It would be quite a stretch to even imagine very many Americans having warm feelings for a hypocrite, but apparently there are a significant number of Republicans who are enamored with a true phony. Over the weekend, particularly the Sunday political programs, newly-elected House Speaker Paul Ryan demonstrated to Americans exactly what it means to be a rank hypocrite and in so doing revealed his contempt for Americans who work as well as his elevated sense of worth. There has never been even one thing about Ryan that makes him likable, but after Sunday’s performance it is a chore not to despise the lying and cruel Republican regardless his position in government.
Ryan has gall, no-one will dispute that fact after he laid out a number of conditions before he would consider the Speaker’s position. It was ballsy to demand that House Republicans are forbidden from “dismissing” him as speaker, but that only affects House Republicans. Where Ryan seriously revealed his hypocritical bona fides was demanding that his family time be protected because he, Paul Ryan, just has to spend time with his three young children and his wife Janna. He said, “I cannot and will not give up my family time.” Now, if Ryan was working a job like every other American, one might be inclined to respect his demand, but he has an extremely generous job with more paid time off to spend with his family than most corporate CEOs.
When Ryan was queried on Sunday shows about supporting a federal paid family leave program after demanding that his precious family time stays excessive compared to most Americans, he gave a typically Republican hypocritical answer. Ryan made it crystal clear that he vehemently opposes such a policy for American workers even after being reminded that he recognizes the importance of family time balanced with work. The hypocrite said,
“No! I don’t think that sticking up for being a person with balance in your life, for wanting to spend your weekends in your home with your family… I don’t think that means signing up for some new unfunded mandate.” Ryan repeated his hypocrisy on Fox and included two favorite buzz-words to convince idiot Americans he is looking out for their best interests. He said, “I don’t think people asked me to be speaker so I can take more money from hard-working taxpayers, so I can create some new federal entitlement.”
Unfunded mandate, robbing taxpayers, signing up, create a new federal entitlement were never a part of the question of whether Ryan recognizes that like him, all Americans need and desire to spend family time balanced with work. But this is a typical Republican typically changing the subject to something about federal entitlements, mandates and signing up. He did, however recognize that “most people want politicians representing them who are similar to them and understand the desire to spend time with their children;” he just thinks it applies to the good Republican Speaker of the House but not American workers. He reiterated how important it is that he, Paul Ryan, gets to spend quality time with his family because he wants what every American wants in their lives. He opined that,
“I think what most people want in their life, is a balance. So if you’re asking me because I want to continue being the best dad and husband and speaker I can be — getting that work-life balance correct — means I should sign up for some new unfunded entitlement, that doesn’t make any sense to me.”
What does not make sense to working Americans is why Paul Ryan, and all congressional representatives, get incredibly bloated salaries for doing nothing substantive as well as several paid “recesses” lasting weeks on end with every weekend and holiday off when very, very few Americans enjoy those benefits. In fact, only 12 percent of American workers get paid family leave from their employers. Low-income workers are “even less likely” to ever see paid family leave with fewer than 5 percent rating what Ryan demands from taxpayers. It is noteworthy that 21 percent of most Americans’ richer counterparts receive generous paid family leave and they likely also get paid sick and vacation leave as well. As an aside, America is one of the only developed nations on Earth that does not provide paid sick, vacation, and family leave time to its entire workforce; just one of the things that makes America exceptional.
The New York Times recently reported that there are gross “inequalities between workplaces,” and not just according to workers’ level of pay. Of all the companies rated at the top for mothers who work, ninety-percent offered paid maternity and paternity leave. That is a stark contrast to the rest of the employers in the nation, less than a quarter of whom offer any kind of paid leave; a statistic that has remained stable over the last five years. Not having paid leave, whether it is called maternity, family, sick, or paternity leave has a devastating economic effect Paul Ryan is certainly aware of, but he could not care less because it does not affect him.
According to the Census Bureau, without paid leave over a quarter of “first-time mothers have to quit their jobs or are fired when they give birth.” Still others have to take out loans, delay paying bills, or appeal to social programs to get by after losing a job. A loss of income over a family issue is something hypocrite Paul Ryan will never have to worry about because he gets paid handsomely for doing nothing, and demands more because he wants to spend time with his family; something he believes is an entitlement, robbing taxpayers, and creating a federal mandate if applied to any American worker.
While House Republicans, including Ryan, had an extraordinary week tacked on to their grueling congressional schedule this year, they still will only have worked 133 days for a base salary of $175,000 annually. The typical American worker with two weeks of vacation and federal holidays off will be on the job 240 days this year, but fewer and fewer American workers receive two-weeks’ vacation or holidays off and fewer still earn the median income of approximately $45,500 annually.
It is long past the time for America to have a nationwide paid family leave program to give all Americans something Paul Ryan recognizes is important for himself; a nice balance of work and family life he said makes him “the best dad and husband” he can be. He also implied that he recognized that most Americans also yearn to get their work-life balance correct; he just cannot tolerate it for anyone except himself. The only good thing to note about Ryan’s hypocrisy and elevated sense of worth; he has made defending his family time an issue and revealed that he is a rank hypocrite for denying all Americans a benefit that all Americans are providing Paul Ryan; all the paid leave and family time he wants.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.