Saturday, March 16, 2013

Paul Ryan: The Dead and Dying

Paul Ryan's hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin was founded in 1835 and named after a key settler, Henry Janes. Another early settler was William Tallman who came to the area in 1850 and was a supporter of the Republican Party. One of the crowning moments in Tallman’s life was when he convinced the up-and-coming Illinois Republican Abraham Lincoln, to speak in Janesville in October of 1859. The Tallman house is now a historical landmark and now best known as “The place where Abraham Lincoln slept” --- and is about one mile away from Paul Ryan's home.

Paul Ryan's great-grandfather started a construction firm in Janesville, Wisconsin which is now a national construction firm called Ryan Central Inc. --- and for years has been a major employer and road builder in the Midwest. The family business made its fortune on public-works projects and was literally built on the backs of the taxpayers, ever since the company was first founded in 1884.

Another long-time Janesville, Wisconsin company (and the town's great pride for over 120 years) was the Parker Pen Company, which was founded by George Parker in 1888. Parker Pen became the largest manufacturer of high-quality pens in the world and supplied pens to Congress and to the White House for bill signings.

A Parker pen was used by Dwight Eisenhower to sign Germany’s Armistice agreement to end World War II in Europe, and subsequently General Douglas MacArthur used his 20 year old Parker Duofold in the signing of Japan’s surrender at the end of the War in the Pacific.

Another long-time Janesville, Wisconsin company was the Kenosha Engine plant. The factory opened in 1917 and was acquired by Chrysler with their purchase of George Romney's American Motors Corporation (AMC) in August 1987.

Another long-time Janesville, Wisconsin company was the automaker GM, which first opened a plant there in 1919 --- but in June 3, 2008 GM decided to close the plant, which shut down it's last assembly line on April 21, 2009.

When the four-million-square-foot GM plant on the southern part of town closed, it took with it the jobs of some 2,800 employees, the single most significant economic blow inflicted upon any Wisconsin community since the economic collapse of 2008. But it wasn't just GM workers who lost their jobs, the closure caused a ripple effect of business closings and layoffs in the area, leaving an ill-equipped safety net supporting the workers who remained in the community.

In 2009, the Parker Pen Company also succumbed to wage pressure from the global trade agreements that Paul Ryan was so fond of --- and 150 workers lost their jobs when their manufacturing and distribution operations were outsourced to Mexicali, Mexico.

Also in 2009, Chrysler announced that the Kenosha Engine plant in Ryan's district was to close by the end of 2010 as a result of Chrysler's bankruptcy and restructuring plan, which displaced another 800 highly paid auto workers. The families in these communities were all kept afloat by unemployment benefits.

The Parker Mansion

In 2010 Paul Ryan and his wife purchased the 5,786 square foot Parker Mansion, which was owned by George S. Parker II, the grandson of the founder of the Parker Pen Company. The mansion is a Georgian Revival home, which is located in the Courthouse Hill Historic District. The 6-bedroom, 7-bathroom house is located at 700 Saint Lawrence Avenue, Janesville (Rock County), Wisconsin, 53548.

It's not clear according to a records search whether Parker Mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places, but if so, then Paul Ryan would qualify for a 20% federal tax credit for any maintenance expenses he incurs on the house.

51-year-old Dave Schumacher is one of Paul Ryan's constituents who lost his job in 2009. He drove trucks for a supply company that served the General Motors SUV plant, the economic heartbeat of this blue-collar town --- that is, until GM "consolidated" it's production lines in Texas and outsourced jobs to Mexico.

Dave Schumacher largely blames Republicans like Paul Ryan for their role in the global financial meltdown, which had hit Paul Ryan's hometown of Janesville especially hard. Schumacher asks, "Is it my fault that the Republicans let the economy go to shit?" He answers, "No".

Paul Ryan voted along with the majority of both political parties for the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999, (which Bill Clinton signed) which created the "too big to fail" institutions that played a critical role in collapsing the economy --- and Paul Ryan also voted for the subsequent bank bailouts.

Ryan has also been a supporter of every free trade agreement to cross his desk, including the 2000 China free trade deal that has cost Wisconsin some 56,900 of jobs --- and the 2005 Central American Free Trade Deal (a NAFTA expansion to the region) which Bill Clinton also signed.

While Paul Ryan supported the $800 million TARP bailout for big banks, he also convinced others in his party to swallow the bitter pill and vote for the TARP bill too--- but yet, Ryan had not been supportive of programs to help the unemployed in his own hometown.

Paul Ryan had once called the social safety net "a hammock that ends up lulling people in their lives into dependency and complacency" --- and he also has a history of voting against extending unemployment benefits. Some of Paul Ryan's hometown residents argue that statements like these, coupled with his voting record, illustrate a disconnect between Ryan and the community he represents.

Don Heritage, a former GM employee, is making half of his former pay working the graveyard shift as a maintenance worker for a candy company -- a job which took him two years to find. He views Paul Ryan as anti-union and said, "Ryan, as far as I know, is not welcomed in any GM plant or factory."

According to Don Heritage, "He's not for the working person, the blue collar, he's for the upper bunch." It should be noted that Paul Ryan's family construction company relies heavily on union labor --- and the company could be affected if Governor Scott Walker's anti-union bill law were ever repealed.

Last year, while raking in his $174,000 annual congressional (taxpayer-paid) salary, Paul Ryan advocated for a ZERO TAX on capital gains, when in 2010 he and his wife had reported $39,013 in income from capital gains (from rental real estate, royalties, partnerships, S corporations, trust, etc.). And in 2011 the Ryans also reported $116,043 in income from capital gains. Why doesn't Paul Ryan want to pay his taxes?

But at the same time, Paul Ryan wants his own constituents (such as Dave Schumacher and Don Heritage) to work until they're 70 years old before they're even eligible for Medicare --- and only then, force them get a "voucher" instead of providing them with guaranteed healthcare when they're too old and/or sick to work.

And many of Ryan's constituents still point to his previous federal budget proposal (A Path to Austerity Prosperity), as well as his current plan --- which, as usual, cuts taxes for the wealthy (like himself) and shifts more of the tax burden onto middle class families --- while cutting programs for the poor, the elderly, the disabled, our Vets, and the unemployed. But his constituents provide the best healthcare in the world for he and his family.

Paul Ryan didn't need Social Security death benefits to keep himself out of the cold Wisconsin snow, he used his for college tuition. But he wouldn't mind denying others Social Security benefits --- for those who need a roof over their head and food on their table when they're too old or disabled to work.

Plain and simple: Paul Ryan is a cheap and greedy (and selfish) hypocritical prick and liar. That's why he and Mitt Romney made such perfect running mates. And also because, with the exception of their own close friends and immediate families, they have no empathy at all for others; and they can both walk over the dead and dying without a care in the world.

And just think, they wanted to be our "leaders".

* Look for sequester cuts at the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport in Janesville.

Paul Ryan, enjoying a sumptuous glass of a $350 bottle of wine, specifically, Jayer-Gilles 2004 Echezeaux Grand Cru.

1 comment:

  1. It's real simple .. vote him out .. the 2016 primary for Rock County showed 5,000+ democratic voters over the republican voters

    Is Ryan a classic "let them eat cake" republican? .. yes

    If the voters of his district don't do something about his(Ryan) tenure, will he get worse? .. yes

    Is a better future for Janesville doable without Ryan! .. absolutely yes!

    Dennis Hastert used to be my congressman .. he's now in jail .. Don't wait for the bad ending

    Vote Ryan out in 2016!