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Paul Ryan explains his votes for TARP, bailouts and tax on AIG bonuses
The Daily Caller ^ | 02/14/10 | Jon Ward

Posted on 02/14/2010 4:37:15 PM PST by FTJM

A recent column in which blogger Matt Lewis questioned the conservative credentials of Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, got a lot of attention on our Web site. A number of Daily Caller readers have commented about Ryan, saying he has cast votes they disagree with, particularly in favor of the $700 billion TARP bailout for Wall Street, the auto bailouts and the taxes on AIG bonuses.

Here’s how Lewis put it:

Though he talks like Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman, some of Ryan’s most high-profile votes seem closer to Keynes than to Adam Smith. For example, in the span of about a year, Ryan committed fiscal conservative apostasy on three high-profile votes: The Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP (whereby the government purchased assets and equity from financial institutions), the auto-bailout (which essentially implied he agrees car companies — especially the ones with an auto plant in his district—are too big to fail), and for a confiscatory tax on CEO bonuses (which essentially says the government has the right to take away private property — if it doesn’t like you).

While Ryan’s overall voting record is very conservative, the problem with casting these high-profile votes is that they demonstrate he is willing to fundamentally reject conservatism when the heat is on.

Because it is impossible to believe the highly intelligent and well read Rep. Ryan was unfamiliar with conservative economic principles, one must conclude he either 1). Doesn’t really believe in free market economics, or 2). Was willing to cast bad votes for purely political purposes.

I asked Ryan about these criticisms during a phone interview this week. Here’s what he had to say:

The DC: As you’re getting more attention, besides the criticism that you’re getting from the Democrats, I’ve also started to see some critical comments of you from the right over your votes for TARP, the auto bailout, and the tax on CEO bonuses. How often do you hear that in your home state, how often do you hear it on the Internet, and what do you tell people when they criticize you on those things?

Ryan: You know I don’t hear it here at home that much. You’ve got to remember Obama won my district. Dukakis and Gore won my district. Clinton won my district. So I don’t come from, you know, a red area. So I think it’s important to keep in mind where I come from. I don’t hear that here.

TARP. I’ll take one at a time. I believe we were on the cusp of a deflationary spiral which would have created a Depression. I think that’s probably pretty likely. If we would have allowed that to happen, I think we would have had a big government agenda sweeping through this country so fast that we wouldn’t have recovered from it. So in order to prevent a Depression and a complete evisceration of the free market system we have, I think it was necessary. It wasn’t a fun vote. You don’t get to choose the kind of votes you want. But I just think as far as the long term objectives that I have — which are restoring the principles of this country — I think it was necessary to prevent those principles from being really kind of wiped out for a generation.

Auto. Really clear. The president’s chief of staff [Josh Bolten] made it extremely clear to me before the vote, which is either the auto companies get the money that was put in the Energy Department for them already — a bill that I voted against because I didn’t want to give them that money, which was only within the $25 billion, money that was already expended but not obligated — or the president was going to give them TARP, with no limit. That’s what they told me. That’s what the president’s chief of staff explained to me. I said, ‘Well, I don’t want them to get TARP. We want to keep TARP on a [inaudible]. We don’t want to expand it. So give them that Energy Department money that at least puts them out of TARP, and is limited.’ Well, where are we now? What I feared would happen did happen. The bill failed, and now they’ve got $87 billion from TARP, money we’re not going to get back. And now TARP, as a precedent established by the Bush administration, whereby the Obama administration now has turned this thing into its latest slush fund. And so I voted for that to prevent precisely what has happened, which I feared would happen.

