Peeved Paul Ryan Cryin’ About GOP Hypocrisy

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The Daily Beast reported Monday that ‘Young Gun’ Paul Ryan thinks GOP House leadership has misfired by not embracing his plan to cut taxes for the rich at the expensive of the middle class, instead embracing its own plan to cut taxes for the rich at the expense of the middle class.

Ryan, 40, is supposed to be the bullet-proof numbers guy, ranking on the House Budget Committee, who is eager to take the chairmanship in the new Congress following the promised wave election; he is supposed to be the gifted ingenue who spent these last years in the minority bent over his spread sheets while he tweaked his grindingly wonkish genius of 2008, “A Roadmap for America’s Future.”

Instead, the Paul Ryan talked about these days on the Hill is withdrawn, conflicted, chagrined, and unavailable. And most importantly, he was missing in action last week at the ballyhooed Republican roll-out of “The Pledge to America” in a Virginia hardware store.

Well, not completely unavailable and not completely withdrawn it seems. According to audio obtained by One Wisconsin Now, Ryan has taken his pout fest on the Wisconsin campaign trail.

Ryan, appearing at a fundraiser Monday morning in Monroe for Republican Dan Henke, who is trying to succeed Kleefisch Kasualty, Brett Davis, in the state Assembly had this to say about “Republicans”:

So, the mistake we made — the Republicans — was we committed the greatest sin in politics: the sin of hypocrisy. When you run as fiscal conservatives, when you run on the principles of economic liberty and you don’t govern that way, that’s hypocrisy. That’s what happened to the republicans. Republicans, a lot of us, fought the earmark culture and all those other things, but we lost. Because, the more senior, you know, uh, power guys, they kind of had this belief: we can take this Democratic machine and make it a Republican machine. And what happened was our principles atrophied. We’ve got to get that back.

Pretty damning stuff. To hear it for yourself, listen here: Paul Ryan.mp3

He’s right, though. The hypocrisy of Republicans is particularly galling this year.

Actually, it raises the question: What is hypocrisy about hypocrisy called?

After all, the presently-parsimonious Paul Ryan spent the lights out for eight years while Tom DeLay and Company ruled the House of Representatives.

Consider, the spending packed into the Young Gun’s holster:

  • Ryan voted for eight straight GOP budgets which hiked spending by $1 trillion – all told, Ryan voted for $20 trillion in budget spending alone.
  • Ryan helped finance two wars of the budget books
  • Ryan voted for the Medicare Part D plan, which former GAO head David Walker called an $8 trillion unfunded mandate.

Indeed, Paul, hypocrisy is an unseemly trait.

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Scot Ross served as Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now & the Institute from 2007 to 2019.