Paul Ryan may have finally won the acceptance of the ravenous ultraconservative jackals that make up the House “Freedom Caucus,” but we musn’t forget who he really is – a hardline austerity hawk whose voting record is so far to the right that the New York Times described it as equivalent to Representative Michele Bachmann(R-MIN). As Speaker of the House, he is responsible for setting his party’s legislative agenda – and if you thought the Boehner years were bad, Ryan will be a whole different story.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MASS), a fierce progressive champion for the American middle class who has been instrumental in creating the Consumer Protection Bureau and tightening the restrictions on reckless Wall Street banks, is very concerned by his politics. She took the podium at a POLITICO event on Wednesday and unloaded on the new Speaker, calling his budget proposals “truly breathtaking. We seem to have a breakdown in just a kind of agreement about what government is supposed to be about. We’re talking about someone who wants to privatize large parts of Social Security, someone who wants to make big cuts in the investments we make in education, in infrastructure, in the pieces that help us build a future together.”
Paul Ryan wrote the infamous “Path To Prosperity” budget, which called for replacing Medicare with a voucher system (privatization), repeal Obamacare *of course), slash all government funding in half and turn vital federal agencies into for-profit private enterprises, and cut taxes for multinational corporations. The American people resoundingly disapproved of his extremist austerity budget (84% disapproval), but that didn’t stop him from trying to ram it through Congress anyway. He is also a strict social conservative who works tirelessly against Planned Parenthood, gay marriage, and once “even worked with Todd Akin to redefine ‘rape.'” Ryan is an extremely dangerous ultraconservative who prays before the alter of Ayn Rand’s free market fascism – we cannot let him have his way with our budget and nation.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.