The whole AIG thing, you know that was — you know I obviously regret that one. I was angry at the time because I was worried that all these companies were jumping into TARP thinking they could use TARP as a way to best their competitors, as a way to get cheaper credit, to get money at cheaper rates, at the expense of their smaller competitors. And so I was seeing TARP as sort of a new tool of crony capitalism, and I thought it’d be a good signal to send to the large banks who were jumping into this thing, who really didn’t need it: ‘Stay away from this, don’t get in bed with the government, even though it might in the short term give you a leg up on your competitors, you’ll be burned. That was what was running through my mind at the time, given the fact that we had about six hours notice on the vote, and our lawyers were telling us that it was not a bill of attainder. Now when a week went by, and our lawyers had a chance to read it more clearly and carefully, they reversed their opinion of the bill and said it was in fact a bill of attainder, which therefore should not have passed … The other thing that bothered me was the Democrats were in a real political pinch, because Chris Dodd wrote in the exemption for those bonuses in the bill, and they were on the hook for it. And they were trying to get themselves off the hook and Republicans on the hook. And that bothered me too, was just the political cynicism behind it bothered me and I didn’t want to give the Democrats that as well. So those were the thoughts running through my mind when I had to make more or less the snap judgment on that bill.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: paulryan
OT: 69 threads and 2,000 posts in 15 months!

In honor of this, will someone please call me a newbie and tell me to go back to DU?

1 posted on 02/14/2010 4:37:15 PM PST by FTJM
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To: FTJM; stephenjohnbanker; mkjessup

Any Republican who voted for any of the bailouts is a RINO!


2 posted on 02/14/2010 4:41:47 PM PST by rabscuttle385 (Purge the RINOs! * http://restoretheconstitution.ning.com/)
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To: rabscuttle385
You’ve got to remember Obama won my district. Dukakis and Gore won my district. Clinton won my district. So I don’t come from, you know, a red area. So I think it’s important to keep in mind where I come from. I don’t hear that here.

A Freudian answer.

3 posted on 02/14/2010 4:47:25 PM PST by FTJM
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To: FTJM

What a tool.


4 posted on 02/14/2010 4:50:44 PM PST by rabscuttle385 (Purge the RINOs! * http://restoretheconstitution.ning.com/)
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To: FTJM

I can see where people may have gotten surprised by the TARP bailout and not completely understood what was going on.

I don’t see any excuse whatever for the Government Motors takeover. None. It was a pure union payoff, and it will end up destroying Detroit’s car companies.


5 posted on 02/14/2010 4:56:16 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: FTJM

Not so sure why people have recently been championing this guy. He sounds like Kerry trying to explain away a vote (well, I voted for it to prevent what I thought would happen and it happened anyway....HUH?!?!?)

Moreover, he basically admitted that he is playing to the crown by saying, “remember what district I’m in”. TARP, Porkulus and GM Bailout are all easy votes; I don’t care what the lawyers were saying the “commoner” had no problem determining that these were pork sandwiches


6 posted on 02/14/2010 4:58:58 PM PST by wiseprince
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To: FTJM
"TARP. I’ll take one at a time. I believe we were on the cusp of a deflationary spiral which would have created a Depression."

In other words, he wants to reinflate the bubble. In my mind, Paul Ryan's cautious answers to the questions have not alleviated the concerns Matt articulated. The representative wants it both ways, and for that reason, he cannot be a credible advocate of the free market. If Ryan does not see the virtue in voting in favor of the free market when given the opportunity, at the very least, the sincerity of his convictions must be questioned.

7 posted on 02/14/2010 5:03:15 PM PST by Cheap_Hessian (I am the Grim FReeper.)
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To: rabscuttle385

“Any Republican who voted for any of the bailouts is a RINO!”

Yes, by definition!


8 posted on 02/14/2010 5:13:22 PM PST by stephenjohnbanker (Support our troops, and vote out the RINOS)
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To: Cicero
"I can see where people may have gotten surprised by the TARP bailout and not completely understood what was going on."

I still have not seen a credible argument for blocking the price discovery process. The TARP vote was a coward vote.

9 posted on 02/14/2010 5:13:26 PM PST by Cheap_Hessian (I am the Grim FReeper.)
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To: Cicero

I agree with you on TARP, that was a most dire time for the markets.

The rest was a terribly misguided group of votes. No excuse at all.


