Never forget Paul Ryan’s massive cruelty

by

He’s willing to enable a dictatorship to live out his dream of transferring trillions to the richest

How did a president who promised “insurance for everyone” end up backing a bill that will uninsure millions?

The answer is simple: Paul Ryan.

This doesn’t assume that Trump would want anything better or wants anything at all but massive tax-free gains for himself and his family. But it’s important to note that the repeal bill Republicans are hoping to push through looks pretty much what it would look like if Paul Ryan were elected president — or Mitt Romney were elected president after absorbing all of Paul Ryan’s ideas and the actual Paul Ryan into his campaign.

Trump once proposed single-payer health care because he thought it could win him the presidency. Now he’s betting his presidency on the opposite.

Donald Trump’s agenda is Paul Ryan’s agenda. It’s a “monumental fraud,” as Greg Sargent calls it, on Trump’s working class voters. But Trump is happy to oblige, since Ryan’s agenda essentially matches his and his donors’ basic world view — the rich should get richer, polluters and bankers should feel free to victimize whomever they please and women and minorities are inherently suspect thus must be subject to strict government controls.

As Krugman notes, the cruelty of the GOP’s plot to uninsure the poor to make life for the rich a bit easier is inherently a GOP plot. But never forget that it would be impossible without Donald Trump — whose master salesmanship and even more masterful lying sold workers and aging white Americans. Without the innovation of promising “terrific” greatness to voters put into a white panic, no one was ever going to buy Paul Ryan’s Ayn Rand plan to teach the poor how to choose richer parents.

Ryan’s reluctance to embrace Trump last year impressed some as a sign that there was some substance to the man. But we know now that the only reason Ryan objected to Trump was that the Speaker didn’t think he could win and might even cost him his majority. We know this because now that Trump has won, Ryan is now actively enabling Trump on the president’s path to becoming a dictator.

It’s hard to tell which Republican policies are purposely enabling dictatorship and which are just a typical right-wing attempt to put corporations in charge of our lives. But there are several areas in which Ryan is clearly signing off on Trump’s march to authoritarianism.

This starts with scientists meant to protect our air and water being silenced. And it continues with starving the agencies meant to protect consumers and collect taxes, even though this will cost the government and consumers more in the long run. A Trump executive order aims to eliminate “75% to 80% of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations,” and a new law tells agencies to put “corporate profits above environmental, health, and consumer protections.”

Starving the public of the protections and information we need to be kept safe doesn’t just enable plutocratic powers to profit off endangering people, it enforces a dictatorial control.

The foremost example of this is Trump’s tax returns. Rather than failing to demand them, the GOP Congress is burying any investigations that might reveal his conflicts. The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee has done more to clear Trump’s name than reveal his campaign’s ties to Russia, a country that sought to elect him after he changed his party’s platform in the country’s favor. And the House Oversight Committee is refusing to consider obvious violations of the emoluments clause of the Constitution or an obvious pay-to-pay scheme in Mar-A-Lago where members are charged a fee, recently doubled $200,000, and given direct access to Trump and world leaders.

There’s a risk in getting bogged down in this Russia conspiracy because it distracts from Trump’s massive conflicts of interest. But the even bigger risk is it take the focus off Paul Ryan’s agenda of transferring trillions in wealth to the very richest.

Here’s how Jonathan Cohn described Paul Ryan’s budget proposal in 2012:

Ryan envisions a reduction in non-defense discretionary spending to levels this country hasn’t had since just after World War II. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, by 2050 “most of the federal government aside from Social Security, health care, and defense would cease to exist.” That’s everything from air traffic control to medical research to food inspections to Pell Grants, by the way. If the Ryan budget somehow became reality then you might have to give up on college and avoid air travel—assuming you survived the food poisoning and killer diseases.

Without Trump, he would never had a chance to make this dystopia our reality. But let’s never forget that this nightmare we’re living in is Paul Ryan’s dream come true.

[Image by the great Anne Savage.]

  • MoeLarryAndJesus

    Ryan’s headstone should be a functional urinal.

    • single payer

      “Ryan’s head should be a functional urinal.”

      There, I fixed it for you………….

      • MoeLarryAndJesus

        Thanks!

        • Why should even his urinal be functional? That would take a union plumber, wouldn’t it?

      • Wild Blogger

        “Ryan’s head IS a functional urinal.”

        Fixed it for you.

        • single payer

          Supposed we remove the head………and use his neck?

