Why Paul Ryan should sit down and be very quiet

For nearly half a century now, America’s middle-class working families have been pummeled by corporate greedmeisters and their political henchmen. Indeed, in just the last decade, the typical median-income family has lost 60 percent of their wealth. Haven’t they been punished enough?

No, says House Speaker Paul Ryan. Along with other top Republican leaders of Congress, he intends to slash the Social Security money that middle-class and low-income workers depend on, and he ultimately is out to kill it altogether. Dependence on such public “entitlements,” he preaches, weakens our nation’s morality.

Entitlements? Social Security isn’t a welfare program – regular working people pay a 12 percent tax on every dime of their wages into the this public pension fund year after year. They earn their retirement!
Morality? Social Security embodies America’s core moral value of fairness and our society’s commitment to the common good. And it works – before it was enacted, half of all Americans spent their “golden years” in poverty. Social Security has saved the great majority of us from old-age penury. Where is the morality in taking this earned retirement and modicum of dignity from millions?

Besides, a sermon on the morality of entitlements should never come from a congress critter’s mouth. Speaker Ryan himself wallows in a mud pit of congressional entitlements that working stiffs couldn’t imagine getting: A $223,500 annual paycheck, free limousine and chauffeur, a maximum-coverage health plan, a tax-paid PR agent, lavish expense account, free travel… and, of course, a platinum-level congressional retirement program funded by the very taxpayers whose Social Security he’s out to kill.

Yet Ryan wonders why Congress’ public approval rating is plummeting toward single digits.
“Workers enduring 50 years of decline,” Austin American Statesman, May 27, 2016.
“‘Reform’: Reducing our Social Security,” Austin American Statesman, January 1, 2017.
“Social Security ‘reform’ will punish middle class,” Austin American Statesman, January 8, 2017.
‘”Bankrupt’ isn’t right word for Social Security,” Austin American Statesman, January 22, 2017.


What’s 2017’s biggest banking fraud?

Remember way back in time, back in the old days of… 2016? Back then, Trump was on the political stump, promising that, by gollies, he would stop Wall Street bankers from scamming and robbing consumers and workers. Where did that guy go?
To Wall Street. Once ensconced in the White House, Trump has openly betrayed us by helping the financial powers get more power to gouge. In fact, he has even put six Goldman Sachs executives in America’s top economic policy positions.
For example, one obscure Goldman-Sacher named Steve Mnuchin is now honcho of the Treasury Department, overseeing America’s economy. Aside from the fact that he played an ugly role in Wall Street’s foreclosure frenzy, having forced some 10,000 homeowners out of their homes, Mnuchin also has an honesty problem. In submitting his statement of personal wealth to the US Senate – oops! – he failed to include $100 million in wealth that he had stashed in an offshore tax haven. Not trying to hide anything, just an oversight, he assured senators, claiming he was confused by the Senate’s “complicated” financial reporting forms.

Really? If this bigtime banker can’t keep track of $100-million-worth of this own real estate assets, why trust him to handle the ultra-complex wealth of our nation. Is he lying… or just incompetent?
Far from protecting us from Wall Street greed, Trump’s Goldman Sachs Alumni Club is pushing so-called “reforms” to protect Wall Street from us! Their first move is to try killing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the only federal agency whose only priority is to protect common consumers from credit card gouging, bank fraud, predatory payday lenders, and other corporate thievery. Trump’s reforms are the biggest fraud of all. To battle them, contact the Consumer Federation of America: www.ConsumerFed.org.

“Trump team moving to reshape financial rules,” Austin American Statesman, February 10, 2017.
“Consumer Watchdog Faces Attack by House Republicans, Memo Reveals,” The New York Times, February 10, 2017.
“Trump adds even more Goldman Sachs executives to his administration,” New York Daily News, January 12, 2017.
“Steve Mnuchin Failed to Reveal $100 Million in Assets, Links to Tax Haven Company,” ABC News, January 19, 2017.