10 posted on 02/14/2010 5:15:33 PM PST by Carley (Are you better off now than one year ago? HELL NO!!!!!)
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To: FTJM

in other words: the govt screwed up so we have to fix it with tarp and since tarp screwed things up, we need to fix it again with the auto bailout and since that screwed things up, we need another govt program to fix all of those problems and...


11 posted on 02/14/2010 5:22:20 PM PST by ari-freedom (Gong hey fat choy!)
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To: FTJM

“You’ve got to remember Obama won my district. Dukakis and Gore won my district. Clinton won my district. So I don’t come from, you know, a red area. So I think it’s important to keep in mind where I come from. I don’t hear that here.”

yeah I’m sure all those liberals were jumping and down for TARP and the auto bailouts. /sarc


12 posted on 02/14/2010 5:23:59 PM PST by ari-freedom (Gong hey fat choy!)
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To: Cheap_Hessian

I was against it. But you have your own Republican-appointed Treasury Secretary saying that if you don’t do it, the world will come to an end. It was not evident to everyone at the time that Paulson was a crook. I thought it was a mistake, but a lot of smart people said it was the only possible thing to do.

So, sure, the vote was misguided. But I’d be more incline to forgive it if he hadn’t voted for Obama’s Government Motors takeover.


13 posted on 02/14/2010 5:31:21 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: FTJM

NO QUARTER for anyone who voted for TARP, signed off on TARP, or had anything at all to do with TARP.

NO QUARTER.


14 posted on 02/14/2010 5:33:57 PM PST by Lorianne
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To: FTJM
"While Ryan’s overall voting record is very conservative, the problem with casting these high-profile votes is that they demonstrate he is willing to fundamentally reject conservatism when the heat is on."

New and Improved CONSERVATIVE RINO!

15 posted on 02/14/2010 5:55:06 PM PST by Leisler (We are in the best of hands)
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To: rabscuttle385

For all those of you who are so indignant about TARP, just ask yourself one question:

If we hadn’t passed TARP and foreigners had decided to liquidate all their time deposits from our institutions, how much more would it have cost the FDIC to pay off all of the bank deposits that were insured when ALL of the major financial institutions were shut?

All of you forget that the FIRST THING that happened before TARP was that most of the major money center banks raised capital from the foreign sovereign wealth funds, about $20 billion worth. ALL of that capital was lost in less than a month.

It was clearly stated to the US government by these investors who had just been RIPPED OFF by US institutions that if the government didn’t get involved they would withdraw their money from the US banking system.

THAT would have been TRILLIONS in withdrawals. All of you big talkers have any idea who would have replaced that money?

When a bank loses it deposits it either has to call in its loans OR SHUT DOWN IMMEDIATELY.

TARP was clearly the lesser of two evils. The problem with TARP is that it should have been given to the smaller, healthier banks to buy the assets of the schmucks that lost it, not to the large money center banks.

That way, moral hazard would mean something, the loss of power and lifestyle of the NY-centric banking world.


16 posted on 02/14/2010 7:02:45 PM PST by LRoggy (Peter's Son's Business)
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To: LRoggy

BS


17 posted on 02/14/2010 7:27:57 PM PST by rae4palin (islam is of the devil)
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To: rabscuttle385
The man certainly doesn't sound like a RINO to me. He gives a good explanation in the article about what he was thinking at the time.

I've seen him speaking on other occasions, and he seems like a strong fiscal conservative, he just got spooked by what was going on at the time.

18 posted on 02/14/2010 8:15:28 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: Political Junkie Too; Hawthorn; GOPsterinMA; darkangel82; Impy
"Ryan: You know I don’t hear it here at home that much. You’ve got to remember Obama won my district. Dukakis and Gore won my district. Clinton won my district. So I don’t come from, you know, a red area."

See what I mean by lemmings and stupidity here ? A member of our party doesn't know what "red" means when he just described his district voted for RED moonbats ?

