Journalism in the Public Interest


Paul Ryan Reading Guide: The Best Reporting on the VP Candidate

We’re going beyond the horse race and gathering the best stories out there on Congressman Ryan and his positions.


(Credit: Benjamin Myers)

Editor's note: This post was first published Aug. 11, 2012. It was corrected Aug. 12 and updated with new material Aug. 15 and Oct. 11. 

We’ve had several days to get to know Rep. Paul Ryan on the campaign trail, which means we’ve also had more time to review Ryan’s voting record. We’ve compiled a few more stories below -- please keep your suggestions coming in the comments or tag them on Twitter with #RyanReads.  

Paul Ryan’s voting record: Big-spending conservatism, Politico, August 2012
Politico scrubs Ryan’s voting record to see how his votes line up with his budget-cutting ways and finds that while he generally takes the party line, he has backed big-ticket legislation including the $700 billion TARP bailout, the 2003 Medicare prescription drug package and Alaska’s notorious “Bridge to Nowhere.”

Ryan’s non-budget votes, Washington Post, August 2012
Most of the focus on Ryan has been on the congressman’s much-debated budget. But Washington Post’s Wonkblog tallies at least 71 bills or amendments that Ryan has sponsored in his Congressional career. An overview of legislation Ryan has sponsored on issues such as Social Security, health care, and presidential veto powers as well as Ryan’s complete voting record from Project Vote Smart.

What is Paul Ryan worth?, Huffington Post, August 2012
Paul Ryan’s average net worth has grown since he was elected, from $382,865 in 1999 to $4.9 million in 2011, according to calculations by The Huffington Post’s Paul Blumenthal. But that growth had little to do with his political influence and more to do with his marriage to wealthy  Washington lobbyist Janna Little.


Want help going beyond the horse race? We're gathering the best stories out there on Congressman Paul Ryan, his positions, and his background. Have other stories to share? 

Fussbudget, The New Yorker, August 2012
This sweeping profile is a great introduction to Paul Ryan and his politics. Starting in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin, it lays out the evolution of Ryan’s economic beliefs, and his rise through the G.O.P – from his early affinity to Ayn Rand to failed attempts at privatizing Social Security, to his Path to Prosperity budget plan, which would make radical changes in Medicaid and other social programs. The article also looks at the ways that federal-funded projects have helped Ryan’s hometown--and notes that Ryan’s plan “would drastically reduce the parts of the budget” that are funding exactly these kinds of projects.

Ryan shines as GOP seeks vision, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 2009
A broad look at Ryan from his home-state paper at a time when Ryan’s national profile was on the rise. Ryan discusses, among other things, how having gay friends led him to break with his party on a gay rights bill in Congress and his “real passion” -- bowhunting.

The Legendary Paul Ryan, New York Magazine, April 2012
A look at how the Republican party rallied around Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity,” putting the newcomer’s fiscal agenda at the center of the 2012 presidential campaign well before voters had even chosen Romney as their Republican nominee.

On the paradox of Paul Ryan, The American Conservative, April 2012
What does Mitt Romney gain from Paul Ryan? Romney may be betting on a boost from conservatives who view Ryan as a hero for his aggressive stance on entitlements and federal spending, but as W. James Antle III points out, that may not be enough to win over grassroots conservatives. Antle writes that despite his anti-entitlements campaign, Ryan’s voting record “more closely resembles that of the Republicans who have lost to Tea Party primary challengers than that of a ruthless government-cutter.”

Man with a Plan, Weekly Standard, July 2012
The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes wrote a favorable profileof Ryan in July in the midst of veep buzz. The piece traces his entire career with a particular focus on how, in recent years, Ryan became “the intellectual leader of the Republican party.”

How Important is Altas Shrugged author Ayn Rand to Paul’s political philosophy?  The Atlas Society, April  2012
In a 2005 speech to the Atlas Society, Paul said, “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn can’t find another thinker or writer who did a better job of describing and laying out the moral case for capitalism.” According to the excerpts and audio of his speech posted on the society’s website, he also said that Rand was “required reading” for his interns and staff.  But recently, Ryan has said while he had read Rand’s novels when he was young, his supposed obsession with her was “an urban legend.” "I reject her philosophy," Ryan told Robert Costa at National Review in April. "It's an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview.”


