Paul Ryan: Just Another Neocon
August 17, 2012 by Sam Rolley
Republican presumptive Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan seems to be becoming a superhero of the GOP as mainstream “conservatives” are smitten to the point of drool-inducing stupor.
And it makes sense. Before the Wisconsin Representative — known as a “budget hawk” and “policy mastermind” — came dashing into the frame, Republican voters’ strongest inclination to cast a ballot for Mitt Romney, the party’s presumptive Presidential nominee, was because his name isn’t Barack Obama.
For the well-informed among conservatives, the mental anguish of having to lie to themselves about Romney being the man who is going to undo or reverse the rapid American march “Forward.” unto an even more massive Federal apparatus and complete socialism is unimaginable. And, to be honest, they are not the conservatives they believe themselves to be. “Moderates,” “hopeless reactionaries” and “ignorant” are all terms that come to mind in describing those who would allow themselves to believe Romney will in any way be restorative to American liberty, but “truly conservative” certainly does not.
Those who proclaim a love for liberty, small government and strict adherence to the Constitution know that Obama has no similar passions, but they also know that Romney lacks the same passions as well.
On the rights of sportsmen and of Americans to be able to defend themselves, there’s that pesky problem about Romney’s penchant for hunting “small varmints.” He has a dodgy gun control record, has claimed to own firearms that he didn’t in an effort to score an endorsement from the National Rifle Association and passed what The Associated Press referred to as “one of the toughest assault weapons laws in the country” when he was Governor of Massachusetts.
But he isn’t a guy named Obama with a questionable 2nd Amendment record.
Romney has faced a constant thorn in his side because he created the basis for the big government health law known as Obamacare during his time as Governor. He recently cited the value of Israel’s individual mandate healthcare plan.
But he isn’t a guy named Obama with an admiration for socialized medicine.
Those worried about the increasingly brazen and tyrannical nature of government spying and police state violations of Constitutional rights can find little solace in Romney’s history. During his tenure as Governor of Massachusetts, Romney issued executive orders to set up two of the Nation’s first fusion centers — the intelligence hubs where vast amounts of Americans’ personal data are analyzed, stored and shared by law enforcement agencies.
The similarities between Romney and Obama far trump the dissimilarity of their names. But, hey, at least the socialized, unConstitutional, disarmed, plutocratic Nation will not be under the leadership of a big government liar named Obama if the GOP comes out on top. It will be a big government liar named Romney steering the ship toward total tyranny.
The Romney ticket is no accident. Beyond shouting about conservative social issues, the Republican Party is no more “conservative” than the Democratic. The Democratic and Republican parties are both bought and paid for by the same corporate interests and work in unison to achieve the same goal of enslaving the American populace to an endless cycle of debt, consumption and war for profit. Romney and Obama may as well be the same man, simply a figurative representation of choice to cloak America’s plutocratic political system.
Of course, the GOP has suffered some consequences by foisting such an Obama-like candidate and expecting their diehards to swallow hard and march on. The party has been met with force by a large contingent of conservatives who refuse to throw conviction aside and support Romney; many of them were Ron Paul supporters, and others are just tired of the lies. These people have not been quiet in their dissidence, and with each shout risk pulling another rank-and-file Republican out of his “well, he isn’t Obama” stupor. As much criticism as the GOP leadership deserves for whoring itself to special interests and lying about having any concern for a Constitutional America, they should get credit for an act of brilliant political manipulation to ensure the proclamations of these dissenters fall on deaf ears.
Enter Ryan, who will go down in history as the most libertarian-looking neocon to have ever walked the halls of Congress.
He’s fostered the image of a budget-slashing maniac, bent on reducing government spending by any means possible.
Republican rank-and-files have been drooling over Ryan since he introduced his House-approved budget plan which seeks to avoid tax hikes and cuts in military spending while simultaneously putting bloated entitlement spending programs on the chopping block. The infatuation with Ryan’s plan to “stop spending money the government doesn’t have” is less for the few free-market ideas presented therein and more for the fact that liberals have been freaking out about provisions that call for a restructuring of Medicare.
