Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saint Paul Ryan

Bombs, not Food: Food stamps are in the crosshairs of Rep. Paul Ryan's House budget resolution. Each month during fiscal 2011, an average of 45 million mostly poor Americans received benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. With defense spending continuing to grow, advocates for the poor see deep cuts aimed at the less fortunate. "We believe the Ryan budget is an assault on the safety net."

Paul Ryan would rather spend $650 billion every year defending hungry people rather than spending $75 billion feeding them.

The author of the House Republican budget that was endorsed by Mitt Romney, said his program was crafted “using my Catholic faith” as inspiration. But the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was not about to bless that claim.

The Washington Post reports that "There is something un-Christian about the Gospel according to Paul Ryan. So, at least, says Ryan’s Catholic Church."

Nearly 90 faculty members and administrators of Georgetown University, a Catholic institution, sent Rep. Paul Ryan a letter expressing concerns with his recent comments that his proposed budget (which includes massive spending cuts to programs for the poor, but not a single tax increase on the wealthy) was inspired by his Catholic faith.

"I am afraid that Chairman Ryan's budget reflects the values of his favorite philosopher Ayn Rand rather than the gospel of Jesus Christ. Survival of the fittest may be okay for Social Darwinists but not for followers of the gospel of compassion and love."

So then Paul Ryan did an "about face" and went on the record denouncing Ayn Rand, who believed altruism is evil, brushing off his well-documented obsession with her as a teenage romance. Suddenly he rejects Ayn Rand's teachings that inspired the movie Atlas Shrugs. (Paul Ryan, the Chair of the House Budget Committee, required his staff to read the Ayn Rand novel Atlas Shrugs.)

Ryan told the National Review's Robert Costa: "I reject her philosophy. It's an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person's view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas. Don't give me Ayn Rand."

Paul Ryan compares his worldview to that of a Saint?

Saint Thomas Aquinas is considered the Catholic Church's greatest theologian and philosopher. He stated that an individual's will must be ordered toward right things (not "right wings"), such as charity, peace, and holiness -- and that war must occur for a good and just purpose, rather than for self-gain or as an exercise of power.

Thomas also contributed to economic thought as an aspect of ethics and justice. He dealt with the concept of a just price, normally its market price, or a regulated price sufficient to cover seller costs of production. He argued it was immoral for sellers to raise their prices simply because buyers were in pressing need for a product.

This does not sound at all like the Paul Ryan or Republicans world view as we've come to know so well. The GOP is not well known for charity, but for protecting the wealthy and corporate profits at the expense of the poor. And what was their reason for that war in Iraq again?

Would Saint Thomas Aquinas have ever compared his worldview to congressman Paul Ryan's? Would he have embraced Paul Ryan's 'New and Improved' Path to Austerity?

It's common knowledge by now that Paul Ryan has no respect for the poor and unemployed. And he and the Republicans have waging a war against them with food stamps.

During Ryan's speech at Georgetown University though, Ryan didn't back away from any of his budget proposals, which would dramatically reduce the number of people on food stamps and radically scale back Medicaid, the health care program for the poor. Instead, he championed such proposals as a means to "liberate" the poor.

But all that Ryan proposes is to take away guaranteed federal safety nets and gives them away in State grants, whereas the individual States can do as they please with the funds.

Ryan claimed that "welfare reform" had brought down child poverty rates. The claim is false, especially in Ryan's home state. According to the most recent data, the child poverty rate in his state of Wisconsin jumped 42 percent between 2000 and 2010.

That's why Catholics at Georgetown, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and other Catholic organizations were so outraged when Paul Ryan told a Christian TV show earlier this month that his budget was wholly in keeping with Catholic teachings and was practically endorsed by the Pope himself.

James Salt, the executive director of Catholics United, noted: "If Paul Ryan knew what poverty was, he wouldn't be giving this speech."

Ryan gets another liar rating.


  1. The Republicans call food stamps, TANF, and jobless benefits for the poor and unemployed "redistributing the wealth".

    I called subsidies for big profitable tobacco and oil companies "redistributing the wealth". I call $650 billion every year given to the defense industry "redistributing the wealth". I call two un-funded wars I didn't agree with "redistributing the wealth". I call lower tax rates for billionaires "redistributing the wealth". I call $174,000-a-year salaries and gold-plated healthcare plans for members of congress "redistributing the wealth". I call outsourcing jobs for cheaper labor "redistributing the wealth". I call raising prices on basic consumer necessities to pay CEOs multi-million-dollar annual salaries "redistributing the wealth".

  2. What on earth would Paul Ryan know about charity, peace and holiness? His attack on the poor and helpless is the very antithesis of what Saint Thomas Aquinas stood for. Once again, Ryan has shown himself to be without shame.

  3. Ryan is an demagogic ideologue who's only interest is ensuring that the policies of his bosses (the plutocrats calling the shots) are implemented

    It is beyond to believe how anyone not in the 1% could actually vote for any republican. But we shall see ...