The more I see him on the cable shows, hear his sound bites, hear and read about his proposed programs the more I realized I knew very little about him. I may be resorting to stereotypes, I hope not, as a person is made up of many things - where did you go to school, what career steps did you take, who have you associated with, what kinds of endeavors have you engaged in, what advantages or disadvantages have you had available or had to overcome - in sum how did you come to your philosophy of life and in Ryan's case how he thinks we can most effectively be served by our government(s) and live in our democracy.
So I present this very cursory introduction to a few probes for information. I did say cursory - there is more to discover and comprehend, check and double check!
So I started with his name and searched the web ... looked at several sites for consistency and neutrality - Wikipedia looks pretty decent - after all sometimes these people write them all by themselves, sometimes with help and sometimes by scholars and sometimes by critics. This provides an enormous number of links to follow I picked one that I had never heard about? (I followed the links through the footnotes.)
Paul Davis Ryan, Jr. (born January 29, 1970) from the first paragraph ...
Paul Davis Ryan, Jr. (born January 29, 1970) is the U.S. Representative for Wisconsin's 1st congressional district, serving since 1999. He is a member of the Republican Party and has been ranked among the party's most influential voices on economic policy.
Born and raised in Janesville, Wisconsin, Ryan graduated from Miami University and worked as a marketing consultant and an economic analyst. In the late 1990s he worked as an aide to United States Senator Bob Kasten, a legislative director for Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, and a speechwriter for former Congressman, and Vice Presidential Nominee Jack Kemp of New York. He won a 1998 election to succeed two-term Representative Mark Neumann in the United States House of Representatives.
Ryan is the chairman of the House Budget Committee, where he has advocated for his Roadmap for America, a long-term spending reduction proposal which has received mixed endorsement from his party. He is one of the three co-founders of the Young Guns Program, an electoral recruitment and campaign effort by House Republicans.
The link I followed was in the second section ... about early life ... Empower America - up popped Freedom Works - that made me go hmmmm!
FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity both originated from a campaign called Citizens for a Sound Economy, which split in two in 2004. CSE was set up by businessman David KochKoch Industries). Citizens for a Sound Economy merged with Empower America in 2004 and was renamed FreedomWorks, with Dick Armey, Jack Kemp and C. Boyden Gray serving as co-chairmen, Bill Bennett focusing on school choice as a Senior Fellow, and Matt Kibbe as President and CEO.[contradiction] Empower America was founded in 1993 by William Bennett, former Secretary of HUD Jack Kemp, former Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, and former Representative Vin Weber. In December 2006, Steve Forbes joined the board of directors.
The Koch family foundations were the largest donors to FreedomWorks' parent organization, Citizens for a Sound Economy, contributing nearly $13 million between 1985 and 2005.
Whether you believe this makes Paul Ryan credentialed or guilt-ed is your choice. Looking at the underlying organizations that he has associated with helps me understand the policies that he proposes are nothing that should be unexpected and are not really new. They are just being packaged and marketed in a way that takes advantage of the current political and economic circumstances.
I wonder if the strategy is to make certain that if Ryan's policies are rejected the nuclear fallout misses the rest of the conservatives. If he fails he will survive and show up in a think-tank and if he succeeds he will be running for Vice-President. So much for fanciful thinking - that's all for now, folks!
NPR story ... wonder if they knew that Paul went to Miami University ... just a coincidence ... listen carefully to the opening credits!
WI 1848 Forward: You Heard Here 1st! #PaulRyan? Maybe VP (4/11/11)? : #47% #99% #DEMS #Progressives vs #elites #1%
WI 1848 Forward: Who is Representative #PaulRyan? Maybe VP (4/11/11)? : #47% #99% #DEMS #Progressives vs #elites #1%