A Closer Look at Ryan’s Budget Roadmaps, The New York Times, August 2012
As part of an in-depth look at Ryan’s polarizing House Republican budget plan, the New York Times highlights two studies of how the plan would affect Americans.  One, a long-term analysis by the Congressional Budget Office of some of Ryan's suggested changes to Medicare and Medicaid, found that, “Under the proposal, most elderly people who would be entitled to premium support payments would pay more for their health carethan they would pay under the current Medicare system.The other, a study by the Tax Policy Centerof the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, found that “the tax cuts in Paul Ryan’s 2013 budget plan would result in huge benefits for high-income peopleand very modest—or no— benefits for low income working households.”

What's Paul Ryan's foreign policy?  Foreign Policy, April 2012
While Ryan has a limited record on international affairs, he has spoken about everything from how to handle China (less hawkishly than Romney)  to getting cosier with rising powers India and Brazil. Foreign Policy’s helpful overview says the overall picture that emerges is “a bit of a Rorschach test.”  Ryan says the U.S. should stay deeply engaged-- "America is the greatest force for human freedom the world has ever seen” -- while he has also called for cutting funding for U.S. international aid.

Where the Candidates Stand on Medicare and Medicaid, ProPublica, September 2012

Paul Ryan supports major Medicare reforms that “almost precisely” mirror Romney’s, including the creation of a private marketplace where seniors would use federal vouchers to purchase health insurance – a change that would start in 2023. He also wants to repeal Obamacare (an idea not well received at his September speech to the AARP convention).

Obama, Romney, Ryan All Endorse Retraining for Jobless – But Are They Right?, ProPublica, October 2012 

Ryan’s hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin is a case study for a jobs strategy all candidates, including Ryan, endorse – retraining programs for the “long-term unemployed.” However, the government hasn’t collected comprehensive data on these programs since the recession. And when we did it, we found that the realities of retraining may not be as rosy as the politics. 

Ryan’s personal finances and connections

Ryan is wealthy--but not by Romney standards. The congressman reported 2011 assets valued at between $2.4 and $9.3 million, according to an Associated Press report looking at his recently filed financial disclosure form. The money is spread in small chunks over various stock investments and in business interests in Wisconsin and his wife’s home state of Oklahoma. You can browse his assets here(.pdf). Ryan also filed an amendmentto his disclosure noting that his wife's mother died in 2010 and the family gained interest in a trust worth between $1 and $5 million.

Paul Ryan’s Shrewd Budget Payday, Daily Beast, June 2011
The website takes a closer look at mining, mineral, and energy holdings owned by Ryan -- primarily in his wife’s home state of Oklahoma -- and how they would be positively affected by Ryan’s proposed tax policies. A Ryan spokesman told the Daily Beast: “These are properties that Congressman Ryan married into. It’s not something he has a lot of control over.” The piece also reports that relatives of Ryan have received federal farming subsidies.

Paul Ryan has got plenty of friends on K Street, Politico, August 2012
A brief look at the friends Ryan his wife Janna have made on K Street in their years in Washington, among them former Ohio congressman Mike Oxley (of Sarbanes-Oxley fame), who is now a lobbyist for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Janna Ryan, a tax attorney, herself worked as a lobbyist for PriceWaterhouseCooper, the article reports.  

Ryan’s Unlikely Alliance with Organized Labor  Mother Jones, May 2011
Ryan’s family construction business relies on union labor. “I grew up in organized labor,” Ryan told the Milwaukee Magazine in 2005. “I have a lot of constituents who are in organized labor. I really do not have this ‘us against them’ mentality.” As a congressman, Paul has worked closely with local union leaders and fought to protect the wages of construction workers. While many of his policy plans are directly opposed to what unions want, some unions have continued to support him. Over the course of his career, the Carpenters & Joiners Union has given him $57,500---only slightly less than he has received from Koch Industries, according to The Center for Responsive Politics.

Correction: This post originally said that the Mother Jones article was published in November 2012. It was actually published in May 2011.

Raju Narisetti

Aug. 11, 2012, 4:27 p.m.

Here is WSJ’s Big Interview video with Ryan since all the picks above are text based and not necessarily what Ryan is answering

The Big Interview With Paul Ryan (April 2012)

This guy’s been in the House since 1999, don’t you have anything from between then and 2009 when the earliest one of these pieces was published?

