Paul Ryan wants time off for his new job that he doesn’t think American families deserve

I live in Madison, Wisconsin, which is less than an hour’s drive away from the home of maybe, probably, soon to be Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

Ryan is accepting the job based on a series of demands that he has made. Like any other job interview, Ryan’s prospective employers — members of his own political party — can accept his demands or tell him to shove off. But it seems like, for now, even the extremists in his party are willing to give Ryan most of what he wants.

Among these demands Ryan has included the requirement that accepting the role won’t take away time from his family. “Janna [Ryan’s wife] and I have children in the formative foundational years of their lives,” he explained.

It’s actually a noble stance for Ryan to take, and it personifies him in a way that he failed to accomplish by washing already-cleaned dishes for a photo-op during his failed run for Vice President. Ryan actually seems human for making an unusual demand in Washington.

His place as possibly the only unifying force in his party right now affords him the ability to make such demands. If only we all were so lucky.

The future Speaker would like to see his family members on a frequent basis, and flies to his home state every weekend just to do so. Living in Wisconsin, I can personally attest to the fact that, for many families in the area, Ryan’s demands are highly atypical.

Paul Ryan's Congressional portrait

Paul Ryan’s Congressional portrait

Constituents of Ryan’s that actually live in Wisconsin, and who work mere minutes from their own homes, cannot afford to take weekends off. Among many other expenses that a Congressman may have the luxury to ignore, these workers have to pay for childcare, which in our state is exceedingly high in costs. Yearly spending for keeping a four-year old in daycare, for example, is higher than sending a freshman to college.

In Brown County, home of the Green Bay Packers, a single mom earning $9.00 an hour and working 40 hours a week would pay nearly half of her income in child care expenses alone. A mom in this situation would undoubtedly benefit from child care subsidies — a program whose funding Paul Ryan has threatened to slash in the past.

Ryan has also proposed slashing food stamps, one of the single most effective programs in lifting people out of poverty we currently have. Ryan’s 2014 budget would have cut more than $135 billion from the program. That single mother from Wisconsin earning $9 an hour would have seen her $11 per day allotment of food stamps for herself and her child cut significantly under the Ryan budget plan.

And when it comes to paid family leave, Ryan is nothing more than a hypocrite on the issue. The Speaker-to-be, who demands weekends off to spend time with his kids, voted against allowing federal workers paid time off to be with their own children during the first month after birth.

Our nation is just one of two nations out of 185 surveyed by the International Labor Organization not to guarantee workers — government or private sector — paid time off (the other is Papua New Guinea). And yet Ryan, the prospective new Speaker of the House, wants to have his own family time recognized, well beyond the time of birth no less.

It’s increasingly frustrating to see Republican lawmakers like Paul Ryan make such demands when others are struggling. As a Wisconsinite, it’s heart-wrenching to see other families face such overwhelming difficulties, and then have a person like Ryan blaming poverty on lazy, inner-city men.

(I can’t imagine who he’s referring to. Oh wait, I totally can.)

Paul Ryan wants to spend time with his family, and he doesn’t want to take on a new role if it cuts into that time. I don’t blame him; millions of Americans feel the same way as he does. Unfortunately for them, they don’t have the luxuries that the soon-to-be Speaker of the House does. Most Americans just have to suck it up. That Ryan doesn’t seem to understand that burden makes him a terrible Speaker of the House, even before takes hold of the gavel.


Chris Walker has been a political writer for more than ten years, contributing freelance opinion pieces to several online publications as well as managing his own blog, Political Heat, for more than six years. With a B.A. in Political Science and Journalism, Chris tries to bring a unique angle to every article he produces, including Millennial perspectives on the issues he's covering. Chris resides in Madison, Wisconsin, and proudly owns both a cheesehead and stock in the Green Bay Packers.

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31 Responses to “Paul Ryan wants time off for his new job that he doesn’t think American families deserve”

  1. dcinsider says:

    Of course it’s for me to say. I’m the one supporting them with my tax dollars.

  2. Houndentenor says:

    And had only negative things to say about Jesus and Christianity. In the late 70s the movement of merging Fundamentalist Christianity with some elements of Objectivism (only the economic ones mostly) began at Wheaton College. It’s amazing to hear Christians basically quoting Ayn Rand without knowing the source. It was intentional both to inject that thinking into Evangelical Christianity AND to hide the origins of that line of thinking. When I call people out on what they have just said they claim (probably truthfully) that they’ve never heard of Rand. They live in a fundamentalist bubble with little secular media that isn’t Fox News or right wing talk radio.

  3. dcinsider says:

    I am not a heartless dick, and I certainly do not have a problem educating our youth with free public education because that benefits society. And you are correct, these kids will pay Social Security, which may or may not be available to me one day (and of course I’ve paid in probably more than I’ll get.) I am not suggesting that we toss these kids on the trash heap, I am simply pointing out that our society’s value on procreation is misplaced, and that these people should not have had these kids without adequate resources to feed, clothe, and perhaps provide for higher education.

