Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued a statement explaining his “yes” vote on the fiscal cliff deal in which he blames a lack of Presidential leadership and praises the Republican majority House for “providing certainty” by making lower taxes permanent. Yes, it’s almost as if Ryan has no idea what just happened or how it happened.
“We’ll never get our debt under control unless we tackle its main drivers: too little economic growth and too much spending. Without presidential leadership, it will be difficult to forge bipartisan solutions to our debt and economic challenges.
“Today, I joined my colleagues in the House to protect as many Americans as possible from a tax increase. We also provided certainty by making the lower tax rates permanent. The House has already passed legislation to prevent tax increases for every American family, and it is unfortunate that President Obama insisted on taking more from hardworking taxpayers. Despite my concerns with other provisions in the bill, I commend my colleagues for limiting the damage as much as possible.
“The American people chose divided government. As elected officials, we have a duty to apply our principles to the realities of governing. And we must exercise prudence. We must weigh the benefits and the costs of action—and of inaction. In H.R. 8, there are clearly provisions that I oppose. But the question remains: Will the American people be better off if this law passes relative to the alternative? In the final analysis, the answer is undoubtedly yes. I came to Congress to make tough decisions—not to run away from them.
“Now, we must return our attention to the real problem: out-of-control spending. Washington’s reckless spending drives the debt. And this debt is hurting the economy today. Unless we get at the heart of the problem, Americans will face a debt crisis—one that will threaten our most vulnerable in particular. It is our responsibility to prevent such a crisis.”
No mention that Republicans in the House provided the most uncertainty they possibly could, once again, to our markets, saving tough realities for the very, very last minute while leaving Hurricane Sandy victims to twist in the wind.
Ryan still thinks that because he believes, you will too. This is the guy who bases monetary policy on the speech of a fictional character from a novel for teenage boys (for real). So, we get the spin that Republicans were fighting for lower tax rates for everyone, instead of squealing bloody murder over the tax increase on the wealthy.
At least Ryan got the score for that Rose Bowl game.
Ryan sorta forgot to mention that Republicans were objecting to extending the lower tax rates to the rest of America unless the top percent got them as well. But you can’t blame him, because Ryan is going McCain with bitter pot shots like this one, “The American people chose divided government….”
Yes, America, you would not have had to suffer the indignity of watching the Republican controlled House of Representatives behaving like spoiled children refusing to give up their toys before bed if only you had given Ryan and the Republicans what they really, really wanted: The White House.
You will pay. Oh, you’ll pay.
Nation, repeat: It was not a historically ridiculous clown show that threatened to plunge us back into a recession; rather, the Republicans ‘provided certainty’. Also, all of that fuss? They weren’t fighting for billionaires and corporations! They were fighting for you. And lastly, it wasn’t that they couldn’t do their job and had to toss their responsibility to the Senate. It wasn’t that Mitch McConnell and Joe Biden didn’t work together to craft the Senate solution to the House failure. Oh, no. It was the President’s fault, because he showed no leadership.
The House failure to pass Boehner’s Plan B and then just giving up? That was liberty at work! And certainty. Oh, so certain.
We are still waiting for Ryan to have enough “time” to explain the math in his budget to us. But between the football games, working out and watching the nation dangle over the fiscal cliff, well, time is precious.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.