Ryan responds to ‘distortions and demagogueries': ‘Shame on them for doing it’

It was certain to attract this sort of response, but Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan released his budget plan going forward that includes some sweeping changes to federal expenditures, including entitlement spending.

One of those criticisms came from Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman New York Rep. Steve Israel. On Tuesday, immediately following Ryan’s release, Israel called it a “privatization scheme” and blasted it for addressing subsidies to oil companies.

However, in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute on Tuesday, Ryan fired back, admitting he saw this coming and called such criticisms “distortions and demagogueries.” Ryan specifically called out Israel for his political opportunism.

“Steve Israel is the head of the Democratic campaign committee,” Ryan said. “He’s in charge of their reelection effort, of the political machine, and here’s the deal –is this a political weapon? Of course it is. But you have to say things like that, which are distortions and demagogueries, no two ways about it, in order to score these kinds of political points.”


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Ryan explained how the worst experience of his years in Congress was during the financial collapse of 2008 and the extraordinary measures the federal government had to take through the passage of TARP, which he compared to the pending fiscal crisis if the federal government remains on its current track. But he said fearing the political backlash and not acting would be the wrong thing to do.

“Let me ask it this way – what if your congressman and your president knew that was coming?” Ryan said. “Remember, this caused people to use trillions in wealth, millions of jobs were lost – we’re still trying to recover from it. But what if your representative in Congress and your president saw it coming, knew why it was coming, knew what the cause of it was, knew in enough time to prevent it from happening  and knew what he had to do to prevent it from happening, but chose not to do so because he was worried about politics? Because he was worried about the press release that was going to come from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee? What would you think of him? I mean think about this – this is wrong.”

Ryan said he thought the American people were ready for the conversation, regardless of the political backlash.

“This is the most predictable economic crisis we’ve ever had in this country,” he said. “We owe it to our countrymen – the men and women in this country to fix this problem while it’s still fixable,” he said. “And so shame on people who want to demagogue and politicize this. But I think this country is better than that. And I personally believe from representing a district that went for Clinton, Gore, Dukakis and Obama that Americans are ready for honest talk. They’re ready to be spoken to like adults. They’re ready for fact-based conversations without budget gimmicks, accounting tricks and all of the rest, to about what is really needed to save this country. And what this plan shows you is that this country can still be saved. It is the idea that this country can still be preserved. And I personally believe the country is ready for that, no matter what.”

  • Spring

    And the assault continues. Nothing in Ryan’s bill addresses the causes, just punishments for the innocents in this ongoing GOP war on America’s middle class. Republicans have shown they don’t care about what good for Americans just a drive to keep taxpayer money going to their cronies.

  • esby

    Hilarious. Ryan’s projecting 2.8% unemployment. And everybody gets a diamond!

    • BigRmv

      esby, you need to figure out what you are really all about. I don’t recall you chiming in about the “hopey/changey/feel good” numbers that Obama’s people keep making up and releasing to the press. Didn’t see any snarky espy comments about (the impossible to quantify) MILLIONS of jobs saved by the Big O.

      But let one person hand you an opinion–a plan–to move forward; a plan designed to get the ball rolling and solve a problem before it starts; a plan to begin the conversation. Then–BAM!!–there you are with all of your buddies like KingFish (who blames everything all on Jews) and Spring and others.

      I get the feeling that you don’t want the country to succeed. I get that feeling from all Democrats. Democrats blasted the amnesty idea that GWB laid out for illegal immigrants. His was an effort to keep families together and help the economy while making the illegals Toe The Line and follow the rules. And the reason you objected is that Republicans would get the credit, not because it was a bad solution.

      But fast forward a couple of years and the Democrats are pushing not just for amnesty, they want to assimilate those illegals, give them the right to vote, have drivers licenses, go on welfare, go to school, count in census, etc. because–suddenly–it’s a human rights issue. And we know who would get the credit and votes, don’t we?

      esby — You are disingenuous. You simply hate anyone who doesn’t see eye-to-eye with you and you come to these forums to try to pick fights. Just grow up, won’t you?

      • esby

        Totally untrue. I just come here for the latest Charlie Sheen news.

        Seriously, I want America to fail? To be honest, most of the time I just point out hypocrisy with conservative values, which aren’t consistent on the DC. For instance, farmer’s markets were recently mocked in another thread for being all liberal hipster and everything, and I pointed out they were a non-partisan successful model of free markets. Or how about the argument to defund NPR because then they should have the right to say what they want in the commercial market, but some want to call HBO and complain because they don’t like their programming, even though nobody is making them pay for it.

        These ideas are pushed by the DC, its readers don’t have to take the bait.

        I don’t hate anyone. It is true that I am irreverent sometimes, but come on, this is the DC. You’ll never catch me name calling, though. Sorry, this is not a serious site, this is a site for bomb throwing.

  • Dave J

    Paul Ryan is an American Hero, congratulations Rep Ryan. Thanks for doing all the heavy lifting in the gutless drunk on power Washington, DC. I hope the POTUS is watching to see how he should be behaving. Ryan is that rarest of Politicians, a straight shooter.

    • BRWils

      I hope TOTUS is watching so that it will finally put some honest words in POTUS’ mouth.

  • MacHost

    Ryan said he thought the American people were ready for the conversation, regardless of the political backlash.

    We are ready for a conversation but it needs to be adult, sensible, logical and must include eliminating tax breaks and subsidies, letting the Bush tax breaks expire, and cannot include any mention of Social Security. Is the Republican Party, or Congress in general, ready for THAT conversation?

  • ladylove

    most AMERICAN CITIZENS, have had to learn to live on a lot less, they have had to cut their budgets, giving up things they once took for granted.

    it is time our government, and especially the PRESIDENT, need to learn to do the same thing.

    so where are the fear mongers, flips, point, gooners, the die hard, come on tell us how we will suffer if they cut the budgets.

    tell us what we will lose.

    but don’t tell us what we will gain.

    • ladylove

      that is supposed to be poink, not point, not that her age and possibly in the first stages of some form of dementia would notice.

      • Drahcir

        Did you make a mistake,ladylove? I thought you were making a joke at them.

      • The_anniebanannie

        Pinkypoop is at the GaGa Junior High snotty cheerleader wannabe tryouts.

  • SunnyJ

    Paul Ryan has been working on this for over 2 years, going against the grain of the party, that didn’t want to stir the politically incorrect pot. Mr Ryan shows true leadership (having no authority 2 yrs ago when he first presented the idea of his plan)in standing firm and keeping the issue from being swept under the political carpet. We need to get behind him and push to give him the juice he needs to get DC to blink on this. And trust me, while he’s at it…he’s got Obama blinking ovetime right now. This is what leadership looks like.

    • virginiagentleman


  • genetics73

    Bravo, Congressman Ryan!