The adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still image, and is a goal of visualization that makes it possible for a person to absorb a large amount of data quickly. For most people, an image of Adolf Hitler, or a swastika, invokes images of death and destruction as quickly as a painting of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion conjures religious sentiments in adherents of the Christian religion. When many Americans see a picture of Willard Romney, they think of a lying, secretive, and wealthy elitist who lacks conviction and compassion for anything other than money and power. For political observers, Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, either represents a courageous economic guru, or a heartless conservative on a mission to give as much of America’s wealth to the extremely rich at the expense of the poor, children, seniors, and the middle class as he can.
It is no secret that Ryan opposes using any government money to help the American people whether it is for food assistance, maintaining the nation’s infrastructure, or creating jobs, and he backed up his conviction by strongly opposing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus) calling it a “monstrosity” and a “wasteful spending spree.” However, after reports that Ryan requested stimulus funds prompted an interviewer to ask him for clarification, Ryan did what comes easiest to Republicans; he lied. He said, “No, I never asked for stimulus,” and that “I opposed the stimulus because it doesn’t work, it didn’t work.” Ryan, like his running mate, lies without reservation and he said Thursday that “I’m not one of those people who votes against something then writes to the government to ask them to send us money. I did not request any stimulus money,” but upon further review and a reminder from his staff, he admitted that he did ask for stimulus money in letters to the Energy Department.
Ryan shares Romney’s, and most Republicans’, contention that “the stimulus didn’t work, and didn’t put private-sector people to work,” but in four separate requests from his congressional office to Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu, Ryan noted the money would “create approximately 7,600 new jobs over the 3 year grant period and the subsequent 3 years.” Ryan’s request conflicts with his Path to Prosperity budget proposal that slashes Energy Department programs aimed at creating green jobs and his calls “for getting Washington out of the business of picking winners and losers in our energy sector.” It must be tough to be a lying hypocrite because Ryan advocates against funding for clean energy research, and complained that “the stimulus alone allocated $80 billion of taxpayers’ dollars specifically for renewable-energy interests,” and he vows to end “corporate-welfare funding directed to the president’s allied industries” in reference to President Obama’s attempt to create green jobs.
In one of Ryan’s letters to the Energy Department, he noted that besides creating new jobs, the Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation would reduce energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2,628,655 million metric tons of CO2, and save an additional 10,035 million metric tons of CO2 from energy efficient homes retrofitted with money from the stimulus. It is curious that Ryan cited the environmental benefits of the stimulus money while he proposes giving more “corporate-welfare funding” to big oil to the tune of $45 billion over ten years, and voted against the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases and impose water quality standards.
Confirmation of Ryan’s request for stimulus money for jobs, green energy, and conservation reveals more than his hypocrisy and inclination to lie; it proves he knows that the path to prosperity and job creation is not severe austerity measures and tax cuts for the wealthy, but government infusion of cash into the economy. In fact, the letters he wrote to the Energy Secretary specifically cited the number of jobs the energy grant would create and for how long so it begs the question; why oppose more stimulus spending? The answer is evident in his Path to Prosperity budget and the enormous tax cuts for the rich.
Ryan’s ideology is steeped in Ayn Rand fiction touting reverence for the so-called makers. In a Heritage Foundation speech, Ryan shared his “great disappointment” at the “conceit of liberalism” dividing the country into makers versus takers. He said, “We’re coming close to a tipping point in America where we might have a net majority of takers versus makers in society and that could become very dangerous if it sets in as a permanent condition.” The implication is that takers (read poor) are draining resources from the wealthy (makers) and his budget sets out to correct that by slashing safety nets to make room for more tax cuts for the makers. During the same speech, Ryan insinuated liberals “converted our safety net system into a hammock that lulls people into a life of dependency and complacency that drains them of incentive and will” leading them to continue taking from makers. And yet, Ryan lived off of Social Security as a “taker” and was not “drained” of his incentive to work for a government paycheck for Senators Bob Krasten and Sam Brownback, with a short stint in the private sector before living off the government as a congressman. It is more hypocrisy and typical of Republicans.
If Ryan is concerned about people living off the government, why does he continue obstructing, and rejecting, job creation plans the President promoted for the past two years? It cannot, like he contends, be because it is wasteful spending when his budget spends trillions on tax cuts for the wealthy and their corporations he knows have not created jobs after eleven years of tax cuts. It is just a twisted, libertarian ideology that rewards the wealthy at the expense of the rest, and if lies and hypocrisy convince voters to support his agenda, then obviously he will continue unabated.
No rational human being can expect lying hypocritical takers like Ryan to admit that spending on job creation instead of tax cuts for the rich is the path to prosperity. If the media did their job and reported that Ryan begged for stimulus money to create jobs, save energy, and clean up the environment, then conservatives would be finished with him. Instead they perpetuate the myth that he is a courageous economic guru who is willing to make hard choices and enact severe austerity measures to save the economy when history, Ryan’s own record, and results tell a contrasting story. However, there is no way corporate media will oppose Republicans who facilitate more corporate welfare when there are outrageous profit motives driving their reporting, and it is to their advantage to prop up liars and hypocrites like Ryan and Romney making them as culpable as the GOP.