Hey, this story tells us more about Rep. Ryan than we know about o.ur president.

Tell us more about our current Presidents past!  We know nothing?????  He’s hiding everything

Tommy so tell me what is President Obama hiding. Sounds to me like some conspiracy thinking here, is he a Muslim, was he born outside the US of A?

Have you considered doing a side by side comparison of the present administrations numbers are taking us versus Paul Ryans analysis.  Could be interesting

Romney has a bllind trust and his wife buys $1000 blouses. Does anyone really believe Romney and co. can relate to and invigorate the middle class?

Jeff, you must be kidding.  Pres. Obama has spent millions keeping all of his academic records sealed.  Why?  Best guess is that he was admitted as a foreign student.  HTH.

see and learn about public corruption. We need Pres. Obama’s continued leadership and empowerment of the FBI and U.S. attorneys to prosecute corrupt public officials, including judges.

Donna, please help me on whoyou consider to be the middle class.

Donna, please help me on who you consider to be the middle class.

Donna, how do you feel about Michelle Obama spending $6800 on a jacket for the Olympics?  (Link below).  At least Ann Romney spent her own money!

Here we go again, the President is hiding his academic records, blah, blah, blah. We know more about President Obama than Romney or Ryan. Romney won’t show his tax returns, doesn’t want to talk about Bain, his time as governor, or his policies for this country (as if he has any). But I can see why he chose Ryan as his VP pick, they both want to enact laws that will benefit their own wallets & the wallets of the other 1% er’s. The people saying they know nothing about the POTUS is not because he’s hiding anything, but rather you refuse to believe anything that doesn’t come from Rush or Fox news.

Tony: Pres. Obama has spent millions keeping all of his academic records sealed. ? Why? He is a smart, very educated man.

He was admitted as a foreign student?
What if he were?

You, Tony, are simply nuts, repeating this kind of argument based on your ignorance.

Anyone who believes in Ayn Rand’s philosophy is crazy. (Like she was.)

Tommy: to go on and on about Obama’s hiding his academic records… you are showing your absolute stupidity and lack of education.

Check in with the mentally handicapped : they have more common sense than you do.

Tony- George W. Bush academic records sealed.  military records “lost.”  had most post 9/11 meetings at the off limits texas ranch- including holding hands with Saudi prince.  how was your conspiracy radar workin’ back then?

I meant this to go to Tony, as well:
to go on and on about Obama’s hiding his academic records… you are showing your absolute stupidity and lack of education.
All those things are available for you to see online, if they are important to you.
I wonder though, because I really think that you won’t know what to do with the information and understand what any of it means, your having barely a high-school certificate?

Check in with the mentally handicapped : they have more common sense than you do.

“early affinity to Ayn Rand…”

That should be “early affinity for Ayn Rand…”

What Paul Ryan has publicly said and written about the influence of Ayn Rand on his thinking is not going to be good for him and Romney in this election. Having said that her writing is what got him into politics; having stated that he requires his staffers to read Ayn Rand; having had Catholic priests condemn his budget as inhumane; having stated that Rand (not the Bible or the Consitution or anything else) was his major influence in writing the budget. Obama and Biden could very easily just mention these and then offer a few ridiculous quotes from Rand to show the public how extreme he is… Dividing the world into two extremes and pitting the “makers” versus the “takers” against one another, Ayn Rand and her evangelists are as guilty of class warfare as anyone else could be.

Mary, please supply a url where I can see the president’s academic records.

I have a Ph.D. from Stanford in economics.  Good enough, or do I have to point you to my entire cv?

The rest of you are simply deluded.  You have drunk the Kool-Aid(tm).  More to be pitied than anything else.


why announce vp on a saturday? why agree to release another tax return and wait until just before the election, bringing the whole thing up again? why pick someone that benefited from soc. sec. that now wants to abolish it.. doesn’t seem to be trying to win the election to me…

Tony Lima—why don’t we do this. Have Mittens show us his tax returns—then the POTUS can show you birther nutbags his academic records.

Salvatore DiChristina

Aug. 12, 2012, 6:44 a.m.

