Thursday, September 22, 2011
Congressman Paul Ryan Instructs
Some times you got to love National Public Radio. Today Michele Norris asked Congressman Paul Ryan why he so opposed increasing taxes on the rich and he said, as Republicans now all say whenever they get the chance, the rich people are not rich people, they are "Job creators," and if we annoy them with taxes and hamstring them with "Regulations" they will simply stamp their feet and refuse to hire any of the poor people who need jobs and who the government should definitely not hire to do any sort of work (because that would drive up the dreaded deficit.)
And here's where it got good: Ms. Norris asked him, very politely, well, if keeping taxes low on the rich "Job Creators" is the secret to getting the Job Creators to hire, why had they not been hiring after years of some of the lowest tax rates we have ever set for the rich--currently at 32% for the top incomes. We have had eras when tax rates were much higher and unemployment was much lower, so why were those rich Job Creators willing to hire when they were paying higher taxes then, but not now?
Representative Ryan responded that actually the tax rates for the richest Job Creators once reached a low of 28%, a non sequitur about which, sadly, Ms. Norris did not press him.
He went on to recite the usual cant about how those magical, unspecified "Government Regulations" were keeping rich Job Creators from feeling secure about the future, and how the deficit, (which Republicans created with low taxes and high war expenditures) was making the JC's unwilling to risk hiring. It was all the fault of misguided Democratic Party policies.
He described himself as a policy man.
We all remember his most famous policy: Replace Medicare with a coupon system. You get an $8,000 coupon every year to put toward your medical expenses. That ought to just about cover the anesthesiologist's bill for your by pass. So they can put you to sleep but not fix your heart, because the surgeon has a bill and the hospital, too. But that coupon system sure would save the government a lot of money.
So now this is the best the Republican party's best policy man, their chairman of the House committee on budgets, monetary policy and all things financial, can come up with.
I couldn't help thinking, as I was listening, who exactly are these Job Creators? I mean, is there a directory of Job Creators? Do they have a convention? Do they all belong to the same country club? Do they have a Face Book page? Does Paul Ryan have them over for a prayer breakfast every Monday?
And what, specifically, are those frightening, stultifying "Regulations" which have so paralyzed these Job Creators they have simply refused to hire their fellow citizens?
I had some very good friends in Washington, DC who ran a real estate development company with about thirty employees. They bought up parcels of land in Silver Spring, Maryland, intending to develop it but then a huge corporation made them an offer for this land they simply could not refused. Every one of the three partners became a multi milloinaire overnight. One of them cashed in and moved to horse country, Virginia, retiring at the age of 45. But two others kept the company going. And when I asked one of them why he hadn't simply bought himself a country estate and started traveling and riding horses in hunt club events, he looked at me, a little surprised. "Well," he said. "We've got thirty people depending on this company for their jobs. And they like developing projects, building homes and offices and shaping the future. This is a company, well, I'm not running it for me. I'm running it for them, for the people who work in it and for the people they are going to put in homes and in communities."
This guy, remember is very rich. Doesn't have to work. And he's a freaking Communist! Warren Buffet if not the only rich dude out there with a conscience and a sense of doing socially responsible work.
I would venture to say, this guy is the real patriot in the house.
You may be wondering who those kids in the picture are. They are kids from a middle school in 1927, and most of them lived in tiny apartments with their parents and didn't know they were living in poverty because everyone around them lived about the same way. And some of them, probably most, grew up to own big houses and cars and send their kids to college because a rising tide raised their boats, as the country went through the Depression and the World War and they were part of that community which hung on together and got the country through it all and built a future for themselves and their cohort. They paid their taxes and never complained.
Michele Norris asked Mr. Ryan about his claim hat President Obama was engaging in Class Warfare by suggesting we increase taxes on the rich. She said, actually aren't you the one who is engaging in class warfare by asking the question, by making the issue of spreading the tax burden more evenly into a class question?
He just laughed and said he didn't see that at all.
Check out Congressman Ryan's hairline. That simian look may tell you something about him, and about those who travel with him in that right wing party on Capitol Hill.
Posted by the phantom speaks at 8:48 PM