WEALTH AND MONEY Part XXV: COMEDY WERE IT NOT TRAGEDY
“Paul Ryan was born into a well-to-do Janesville, Wisc. family, part of the so-called “Irish mafia” that’s run the city’s construction industry since the 19th century. When his lawyer father died young, sadly, the high-school aged Ryan received Social Security survivor benefits. But they didn’t go directly to supporting his family; by his own account, he banked them for college. He went to Miami University of Ohio, paying twice as much tuition as an Ohio resident would have. “After his government-subsidized out-of-state education, the pride of Janesville left college and went to work for government, where he’s spent his entire career, first serving Republican legislators and then in his own Congressional seat, with occasional stints at his family-owned construction business when he needed a job” – – Joan Walsh, Salon
No one begrudges Congressman Paul Ryan his publicly funded salary of $223,500 as Speaker of the House. No one is particularly upset that congressmen like Mr. Ryan have a large portion of their health insurance subsidized by the public on the Affordable Care Act’s health exchanges despite making more than four times the poverty level. No one is objecting to the fact that while the typical Social Security recipient receives $15,000 annually after working and contributing to the fund for 45 years, a retired member of Congress who has served 20 years will average $59,000 annually in a publicly funded defined benefit pension. But when a man who has been a government employee and on the public dole for almost his entire working career preaches against the evils of government support for others, it is hypocrisy beyond disgust.
It is well known that Congressman Ryan is leading the charge to turn Social Security over to the Wall Street casino where the “house” always wins, and Medicare over to the insurance companies where millionaire/billionaire CEO’s always win. Both actions will plunder and devastate America’s senior citizens, both will destroy the chances for younger working Americans to ever retire out of poverty, and both will make the already unimaginably rich oligarchic owners of the US government vastly richer.
Congressman Ryan lives, like most of the rich who have gained vast sums of money from the unsuspecting decency and naiveté of the American people, in an ideological world of black and white. If you are rich it is because you are a “maker” who has “earned” it and God has rewarded you. If you are poor or struggling it is because you are a “taker,” a lazy moocher on the “makers,” and God is giving you what you deserve. Simple – the rich good guys and the poor bad guys. Case closed – onward Wall Street.
Congressman Ryan, like most of the rich who have gained vast sums of money from the unsuspecting decency and naiveté of the American people, conveniently ignores how he and his fantasy “makers” have privatized all profits and dumped all of their losses on the public. He forgets the 16 trillion dollar public bailout of the parasitic “maker” Wall Street Bankers who conned millions of American out of their homes and savings. He forgets how those same banking “makers” continue using fraud (think Wells Fargo) to swindle unsuspecting Americans out of their hard earned money while their corrupt CEO’s receive multimillion dollar severance deals.
Ryan ignores the massive public subsidies showered on “maker” oil companies reaping billions in profit year after year. He forgets the massive clean-up costs dumped on the public by these same “makers” for off shore oil spills, fracking-polluted groundwater and contaminated rivers and streams.
Ryan ignores the trillions of dollars stashed in off shore tax havens by US “maker” corporations. He ignores how the “maker” lobbyists for these same corporations write our tax laws. He ignores how the “makers” Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, General Electric, Verizon, Honeywell, Boeing, Microsoft, Apple, Corning, Merc, Time Warner, Tenneco, and on and on and on have created more than 600 “subsidiaries” in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, and God knows where else. Ryan ignores how these same “maker” corporations outsourced hundreds of thousands of American jobs to China and other low wage countries, forcing US workers to receive unemployment insurance and other publicly funded federal benefits.
Ryan ignores how the “maker” pharmaceutical companies have time and again “privatized” publicly funded drug research and development to plunder and enslave working Americans suffering with health problems. He ignores how the “EpiPen,” first designed by the US military using public funds and costing only a few dollars to manufacture, ended up in the hands of “maker” Mylan Corporation who had absolutely nothing to do with its development. Ryan ignores how Mylan raised the price of the EpiPen from $57 in 2007 to $600 in 2016. He ignores how Mylan’s CEO, Heather Bresch (daughter of U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.), saw an increase in salary from $2,453,000 in 2007 to $18,931,000 in 2015 for her “maker” ability to exploit children and adults and public schools dealing with life threatening allergic reactions.
Congressman Ryan is the political henchman for the greed driven pathology that now controls America. He is the poster child for the deliberately ignored history of the Gilded Age of the late 1800’s, the “Roaring” 1920’s, and the Great Depression where the fabulously wealthy of that age raped and plundered the people of America. He is the “serious policy wonk” enabler of the arrogance of the “self-made man” who conveniently “forgets” that anything he has accomplished in his life was made possible by the endeavors of millions of people over thousands of years who bequeathed us with the present state of human knowledge. He is the political “wolf in sheep’s clothing” for the financial fraud and corruption, the predatory Wall Street banks, and the parasitic oligarchs that are now bankrupting America.
Part XXVI will discuss: Who is Bankrupting America??