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Ryan’s Recall

Does Paul Ryan have a memory problem?

For example, just before being named as Romney’s running mate, Ryan suddenly amended his financial disclosure statements to add an income producing trust that is worth between $1 and $5 million. Members of Congress are required to disclose major financial holdings, but Ryan claimed that leaving the trust off his disclosure was an “inadvertent omission”. I’d love to have so much money that I can forget about an asset that could be worth as much as $5 million, but Ryan’s net worth is around $4.5 million. Did he really forget about something that is likely to be his biggest asset? But I guess it is easy to forget about things you didn’t have to earn — almost all of Ryan’s money comes from his marriage and inheritances.

Or how about the case of Ryan repeatedly claiming that he never took any stimulus money for his district. But the Boston Globe discovered multiple letters from Ryan requesting stimulus money (which were awarded). After being confronted with the letters, he still claimed he would never do such a thing. But just a few hours later he confessed. His excuse? He claims that the requests were sent by his office, not by him. Personally, I don’t know which would be worse — repeatedly lying about requesting stimulus funds, or having no idea what his office is doing. Indeed, why didn’t his office didn’t inform him of the problem when the issue first came up in 2010? Is this Ryan’s Bridge to Nowhere?

Incidentally, Ryan also repeatedly said he wouldn’t take stimulus money because the stimulus didn’t work. And yet, most studies show that the stimulus did help the economy. So he’s even lying about that.

An even bigger issue to me is that Ryan likes to pretend to be a fiscal conservative, but when the Republicans were in power, he spent like a drunken sailor. Ryan voted for the $700 billion bank bailout, the auto industry rescue, the unfunded Medicare expansion that drove up the deficit by $400 billion, and the highway bill that included the “Bridge to Nowhere”. Naturally, he also voted for the Bush tax cuts. He even campaigned on eliminating subsidies to oil companies, before voting to support them.

Now that he is running for vice president, will his memory get any better? I doubt it. Just last week, Ryan accused Obama of failing to rescue an auto factory in his home district in Wisconsin. So not only is Ryan not acting like much of a fiscal conservative, there is a bigger problem. The plant closed in 2008, under George W. Bush.


One Comment

  1. Jeff wrote:

    According to Ryan himself, he voted for the bailouts, etc. because he felt that they would help prevent a larger government takeover in the future. By shoring up the private sector, Ryan claims to have helped avert a situation that would have allowed the government to take over the entire free market. Picking Ryan as the VP choice is certainly paying off for Romney, isn’t it?

    Here’s a link to the interview with Ryan where he defends his vote for the bailout:

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 6:17 am | Permalink