Let us look at the Ryan record.
Did Ryan oppose any of the 7 GW Bush raisings of the National Debt limit?
Did Ryan seek any of the “irrefutable proofs” that Bush/Cheney and other neocoms said they had?
Does Ryan realize that most of the unemployment happened under the Bush/Cheney era when it was proven beyond a doubt that trickle down does not work, never has worked and will never work?
Does the Ryan economic plan help the wealthy at the expense of the middle and lower economic classes?
Did not Ryan advocate privitization of Medicare when it has been proven beyond a doubt that it costs the consumer far less than privitized medical care?
And finally Didn’t Ryan vote in favor of fighting two wars on supplemental budgets? Didn’t Ryan vote for giving the rich a huge tax cut, partially paid for from the inheritance Clinton left Bush? Didn’t Ryan vote for a second unfunded tax cut, mostly to the wealthy? Didn’t Ryan also vote for the Bush unfunded medication plan?
And finally, all of the above costly expenses were kicked down the road for another President to bail this country out of the chasm Republicans put us in.

Wallace Robinson

Aug. 12, 2012, 8:03 a.m.

Conservatives are and were going to vote for Romeny before his VP selection and still are.  Why appeal to that side? Where is the beef?

Romney/Ryan/Rand…what a ticket.

The fact that Ryan can be seen as “moderate” by anybody shows how extremist things have gotten.  The mainstream GOP is now making Reagan look like a liberal in comparison!

Dennis Shreefer

Aug. 12, 2012, 8:47 a.m.

Ryan’s selection was most likely heavily weighted to the distaff side by selling wife Janna as a doting Janesville ‘mom’ of 3 cute little kids. Janna is also a well-connected former Washington DC tax attorney who knows her way around the power-centers of the nation’s Capital.

As for Obama grades, et al, he earned a BA from Columbia, worked a few years, then matriculated to Harvard Law. He edited the Harvard Law Review, partially based on his grades. He directed 80 student editors and graduated Magna Cum Laude. That’s the next 10% of his class with GPA’s as high as 4.749,  just under Summa Cum Laude in arguably the nation’s most prestigious law school. Almost nobody graduates Summa Cum Laude. In the last 60 years, only 4 faculty members have reached that rarefied status.

The president was also a research assistant for one of the most respected law professors in the country, constitutional scholar, Lawrence Tribe.

87, give or take, Nobel Laureates have graced the halls of the University of Chicago. The list includes Barack Obama. UC literally begged Obama to come on board and even provided him with his own office to write a book before he signed on. He was a 12-year Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Constitutional Law & 2 other courses according to UC’s website. He was offered a full-time position as Law Professor, but declined. 

Did UC Law get a peek at his academic records. You think? 

I applaud the intellectual curiosity of the anti-Obama crowd. Use some of that energy to delve into Romney’s worldwide (Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Ireland, Cayman Islands, The Bahamas) papering of money so as not to contribute taxes to this country he purports to love.

Drop him a line with this question - “Mitt, would you release all your tax returns since 2000?”

Donna Pacelli

Aug. 12, 2012, 9:21 a.m.

Go Dennis!

James M Fitzsimmons

Aug. 12, 2012, 9:37 a.m.

Seems like Paul Ryan has actually read the healthcare legislation. I find that encouraging. The questions he raises are worth thinking about. Is our current level of government spending sustainable, or not? Can health care costs and quality be increased by reducing trial lawyers influence, making insurance companies more competitive, motivating more doctor/patient responsibility etc. or not? Is it not reasonable to discuss his analysis without ad hominem attacks?
Ryan has stated that he does not agree with Ayn Rand’s philosophy because it denies the existence of God and reduces man to a mere economic entity.
If it can be demonstrated that increasing capital gains and dividend taxes will hurt employment opportunities and decrease economic growth will “progressives” still insist on “fairness”?

Joel J. Carlson

Aug. 12, 2012, 10 a.m.

Hey, Hugh! The middle-class CAN’T afford to pay $1000.00 for a blouse, much less $100.00! Especially since they have basically disappeared. THEY WERE the factory workers, the industry employees. With companies not wanting to pay more than a couple dollars an hour, they now have their factories in THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES. Isn’t it interesting that those SAME CEO’s and COMPANY EXECUTIVES continue to make their ABSURD salaries? Yet, an employee making $20.00 an hour is too much?!

