By Jueseppi B.
By: David Dayen Friday August 17, 2012 8:15 am
Paul Ryan, like all House Republicans, voted against the stimulus package. Then Paul Ryan, like a bunch of House Republicans, wrote letters to federal agencies requesting stimulus funds for his district. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this – if there’s money on the table, you’re not doing your job as a legislator unless you try to grab some of it – but it does smack of hypocrisy. That’s especially true if you deny writing the letters and then get presented with them:
After repeated denials, Paul Ryan has admitted he requested stimulus cash even after sharply criticizing the program.
“I never asked for stimulus,” Mitt Romney’s new running mate said. “I don’t recall… so I really can’t comment on it. I opposed the stimulus because it doesn’t work, it didn’t work.”
Two years ago, during an interview on WBZ’s NewsRadio he was asked by a caller if he “accepted any money” into his district. Ryan said he did not.
“I’m not one [of those] people who votes for something then writes to the government to ask them to send us money. I did not request any stimulus money,” the congressman answered.
But as we’ve now learned, Ryan did write letters. He did request stimulus funds.
Ryan now calls the letters “part of constituent service.” Which is fine. But I think the casual lying in service to ideology matters more here. And it’s part of a pattern for a guy who’s only appeared on the national stage for a week. Ryan spent yesterday railing against China for manipulating its currency despite spending his entire career in Congress opposing measures that would have cracked down on Chinese currency manipulation and other unfair trade practices. Ryan has now done a triple flip on the Medicare savings in the Affordable Care Act, saying that they “were already in the baseline” and that’s how they made their way into his budget, and then disavowing his own budget by saying he would restore the “cuts” (which is another way of saying he would restore wasteful subsidies to Medicare Advantage and reimbursements to hospitals they have already agreed to forego).
Ryan tries to parry these clear flip-flops and dissembling statements by saying “I don’t want to get wonky on you” over and over. But these aren’t obscure, technical things that anyone would have trouble figuring out. Paul Ryan lies a lot. Period.
By Guest Blogger on Aug 17, 2012 at 2:10 pm
Our guest blogger is Harsha Nahata, an intern at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan has gained an undeserved reputation as a “fiscal hawk,” touting his “Path to Prosperity” budget as a responsible plan to rein in what he describes as a “path to debt and decline.” But Ryan’s votes in Congress show that he is as guilty as anyone of running up the nation’s debt.
A Center for American Progress Action Fund analysis shows that Ryan voted to add a grand total of $6.8 trillion to the federal debt during his time in Congress, voting for at least 65 bills that either reduced revenue or increased spending.
From 2001 to 2008, Congress passed legislation that increased the national deficit by a total of $4 trillion — the number grows to $6 trillion if you add in the how much those policies have cost through 2011. Ryan voted for 90 percent of these deficit increasing bills.
What did Ryan vote to spend on? Here is a break-down of his votes:
– Beginning with the Bush tax cuts, since 2001 Ryan has voted to add $2.5 trillion worth of tax cuts to the deficit.
– In the last 11 years, Paul Ryan voted for every bill that called for an increase in defense spending. In total, this has added $1.9 trillion to the deficit.
– Paul Ryan also voted to increase non-defense discretionary spending — the very thing he is pushing to cut now. He voted to spend $270 billion on Medicare Part D (all of which was unpaid for). He also added $80 billion to the deficit by voting for an agriculture bill in 2002, and he added another $20 billion in 2003 when he voted for changes to military retirement. Lastly, he voted for increased borrowing authority for flood insurance, adding yet another $17 billion to the deficit.
Plus, Ryan’s plan won’t really balance the budget — at least not for the foreseeable future. The Tax Policy Center calculates that under Ryan’s budget plan, the federal government would only raise revenue totaling 15.8 percent of GDP. This would still make the deficit 4 percent of GDP by 2022.
By Stephen Lacey on Aug 16, 2012 at 3:42 pm
On Tuesday, the Boston Globe and Associated Press reported on documentsshowing that GOP Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan had secured more than $20 million in stimulus funds for a local energy efficiency organization.
According to the reports, the documents showed that Ryan also brought in $5.4 million for local bus services. His requests came at the same time he was publicly calling the stimulus a “wasteful spending spree.”
However, in an interview with a local Ohio television news station, Ryan claimed he never secured funding through the program, saying “I never asked for stimulus.”
The Associated Press wrote a follow-up story to Ryan’s comments:
Ryan’s statement directly counters the evidence of four letters obtained by the AP which the congressman wrote to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, praising energy programs supported by the stimulus and requesting funds for initiatives in his district.
Ryan’s private praise for Department of Energy programs and his written requests for stimulus funds contradict not only his public criticism of the 2009 stimulus bill, but also many of the budget priorities he has laid out, including cuts to investments in green technologies.
Raising further questions about the vice presidential candidate’s claim today that he never sought stimulus money, Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck referred AP to previous explanations by the congressman’s office that by requesting funds Ryan was simply “providing a legitimate constituent service.”
Ryan is one of dozens of Congressional Republicans who have actively lobbied the government for loan guarantees and grants for clean energy companies in their districts — even while many of them railed on the stimulus program in the press.
Ryan has issued a statement explaining why he falsely claimed he never requested Recovery funds:
“After having these letters called to my attention I checked into them, and they were treated as constituent service requests in the same way matters involving Social Security or Veterans Affairs are handled. This is why I didn’t recall the letters earlier,” he continued. “But they should have been handled differently, and I take responsibility for that. Regardless, it’s clear that the Obama stimulus did nothing to stimulate the economy, and now the President is asking to do it all over again.”
Poll finds Romney unfavorability rating rising among votersBy Meghashyam Mali - 08/08/12 09:06 AM ET
A new poll finds Mitt Romney’s personal popularity slipping, a sign the presumptive GOP nominee could be failing to connect with voters with only three months until Election Day.
A new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that while 40 percent of voters say they hold favorable views on Romney, a number unchanged since May, those with negative views grew from 45 percent to 49.
President Obama is still seen positively, with his favorable-unfavorable rating at 53 percent to 43 among all respondents. But his numbers slip to 49 positive and 47 negative among registered voters.
Romney is under water among registered voters, 42 percent favorable to 50 unfavorable.
The poll notes that Romney finished the GOP primary season with the lowest favorability ratings for a presumptive nominee in the organization’s surveys dating back 28 years, and the new figures suggest he has failed to address the issue with the voting public in the general-election phase of his campaign.
The poll found that among those who were undecided about Romney a year ago and have now made up their minds, Romney is trending negative. His favorability rating is up 7 points in the last year, with his unfavorable score up 18.
Romney, though, still has opportunities to boost his standing with the public. The GOP candidate is launching a swing-state bus tour this weekend and will soon announce his vice presidential pick, another opportunity for his campaign to connect with voters.
Obama is topping Romney among independent voters. Fifty-three percent of independents view Obama favorably, to 40 percent unfavorable. Romney is at 37 percent favorable, 50 unfavorable.
Those numbers show a bump for Obama, who was under water among independents in May, at 42-52 unfavorable.
The poll also confirms the gender gap, with Obama doing best among women and Romney men. Fifty-eight percent of women view Obama favorably, to 47 percent of men. Romney is seen as favorable by 44 percent of men and 36 percent of women.
The poll was conducted from Aug. 1-5 and has a 4 percent margin of error.
Lyin Paul Ryan & Lyin UnFitt Mitt: Just Say NO To Lies In “NO”vember!
Just “BARACK” The Vote
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