Paul Ryan, like all House Republicans, voted against the stimulus package. Then Paul Ryan, like a bunch of House Republicans, wrote letters to federal agencies requesting stimulus funds for his district. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this – if there’s money on the table, you’re not doing your job as a legislator unless you try to grab some of it – but it does smack of hypocrisy. That’s especially true if you deny writing the letters and then get presented with them:
After repeated denials, Paul Ryan has admitted he requested stimulus cash even after sharply criticizing the program.
Ryan had denied doing so as recently as Wednesday, when he spoke to ABC’s Cincinnati affiliate, WCPO, in Ohio.
“I never asked for stimulus,” Mitt Romney’s new running mate said. “I don’t recall… so I really can’t comment on it. I opposed the stimulus because it doesn’t work, it didn’t work.”
Two years ago, during an interview on WBZ’s NewsRadio he was asked by a caller if he “accepted any money” into his district. Ryan said he did not.
“I’m not one [of those] people who votes for something then writes to the government to ask them to send us money. I did not request any stimulus money,” the congressman answered.
But as we’ve now learned, Ryan did write letters. He did request stimulus funds.
Ryan now calls the letters “part of constituent service.” Which is fine. But I think the casual lying in service to ideology matters more here. And it’s part of a pattern for a guy who’s only appeared on the national stage for a week. Ryan spent yesterday railing against China for manipulating its currency despite spending his entire career in Congress opposing measures that would have cracked down on Chinese currency manipulation and other unfair trade practices. Ryan has now done a triple flip on the Medicare savings in the Affordable Care Act, saying that they “were already in the baseline” and that’s how they made their way into his budget, and then disavowing his own budget by saying he would restore the “cuts” (which is another way of saying he would restore wasteful subsidies to Medicare Advantage and reimbursements to hospitals they have already agreed to forego).
Ryan tries to parry these clear flip-flops and dissembling statements by saying “I don’t want to get wonky on you” over and over. But these aren’t obscure, technical things that anyone would have trouble figuring out. Paul Ryan lies a lot. Period.
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