Howard Katzman

Aug. 12, 2012, 10:04 a.m.

“Fiscal conservatives” state they want to be “realistic” and save money we do not have. Yet they do not hesitate to vote for two unfunded wars, medicare senior prescription benefits that do not allow the government to even negotiate the volume discounts that insurance companies are able to do. They were not complaining as George W. squandered the Clinton surplus. But now they are just trying to be realistic. What about the military budget items that even the military wants cut?

The basic tenet of supply-side economics, that more money to the rich will create investment and jobs for the society, does not make any sense to me. The rich already have wealth. That is the definition of rich. Why are they not investing those resources? Probably because there is limited demand because people will not spend when they are not employed or fearful of losing their jobs. The motivation for investment is whether there is a demand for the product or service in order to make a profit, not whether there are resources to invest.

As to the “birther” aguments.. What could be a more ridiculous argument? That there is a conspiracy from 1961 to mask the birth records of a black man in Hawaii in order to eventually become president? Who would have thought that a black man could be elected the president in 2002? Never mind in 1961, 4 years before the first civil rights legislation. Ask the fiscal conservatives what they and their parents thought of this possibility in 1961? Would this conspiracy not work better with the grandson of a US Senator and the son of wealthy oil man/ambassador/CIA director? They (whoever they are) would not be so foolhardy as to base their calculations on so many major changes in the society as have been seen in the president’s lifetime.

Dennis Shreefer, thanks!


Aug. 12, 2012, 11:02 a.m.

1m UP-8.8%

Charles Varani

Aug. 12, 2012, 11:08 a.m.

So, “Ayn” Ryan is worries about debt. Any stories we can read about how much he’s added to it with his votes, or with personal benefits? He did vote for two unfunded wars, two borrowed tax “cuts,” and the unfunded prescription drug bill. That’s about five trillion.

And since Tony is worried about the President’s preschool report card, when will we know more about Bishop Willard’s alleged cover up of church related sex abuse, his financial ties to Salvadoran death squads, his Swiss bank accounts, and his tax cheating?

Stephen Demetriou

Aug. 12, 2012, 3:07 p.m.

One small addition to romney’s list of questionable judgments… In setting up Bain Capital Romney sought funding from several wealthy Salvadorean families, some of which both the LA Times and the Boston Globe, as well as the NYT have reported as having ties to death squads. Romney claims the individuals were vetted, but the family connections are well documented. Some of these families still benefit from their investment in Bain. Romney has spoken publicly about the victims of leftist violence in Latin America, but UN investigations of many instances of violence in the political turmoil found that 85% of the incidents investigated could to be attributed to right wing paramilitaries, while 5% to leftists. Romney is the quintessential 1%er supporting the darker aspects of globalization and the Washington Consensus.

I witnessed on TV when Romney last Saturday introduced his VP: and now let me introduce the next president of the United States Paul Ryan”

Then Mitt hopped off the stage and Ryan started his stump speech seemlessly without any explanation that he is looking forward to being the VP ( not the P)

Then Ryan got off the stage after 15 minutes or so like an eternity and then Mit hopped back on and corrected himself and then the media doggies all chimed in that Obama had done the same mistake.  NOT SO FAST
Take a look at what Obama said in 2008:

Obama was thinking on his feet and corrected himself instantly but Romney had to lead by his handlers and Ryan never helped at all which is what the VP is supposed to do.

So who do you think you want to vote for to run this country?

Amazing that we still have birthers out there looking like silly mush brains.  And they can read.  Oh how they can pivot to avoid the obvious.  Sad,though. 
The wealthiest (Corp. & Indiv. tax gainers) absolutely are loving this mini distraction fueled by the media.  As long as we all stay distracted among ourselves, they will get their way.  Social issues are the thing of entertainment and distraction.  Women’s rights, education, voter suppression, teacher bashing.  So emotional. 
Control over the Way & Means Committee and the Senate will guarantee ever increasing wealth.  That’s all that counts.

America’s Choice: crony Social Darwinism versus crony Socialism:

Fernando Cabrera

Aug. 13, 2012, 12:48 a.m.

