Washington-speak, because it raises fees, which as we all know, is the same thing as a tax. It’s just not called one.
And let’s not forget that Obamacare is fully funded under this bill.
Further confirmation of Ryan’s place in the Hall of Shame can be found in the support he received from several existing enshrinees.
Lindsey Graham supports Ryan, even calling his “leadership” on this issue “presidential.” I guess he didn’t get the memo about how this bill didn’t have anything to do with Ryan’s presidential aspirations. Or maybe he did.
- John McCain showed his support of Ryan by casting his vote in favor of the bill, helping it pass in the Senate, despite the fact that part of the spending cuts come at the expense of pensions for military personnel.
Paul Ryan was Mitt Romney’s pick for vice president in the 2012 election. That fact alone is enough to know that Ryan’s conservative credentials are subject to modification when the political opportunity presents itself.
But for establishing a track record of being willing to abandon true Conservative principles for political expediency, we enshrine our latest inductee into the Gutless On Principle Hall of Shame . . . Representative Paul Ryan.