19 posted on 02/14/2010 9:39:56 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps !"~~)
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To: FTJM

And this is why I don’t trust Paul Ryan despite so many here on FR Touting him as the Future of the Republican Party in Congress!! He is a useful idiot at best, and fool at worst (at least he doesn’t understand the Constitution).


20 posted on 02/14/2010 10:02:40 PM PST by JSDude1 (www.wethepeopleindiana.org (Tea Party Member-Proud), www.travishankins.com (R- IN 09 2010!))
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To: fieldmarshaldj; JSDude1; rabscuttle385; sickoflibs; AuH2ORepublican; Diana in Wisconsin

I saw Ryan on Glenn Back offering the same lame answers. I like Ryan but his excuses are lame.

I’d except “I made a big mistake. I was wrong”. That’s the only right answer.


21 posted on 02/15/2010 2:10:49 AM PST by Impy (RED=COMMUNIST, NOT REPUBLICAN | NO "INDIVIDUAL MANDATE"!!!!!!!)
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To: Impy

Bush won his district too, in 2004 and in 2000 under the new lines. Obama barley won it. It doesn’t count, McCain wrote off Wisconsin.


22 posted on 02/15/2010 2:12:02 AM PST by Impy (RED=COMMUNIST, NOT REPUBLICAN | NO "INDIVIDUAL MANDATE"!!!!!!!)
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To: rae4palin

Classy response, how about at least one attempt to FACTUAL respond?


23 posted on 02/15/2010 5:30:31 AM PST by LRoggy (Peter's Son's Business)
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To: Impy; rabidralph

Thanks for the ping, Impy.

This is kinda disturbing, Ralph. I know he’s one of our best and brightest - but are there ANY true conservatives out there that will stick to their guns?

“While Ryan’s overall voting record is very conservative, the problem with casting these high-profile votes is that they demonstrate he is willing to fundamentally reject conservatism when the heat is on.”


24 posted on 02/15/2010 5:35:44 AM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (Save the Earth. It's the only planet with chocolate.)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin
As I said previously, he lets his wife push him around.

The most conservative people who will stick to their guns are those of us with regular jobs who don't want to run for office. Thank God for Gov. Palin; she walks the walk and talks the talk. She's more like us than like them.

25 posted on 02/15/2010 3:47:36 PM PST by rabidralph ("Precedenting" is a lot tougher than community organizing.)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

I don’t throw the baby out with the bath water and I am willing to give some of our elected officials the benefit of the doubt but I would really appreciate a politician who voted the right way no matter what the alleged consequences.


26 posted on 02/15/2010 3:50:58 PM PST by rabidralph ("Precedenting" is a lot tougher than community organizing.)
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To: rabscuttle385

Still think Paul Ryan is a RINO?


27 posted on 02/26/2010 5:41:03 AM PST by Trust but Verify
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To: JSDude1

Do you really think Paul Ryan is an idiot?


28 posted on 02/26/2010 5:42:01 AM PST by Trust but Verify
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To: Trust but Verify

Yes.


29 posted on 02/27/2010 4:39:01 PM PST by JSDude1 (www.wethepeopleindiana.org (Tea Party Member-Proud), www.travishankins.com (R- IN 09 2010!))
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To: JSDude1; Trust but Verify

Great job JJ...this lady (I assume its a lady)drinks the Paul Ryan socialist kool aid...see my responses in other threads...

(


30 posted on 03/02/2010 3:03:42 PM PST by Gipper08 (a real conservative for Congress... travishankins.com)
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To: JSDude1
” He is a useful idiot at best, and fool at worst (at least he doesn’t understand the Constitution).”

No no...at worst he is a brilliant politician who will fool conservatives into lifting him up. At worst he is a politician with a huge thirst for POWER and his currency to get that power is YOUR freedom and YOUR Constitution...

31 posted on 03/02/2010 3:13:25 PM PST by Gipper08 (a real conservative for Congress... travishankins.com)
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