Romney please, show your 10 years income tax if there is nothing to hide.
Ryan: please, your plan for medicare and social security is insensitive and selfish. Telling the people that only will affect people below 55 years old is selfish. I won’t affect me, but if will affect my children and grandchildren that will only receive a voucher and when the money is gone here comes the “street for the old ones” I don’t know you; but I also want my children and grandchildren could have security when they grow old after contributing all their lives to the system.l And I don’t want any private company profiting in social security money paid by hard working Americans. Thanks, but no thanks Ryan.

Pepper Roberts

Aug. 13, 2012, 1:38 a.m.

Thanks Propublica for the indepth article on Paul Ryan.  So many of the comments are highly emotional and lack civility.  Laced with a few thoughtful and logical comments, thank goodness.  You loose any credibility when you resort to personal attacks.  Middle Americans are fed up with shallow media. To discuss the cost of certain peoples clothing and other personal attacks will not work as the over kill of the last election has caused many to cancel their newspapers and turn off television.  If President Obama does not resort to defending his record and continues the personal attack politicking he deserves to loose.  Remember it is media that laughs all the way to the bank at election time.  Reckless hate baiting on all sides is unacceptable.

Pepper, Obama has endured eight years of nothing but personal attacks on his character. Now, he is just suppose to play nice? I would rather have him do that than roll over and let the right wing and their draconian cuts and budget proposals coupled with tax cuts for the wealthy finish destroying this countries solvency.

cheetos n jams

Aug. 13, 2012, 5:26 a.m.

14 years of congressional service, and exactly 2 pieces of legislation passed.  Two.  In 14 years.  Before that he drove an Oscar Mayer Weiner mobile.  This is preparation?  Never mind the “I think a post apocolyptic writer that hated social programs and died cashing SS checks and accepting Medicare for cancer treatment” is his hero crap.  This guy appeals to the lunatic fringe.  He’s anti senior, anti education and anti woman.  What on earth was Romney thinking?  Did he not realize that elections are won in the moderate middle?  Guess not.

clarence swinney

Aug. 13, 2012, 9:25 a.m.



Max Baucus—Chair Senate Finance Comm—70% poll for Public option—
Bill hit his comm—- first act—removed public option for debate
shocked me—I trusted him. Zap. Report=he had $1,900,00 in his campaign kitty from health care industry..

The millions spent by thousands of Lobbyists expect favors. Buy them.

We need a Washington revolution and kick all out

Obama lost me with Gay Marriage. Totally disgusted. I am in a position I trust no one in Washington. I know few are very good but $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ BUYS ANYONE

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$  OUT OF GOVERNMENT———QUICK

NYT had superb article on Wall Street employees going into many many many government jobs in Congress and White House

They left for a much lower paying job.
Conclusion—Wall Street biggies are placing them in positions to make decisions for Wall Street.
Pay under table or? Many have done this. Worked in Wash for few years then back to Wall street into a higher paying job

This is sad sad.  RULES MUST CHANGE

NO $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$  IN WASHINGTON  

NYT had article on Interconnectivity between Board Of Directors in WSA firms
You vote for my pay+pension I vote for yours

5 big banks own 50% of deposits in 7000 banks and 10 own 80%

Restate Glass Steagall—-separate Casinos from local banks

County Banking Systems—local wealth kept local to create more local wealth and jobs
WASHINGTON SOLUTIONS (Congress + White House)
Requires overturning Corp is a person
1. fed fund election—6 mos-3 primary 3 general—free equal tv time—debate a week=12=adequate to evaluate candidates NO $$ =O
2. Since they will not need campaign funds Ban them from receiving anything of a financial value   this closes K St.
3. Progressive Flat Tax by group—We have the income to pay our way-do it
We rank #2 as lowest taxed in OECD nations. We have an income of $14,00 billion yet tax 2400 and borrow 1300. Dumb?

Wow, I haven’t seen this much petty name-calling since junior high.  I can see this election will be conducted entirely rationally, with vocabulary like “mushbrains,” “nutjobs,” and insinuations of mental capacity and honesty.

You wonder why the rest of the world makes fun of us?  You’re fighting over which politician has a greater right to secrecy about his past, which should be trusted with more blind faith.

Here’s the thing:  Both Romney and Obama deliberately and loudly belittle any attempt to investigate their past, and refuse to put rumors to rest, even when they could easily do so.  Why would any American even consider supporting such a person to lead a republic?

