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(As Congressman Paul Ryan cracked a joke about him, Tom Nielsen found himself face down on the floor being handcuffed by police. The 71-year-old retired plumber from Kenosha was thrown to the ground, placed in handcuffs, and arrested for trespassing and resisting arrest after objecting to Ryan's plans to gut Social Security and Medicare during his congressman's only public appearance scheduled during the August recess -- a $15 Rotary Club luncheon in West Allis on Tuesda)
I've heard many different descriptions of Rep. Paul Ryan from the media and Beltway pols since last Friday, so I'd like to throw one in the proverbial pot:
He's a typical Republican corporatist who hides behind economic word-salad mumbo-jumbo to get the big payoff for himself (VP candidate and $415,000 in Wall Street donations) and his customer base.
And as for the elderly of America, his position is the same as any other typical conservative you'd see on Fox News: We love seniors, we just want to take away their Medicare and Social Security.
Ronald Reagan ran government at 22 percent of gross domestic product when our population was much younger. Ryan and Romney want to run government at 20 percent of GDP even as the number of Americans on Social Security and Medicare doubles. Even if we slow these programs' growth, it's impossible to shrink the federal role in an aging society this sharply without eliminating vast swaths of what Americans have come to expect from government -- not to mention shortchanging already lagging investments in research and development and infrastructure.
Over time, Ryan's "vision" would decimate most federal activities beyond Social Security, Medicare and defense.
When I asked Ryan last October why he thought -- in his words -- "the historic size of government as a share of GDP, or smaller," was sound policy when we'd shortly be doubling the number of seniors on the biggest federal programs, he replied, "Because we can't keep doing everything for everybody in this country."
There hasn't been enough emphasis put on these words from Ayn Ryan. Now, a Democratic politician or adviser could never get away with it because they aren't allowed to by the commentariat. If Rachel Maddow said these words referring to our seniors, the GOP would plaster them in ads across the country, making it appear that she's married to Obama.
I wonder how our seniors would be served if the AARP gave Rep. Paul Ryan 415,000 greenbacks? I'd say much differently than he's been treating them up to this point. And how has he been treating them, you ask? Well, as Malcolm Tucker would say, 'violent sexual imagery' comes to mind. Ryan, unlike Tucker, doesn't bother to check to see if seniors would even be offended by it.
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(vulgar language alert)
Malcolm: In my quest to try and make you understand the level of my unhappiness I'm likely to use an awful lot of what we would call 'violent sexual imagery' and I just wanted to check that neither of you would be terribly offended by that?
Malcolm: You got on the record and off the record mixed up. What would have happened if like George Martin did that? We'd have no f*&king Beatles.
Only a person devoid of compassion and human decency would ever say something so crass to seniors: "Because we can't keep doing everything for everybody in this country."
Conservative policies led us the the Big Economic fail under George Bush and Ryan, but Rep. Paul Ryan can't be bothered with helping those who would suffer the most. Many world cultures revere their elderly and have an obligation to care for them; not so for compassionless conservatism.
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