  • JIM

    Trump supporters are like five year olds they still believe in Santa the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny. P.T. Barnum was right except we had a whole lot of suckers born last year.

  • Robert

    You make the assumption that it is the role of the federal government to provide health care. What else should the taxpayers pay for you? Your water bill? I mean, you need water to survive right? How about your electric or gas bill? Need to stay warm right? Gas to cook food? Please tell me what other items in your life that I, the American taxpayer, should pay for?

    • judyms9

      The taxpayers should be able to get some of their tax money back, don’t you think? There is value in having a healthy and productive population, at least that’s what most developed nations think. Our payments should not all go to corporate and farm subsidies and to pay congress, provide their generous pensions and buy their health insurance.

    • Faith Smith

      Do you think you electric and water came from the tooth fairy. Government plays a role in getting it to you as they should in insurance.

    • Handbasket27

      Did you go to public (or any) school? Who do you think paid for that?

    • joyce

      Why should we the other tax payers then give a rat’s ass about you and yours when you need them? We All pay taxes not just you. Don’t get in an accident or get sick because I don’t want my taxes to help some ingrate like you.

    • If we INVEST in keeping healthy people healthy them many of them can support themselves. And for those who truly can’t, the fact that you so easily brutalize them is quite telling. I hope you’re never in a position where you get sick or suffer a major catastrophe. We just might watch you suffer since assistance is apparently beneath you.

      • Kat Snow

        Well said. Thank You.
        Nobody wants & yearns to be sick. One day our lives just change.

        If Congress wants the American People to use this DeathCare Bill then I think they should use it.

        Speaker Ryan lived off Social Security himself.

    • Dave

      Canadian here. Funny thing about government sponsored health care. I don’t feel like I’m paying unreasonable taxes, and I don’t worry about going bankrupt because I caught the wrong disease. But please, go on about the American taxpayer. You know who loves that argument? Drug companies and Health Insurance companies. They take that line of thinking right to the bank.

      The problem with the american system is this: There are shareholders who have a better bottom line if more people get cancer. As long as those people exist, your system is fundamentally broken. The United States needs to change the game so that nobody makes a profit off of sick people. Until that happens, you guys are just screwed.

    • ReallyPissedOff

      How incredibility ignorant of you. Do you pay taxes?

    • The irony is that government-funded health care is always more efficient. The VA costs much less, per patient, than private insurance. Medicare costs much less, per patient, than private insurance. So does Medicaid. That’s why these populations are taken out of the insurance pool, on behalf of the insurance industry, because they’re supposed to cost so much. But, thanks to government, they don’t.

  • Handbasket27

    Thanks for finally just SAYING it. The utter selfishness the Republican Party has come to represent is matched only by their spite against the most vulnerable. Paul Ryan is the smug face of the new plutocracy, much scarier than the buffoon in the White House.

    • c u n d gulag

      Paul Ryan:
      A classic example of “Blue-eyed (lack of any) Soul.”

  • Kat Snow

    Let’s not forget Paul Ryan said he’s been working on this bill for 20 years.This morning on TV.
    20 years ago President Bill Clinton was potus not president Barack Obama.
    Ppl need to stop the crap with their tax payer dollars. Do you honestly think congress wouldn’t find another way to get taxes from us? Come on stop listening to fox. Rupert Murdoch is bought & paid for by Trump inc. To become his propaganda channel. Wake up. These ppl spend our money 24/7 treadmills gyms even yoga stress classes. And trumps weekend trips. And so many useless experiments look it up. Stop repeating fox and look up Rupert Murdoch and Trump. And you will see. I would rather know the truth than live in a bubble of lies ppl think I want to hear.

  • Kat Snow

    Paul Ryan is obsessed with Ayn Rand. That’s what this bill is about. Considering how they spend tax payer money. The least they can do is help Medicare and medicaid.

    • judyms9

      It is noted in Paul Ryan’s high school yearbook that he was the senior class’s “biggest brown-noser.” It’s how he’s faked his way through life. He’s Eddie Haskell without the charm.

  • Mark Mudry

    The writing is on the wall:
    The return of “Buyer Beware”
    Prosperity through Austerity
    And Cradle to Grave freedom from taxation (but not you)

  • Your hopelessness is disquieting, and betrays a basic lack of faith in the American people. In our greatest struggles, we have always lost the early rounds. But we came back, stronger than ever, and destroyed democracy’s opponents. So it will be this time. But we all have work to do for that to happen. Ask yourself, what are you doing today to make that happen?

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