(As far as the “birther” thing goes, why shouldn’t every candidate prove his eligibility?  You or I are required to divulge such things at many companies by law, so why shouldn’t we hundred billion hiring managers get the same—in 2008, for both Obama and McCain?  Both have questions revolving around their “natural citizenship,” after all.  Or do we not care if the only three requirements for the job are met?)

Yeah, I know.  I’m a stupid-head and my mom’s really fat.  Well played!

Way to go, John.  I could say more, but I wouldn’t risk the impact of your comments.

clarence swinney

Aug. 13, 2012, 11:33 a.m.

Want Jobs Hire Democrats
Net New Jobs Per Year
Rounded numbers
Wall Street Journal 1-19-09

Ford———-  745,000
Bush I——-  625,000
Eisenhower 438,000
Bush II——  375,000


Per Day In Office
Democrat—-10,125 Days
Republican-13,149 Days

Jobs per day
Carter + Clinotn got 222,000 per month in 12
Three R in TWenty—1980-2009 got 99,000

Shripathi Kamath

Aug. 13, 2012, 12:44 p.m.

Here is Paul Ryan’s voting record.  Kinda important, because it is the only thing that tells us what he’ll do, and not what he says:

From the Republican Liberty Caucus of Wisconsin, the page from the site was taken down on Aug 11, 2012.

Paul Ryan on Bailouts and Government Stimuli
-Voted YES on TARP (2008)
-Voted YES on Economic Stimulus HR 5140 (2008)
-Voted YES on $15B bailout for GM and Chrysler. (Dec 2008)
-Voted YES on $192B additional anti-recession stimulus spending. (Jul 2009)

Paul Ryan on Entitlement Programs
-Voted YES on limited prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients. (Nov 2003)
-Voted YES on providing $70 million for Section 8 Housing vouchers. (Jun 2006)
-Voted YES on Head Start Act (2007)
-Voted YES on extending unemployment benefits from 39 weeks to 59 weeks. (Oct 2008)

Paul Ryan on Education
-Voted YES on No Child Left Behind Act (2001)

Paul Ryan on Civil Liberties
-Voted YES on federalizing rules for driver licenses to hinder terrorists. (Feb 2005)
-Voted YES on making the PATRIOT Act permanent. (Dec 2005)
-Voted YES on allowing electronic surveillance without a warrant. (Sep 2006)

Paul Ryan on War and Intervention Abroad
-Voted YES on authorizing military force in Iraq. (Oct 2002)
-Voted YES on emergency $78B for war in Iraq & Afghanistan. (Apr 2003)
-Voted YES on declaring Iraq part of War on Terror with no exit date. (Jun 2006)
-Voted NO on redeploying US troops out of Iraq starting in 90 days. (May 2007)

john matthews

Aug. 13, 2012, 6:48 p.m.

Paul Ryan is probably a plus for the democrats, since—apart from the medicare, etc,-he’s also on the extreme right of Americans on social issues. If his wife was a victim of a sex crime, he’s in favor of having the child. Reminds one of first George v. the Duke. In reverse.

I appreciate your political savvy , backed up with pertinent articles. As you seem to be. As we would like to
They are very helpful to those of us who are not as knowledgeable as we would like to be.  However I would appreciate it even more. If you were not insulting . The letters to the University Of Chicago as written by alumni of their magazine, can be arrogant and pedantic in their correction of grammar and spelling.  This not a sign of their education
.only their elitism.  Let’s not fall into this trap and be respectful when we disagree with each other.  can you tell I’m a former Montessori teacher?

Theodora Crawford

Aug. 14, 2012, 11:13 a.m.

Thank you for the helpful list of articles on Ryan for those who feel important issues beg researched opinion. Of course your list is not a complete—who has time, and other resources do exist. What has astonished me is the veniality of most comments. Perhaps an option to vote a comment good, bad or inappropriate would enhance this site.

Sadly, only a few readers referred to any of the articles listed; most took space to opine, often ignoring civility. We should each examine our own reactions and opinions. What is triggering such emotions, even rage frequently shown above? Fear of the other? the unknown?

Paul Ryan and Human Rights; Joanne Mariner at The Verdict, 8/13/12

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