If liberals are enraged, however, Ryan’s plan had to be a creation of pure small government genius, right? Actually, no. Ryan’s plan is actually only marginally better than the budget Obama presented. The President wants to spend $3.8 trillion in fiscal year 2013 and foresees spending $5.8 trillion in fiscal year 2022. Obama believes that Federal spending would amount to 22.5 percent of gross domestic product, while revenues would average 19.2 percent of GDP.
Ryan, on the other hand, would spend $3.5 trillion in 2013 and $4.9 trillion in 2022. Spending as an average of GDP would average 20 percent of GDP, and revenue would amount to 18.3 percent. Ryan’s plan is essentially more of the same; it grows government spending and fails to cut anything of substance. But at least it freaked out liberals.
The reason Ryan’s plan could not possibly begin to meaningfully reduce government spending is directly related to his neocon ideals.
He is a supporter of the same illegal military operations carried out under both the George W. Bush and Obama Administrations. He voted to add a trillion dollars or so to the Federal debt burden by borrowing to fund the failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
After begging other lawmakers to follow suit — seriously, begging – Ryan voted “yes” to the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) and “yes” to a $15 billion bailout for General Motors Co. and Chrysler to support crony capitalism and failed business practices. He also voted “yes” on an economic stimulus bill in 2008 and in favor of further economic stimulus to the tune of $192 billion in 2009.
He has sought to portray himself as dedicated to slashing government handouts to non-producers.
During the Bush Administration, Ryan voted “yes” for the massive healthcare entitlement called the limited prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients; that came with unfunded future costs of more than $7 trillion.
In 2006, Ryan voted to distribute $70 million in taxpayer money in the form of section 8 housing vouchers.
In 2008, Ryan voted “yes” on an unemployment benefit extension from 39 weeks to 59 weeks.
He claims he is a conservative who wants the Federal government to step back and allow Americans to enjoy freedoms granted in the Constitution.
If anything about Ryan is scary, it is his support of big-government nannyism.
He apparently rejects the idea that American parents and teachers should play a bigger role in children’s education than Federal bureaucrats, as he voted “yes” to No Child Left Behind during Bush’s Presidency.
Ryan also shares the belief of the Bush Administration and Obama that Americans deserve no right to privacy from the watchful eye of the Big Brother Department of Homeland Security. He voted to extend Patriot Act wiretapping and make it permanent. He voted against requiring warrants for domestic wiretapping and in favor of eliminating warrants on all electronic surveillance. He also voted in favor of the Internet spy bill, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act.
Ryan voted “yes” on the National Defense Authorization Act and against repealing its provision allowing the indefinite detention of Americans.
Ryan is opposed to any budget cuts in defense spending or to the national surveillance apparatus.
It isn’t surprising that Ryan claims he is a real conservative, even though his record reeks of Bush/Cheney neocon values that do nothing for liberty. Perhaps a quote from Libertarian superhero Ayn Rand — whom Ryan claimed to admire for many years, and bizarrely denounced recently — best describes why he is portrayed as a conservative.
In Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal Ryan’s former favorite Russian-born atheist writes:
The basic and crucial political issue of our age is: capitalism versus socialism, or freedom versus statism. For decades, this issue has been silenced, suppressed, evaded, and hidden under the foggy, undefined rubber-terms of “conservatism” and “liberalism” which had lost their original meaning and could be stretched to mean all things to all men.
Ryan is energizing conservative voters who have, to this point, had no faith in their candidate beyond his not-Obama name. But the Vice Presidential pick’s talents aren’t really in cutting budgets and manipulating policy in the best interest of liberty, as many conservative voters have been led to believe. His greatest talent is the same as any other politician that has been in the White House during the past several decades: using foggy, undefined, rubber terms to make the American populace believe that there is an option beyond plutocratic tyranny in the two-party political system.