Sen. Bernie Sanders put out a statement today calling Paul Ryan a deficit hawk hypocrite because he voted for unpaid for wars, tax cuts for rich, and Wall Street deregulation.
In a statement, Bernie Sanders pulled no punches on Paul Ryan,
What caused the country to blow a big budget surplus and end up with a $1 trillion deficit and $16 trillion national debt? Sen. Bernie Sanders says the major factors were unfunded wars, tax breaks for the rich, Wall Street deregulation and a prescription drug program that made it illegal for the government to bargain for lower prices. Rep. Paul Ryan, a self-styled deficit hawk, voted for all of them.
Ryan voted for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan without a way to pay for them. He supported tax cuts for the wealthy. He voted for the deregulation of Wall Street, which led to the recession and falling revenues. And Ryan backed the prescription drug program that House Republicans rigged to favor the pharmaceutical industry.
Because Mitt Romney elevated him to the eye of the 2012 storm, the Republican Party now has a Paul Ryan problem. Sanders hit on the exact issues that have Republicans so worried.
Rep. Ryan has become the belle of the tea party ball by talking the talk, but his record shows a man who has never walked the walk. Ryan didn’t have his come to Jesus moment on deficits until Barack Obama became president. While George W, Bush was in office, Ryan seemed to have no qualms about the deficit.
Judging from the man’s record, Ryan’s tough talk on deficits is his political schtick. The actual reality of record is, Republican deficits = good, and Democratic deficits = bad. This hypocrisy makes Paul Ryan nothing more the typical congressional Republican.
Sen. Sanders’ bigger beef with Ryan is on his desire to cut Social Security. Sanders also pointed out today that, “Despite Social Security’s overwhelming success, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan has been a proponent of privatizing the retirement program by putting seniors’ savings into risky Wall Street investments. Even before tapping Ryan as his running mate, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney had said he wants to begin the process of privatizing Social Security. He also would gradually increase the retirement age to 68 or 69. And he favors slowing the growth of benefits for persons with “higher incomes.” Under a plan floated by Romney’s allies on Capitol Hill – Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) – someone making about $45,000 a year today who retires in 2050 would receive 32 percent less in annual Social Security benefits than under the current formula. By that definition, the top 60 percent of all wage earners would be considered “higher income.””
Ryan backs a plan that would cut the Social Security benefits of the middle class by 32%. Rep. Ryan favors more unpaid for tax cuts for the wealthy, but Sen. Sanders understands that Paul Ryan is doing the bidding of his billionaire conservative masters.
For Sanders, this isn’t about getting Obama reelected. It is about defending seniors, the middle class, the poor, the disabled, and beloved programs that millions of Americans depend on for their survival. Bernie Sanders has been warning us about Citizens United and the conservative billionaires who are trying to buy this election for over a year. Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney are the embodiment of the quest of the wealthy to buy our government.
Bernie Sanders is sounding the alarm, and calling on all Americans to join the fight.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association