Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter
  11
Share on Facebook
  10
Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 21 Shares     
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats
2 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

Paul Ryan's Faux Populism

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 1   Inspiring 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

Become a Fan
  (104 fans)

opednews.com


On Friday, Paul Ryan, the presumptive Republican vice-presidential nominee, made the most populist speech of this campaign season.

"It's the people who are politically connected, it's the people who have access to Washington that get the breaks," he told an enthusiastic crowd of over 2,000 at a high school gym in Virginia.

"Well, no more. We don't want to pick winners and losers in Washington. ... Hardworking taxpayers should be treated fairly and it should be based on whether they're good, whether they work hard and not who they know in Washington. That's entrepreneurialism. That's free enterprise."

Sounds good, but earlier this week -- three days after being picked as Romney's running-mate -- Ryan went to Las Vegas to pay homage to Sheldon Adelson, the casino billionaire who is the poster boy for using money to become "politically connected" in Washington, and getting the "breaks" that come with it. Adelson has promised to donate up to $100 million to make sure Romney and Ryan are in the White House next year.

Much of Adelson's fortune comes from his casino in Macau, in China, via his money-greased access to Washington.

When China's pitch for the 2008 Olympics was endangered by a House resolution opposing the bid because of China's "abominable human rights record," Adelson phoned Tom DeLay, then House majority whip and recipient of Adelson's political generosity -- urging him to block the resolution, which DeLay promptly did. The next day, according to the New York Times, a Chinese vice premier promised Mr. Adelson an endless line of gamblers to the Macau casino.

The money Adelson has committed to putting Romney and Ryan into the White House is a business investment. Adelson has a lot riding on the 2012 election.

Last year, his Las Vegas Sands Corporation came under investigation by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission for possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act -- bribing Chinese officials to help expand its casino in Macau.

The U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles, meanwhile, is investigating whether the Sands Corporation violated federal money-laundering laws by accepting more than $100 million from high-rolling gamblers accused of drug trafficking and embezzlement, rather than reporting the suspicious funds to the government.

Ryan has also been a major recipient of contributions from billionaire energy moguls Charles and David Koch. Koch Industries PAC has donated more than $100,000 to Ryan's campaigns and his leadership PAC -- more than any other corporate PAC, according to a NY Times analysis of campaign records.

You see, Koch industries spans a variety of oil and gas investments -- whose value would be compromised if Congress and the White House got serious about climate change.

Small wonder Paul Ryan has emerged as one of Congress's most outspoken skeptics of climate change. He has also repeatedly voted against energy efficiency standards, including a House vote to prohibit the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.

Several months ago, when I debated Paul Ryan on ABC-TV's "This Week," he said we need to shrink the size of government because big corporations and wealthy individuals otherwise use government to their advantage.

"If the power and money are going to be here in Washington, that's where the influence is going to go ... that's where the powerful are going to go to influence it," he said.

It's an odd argument coming from Ryan because his proposed budget doesn't shrink government by cutting benefits and payments to big business and the rich. He increases military payments to defense contractors, for example, slashes Wall Street regulations, and gives giant tax benefits to the rich.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

http://robertreich.org/

Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.
Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Republican's Big Lies About Jobs (And Why Obama Must Repudiate Them)

Paul Ryan Still Doesn't Get It

What Mitt Romney Really Represents

The Minimum Wage, Guns, Healthcare, and the Meaning of a Decent Society

Why the Right-Wing Bullies Will Hold The Nation Hostage Again and Again

The Gas Wars

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
2 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

the same tired argument. Let me clue you in on som... by sbaker on Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 10:00:33 AM
Prof Reich gives a very cogent description of just... by manifesto 2000 on Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 6:28:19 PM