Paul Ryan, King of Pork

Paul Ryan, King of Pork.

We learned during last night’s vice presidential debate that Paul Ryan thinks the President’s stimulus package was a total waste of money.

They passed the stimulus. The idea that we could borrow $831 billion, spend it on all of these special interest groups, and that it would work out just fine.

Ryan went on to call the stimulus bill “Crony capitalism and corporate welfare.”

VP Biden responded, of course, that Paul Ryan tried to carve out some of that crony capitalism and corporate welfare for his own constituents in two letters he penned to the vice president seeking stimulus pork for his own voters.

Pigs via Shutterstock

And AP reports today, having gone through thousands of pages of Ryan’s congressional correspondence, that Ryan also sought stimulus funds for environmental projects, even though he criticized “green” stimulus funds in last night’s debate.

Ryan also wrote to the EPA in 2009 on behalf of a small town trying to secure $550,000 in stimulus money for utility repairs. Ryan, whose staff requested meetings with the EPA about the matter, said the rescinding of the grant “would be economically devastating” to Sharon, Wis., since it already began spending the money. (The EPA said project costs were incurred before October 2008, making the project ineligible for stimulus cash.) Ryan has also voiced support for millions in EPA grant money to clean up abandoned building sites in Wisconsin towns.

Even better, AP found that Ryan sought funds under the evil Obamacare, another program he wants to repeal because it’s allegedly so “bad.”

A Kenosha health center’s request to use money under Obama’s new health care law to help meet health care needs of “thousands of new patients” who lack coverage. Ryan’s December 2010 letter to the Department of Health and Human Services, first reported by the Nation magazine and also obtained by the AP, appears at odds with his pledge to repeal “Obamacare.”

Interestingly, during the debate Ryan tried to pass all of this off as something that every congressional office does. Well, yes, and it’s called “pork.”

But of course, it’s really not something that every politician does. You’ll recall that GOP Governor Rick Perry didn’t try to carve out stimulus pork for his constituents, he turned the money down. Sarah Palin turned the money down too, as Governor of Alaska. And so did the Republican governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford.

When faced with the decision as to whether they should try to carve out stimulus “pork” for their constituents, a lot of Republican politicians said “no.” Paul Ryan, however, said YES!

Is Paul Ryan now saying that Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, and Mark Sanford went too far? If those politicians were willing to forgo stimulus monies for their constituents, why couldn’t Paul Ryan?


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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