And we should seek to help the poor they way he fluffed the rich
Better than almost anyone in the history of American politics, Paul Ryan understands how to please the people he serves. And the people he serves are billionaire donors.
So when a guy who fancies himself as a billionaire donor became president of the United States, who could be surprised that Paul Ryan completely hijacked Donald Trump’s agenda?
Because Paul Ryan’s agenda is making his billionaire donors richer.
Coincidentally, Donald Trump’s agenda — despite whatever nonsense he spews and the random policy punches he throws hoping to silence the demons in his head that look like Fred Trump Sr. — is making Donald Trump richer.
In his first public appearance after being “elected” president, Trump promised his rich pals and himself tax cuts. To Trump’s later chagrin, Paul Ryan convinced the “president” to go after Obamacare first because the trillion dollar cut he packed into the repeal would justify — obviously — bigger tax cuts for Donald Trump.
That repeal failed but Ryan still lived out his dream of being able to cut Donald Trump’s several times over two decades. Then a day after the CBO announced his policies would result in some of the largest deficits ever recorded basically until infinity, Ryan wiped his hands and stepped away from the table.
Somehow he did this with some people claiming that he was still somehow a “deficit hawk.” This is a remarkable con for a man singularly devoted to flufflng the rich at all costs.
As Mike Grunwald noted, Ryan was “a deficit hawk except when it came to taxes, and spending, and the deficit.”
Ryan never let the deficit get in the way of his firmly held religious belief that poor people don’t suffer enough, which is only matched by his belief that rich people don’t have enough money.
As Paul Krugman noted, “Look, the single animating principle of everything Ryan did and proposed was to comfort the comfortable while afflicting the afflicted. Can anyone name a single instance in which his supposed concern about the deficit made him willing to impose any burden on the wealthy, in which his supposed compassion made him willing to improve the lives of the poor?”
The idea that the poor must be punished into not wanting to be poor anymore is not unique to Paul Ryan. It’s the animating principle of the bizarro Christianity that defines the GOP. But few people have ever shown the absolute devotion to making the rich richer at the expense of everyone else than Paul Ryan.
It’s a model we should all live by.
If and when Democrats get back into power, they should commit themselves to achieving their goals of expanding health care, raising wages and destroying discrimination with the ruthlessness in which Paul Ryan pleasured the rich.
And we should do this, like Paul Ryan, with blatant disregard for the deficit.
When anyone brings up red ink, we should stiff arm those concerns the way Paul Ryan does to talk about the cruelty of decades of stagnant wages or abomination of drug prices and how our policies should take this on. And do it with the calm assurance of Paul Ryan, a man who knows he will make tens of millions of dollars in the rest of his life giving speeches and taking lunches with the billionaires whose taxes he cut.
To care as little as Paul Ryan does about the deficit, you don’t have to be a card-carrying member of the Modern Monetary Theory school of economics like Stephanie Kelton, experts who believe deficit concerns are massively overblown compared to actual crises like inequality. You can seek to lower the deficit using means that have been shown to improve our economy, like taxes on the rich and constraints on financialization.
But you should definitely be like Paul Ryan. Toss any concerns away about the cost of your plans and focus entirely on the people you represent. In Ryan’s case, this was billionaire donors. In our case, this would be about a hundred million struggling workers.
The Trump/Ryan tax cuts haven’t failed to become popular because they explode the deficit. They’re unpopular with most Americans because they feel like about $1.50 a week, while we know Charles, a Koch brother from Wichita, is getting $13,461,538.50 a week.
Paul Ryan’s problem isn’t the deficit; it never was. Paul Ryan’s problem is that over the last year or so, America finally got a chance to see exactly who Paul Ryan works for — fake billionaires like Donald Trump.