    Pointing out that hetero-normative policies of supporting and enoucraging procreation are not beneficial to this family or society.

  4. dcinsider says:

    I’d suggest we need more of my values in the gene pool. It’s called personal responsibility.

  5. dcinsider says:

    Given she was an Atheist. :)

  6. Doug105 says:

    Sorry, you must be looking for the sex worker site try sugardaddy.com

  7. smartacus says:

    wait.
    – OK i understand what you’re saying that he will be old and feeble and dependent on society around him.
    -But he did pay into the system and that care is owed to him.

  8. smartacus says:

    i completely agree. Getting married and starting a family are personal choices and the childless taxpayer should not share the expenses and sacrifices.
    They weren’t going into parenthood blind. There’s plenty of common knowledge of the expenses and sacrifices involved yet they chose to have kids anyway.

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  10. The_Fixer says:

    First off, let’s get one thing straight: They are not asking for free child care, and I did not say that they are. I was merely pointing out that while Paul Ryan has a literal free ride to go and see his children on the weekends, a lot of people are struggling. These people have worked their asses off, continue to do so, and are not asking for outright grants of money to waste.

    And while they at one time were receiving food stamps, they are not now.

    If I were in their situation, it would be easy for me to say that they should have waited to have children. Alas, I am not. And I was not privy to their decision-making process. I don’t know the reasons for them deciding to have a family now, and neither do you. They may have considered a number of reasons for not putting off the decision to have a family. One may be that the older a woman gets, the more likely she will experience pregnancy complications. Regardless, neither one of us knows what entered into their decision.

    Unlike you and me, a lot of the rest of our society wants children. Although I am not a fan of unplanned or casual reproduction as I feel we have enough people already, we are the exception to the rule. Our culture, and many others, places a high value on reproduction. That’s a fact of life, and no amount of bitching at people to not have children is going to change that. I suggest that you get used to it, I have.

    I might also remind you that there are a lot of things that we pay for, things that give us no direct benefit – or at least it seems that way. I don’t have school-age children, yet I pay for schools. Why? because an educated populace is a productive populace that does not have to resort to crime in order to feed themselves. I pay for roads I will never drive on, but know that a good transportation system benefits us all. I have no objection to paying for food stamps because if someone develops health problems from not eating properly, I will likely pay in other ways. And on, and on. We all do it. That’s part of living in a what we try to have – a cooperative society

    Although you consider yourself a liberal, your last sentence sounds very much like a Libertarian party talking point. I am not in favor of wasting money either, but investing in the common good is not wasting money.

    I suggest that if you want to complain about the way your tax dollars are spent, consider the money spent on Paul Ryan’s airfare, the truckloads of money we shovel at the Military-Industrial Complex, the billions of dollars that were mysteriously disappeared from a pallet in Iraq or any one of a number of cases of cronyism that financially benefits someone, but not us.

    Don’t bitch at me or my friends, they are trying like hell to just get by. Perhaps they could have fine-tuned their timing, but that’s not for you or me to say.

  11. mark_in_toronto says:

    He’s nothing but a whiny bitch living in a bubble.
    Case closed.

  12. mf_roe says:

    A cult is a cult, most who fall for one will find another if the first loses it’s hold over them. Objectivism is a predictable rebound for a failed Christer. Can’t hack sharing?, try being selfish.

  13. Houndentenor says:

    What a waste of money. I guarantee you that if we drug tested the state legislatures and also welfare recipients, it would be those in the legislatures with the higher rate of drug use.

  14. Houndentenor says:

    I think it’s less hypocrisy than sociopathy. He cares about what he wants and has no empathy for anyone else. He’s the poster boy for modern conservatism. He spent his youth jacking off to Atlas Shrugged. Not giving a fuck about anyone else is some sort of virtue among that crowd. How anyone who isn’t rich votes for them I don’t know. Oh yeah, Jesus. The marriage of Jesus and Rand may be the most bizarre and unholy alliance in the history of politics.

  15. mf_roe says:

    You make some sense, but also expose some blind spots. The problem isn’t obscene 19 Kids Duggars, the problem is our society makes it impossible to have a replacement value number of children. The cost of raising 2 kids and providing a marketable level education is beyond the ability of most Americans. I’m glad you declined to reproduce we don’t need to your values in the gene pool.

  16. mf_roe says:

    Well when your old and feeble and dependent on the society around you, just who do you think will be supporting your care? You will expect those kids to pay the bill and provide the direct care.

    Children are your future doesn’t matter if they are yours, today’s toddlers will pay for your future, just makes sense to prepare them well.

  17. dcinsider says:

    I think this post is spot on with the hypocrisy of this jerk. At the same time, I am not of the opinion that people should be encouraged to have families when they cannot afford to raise their own kids. Nothing drives me more crazy than people screaming at me, a childless taxpayer, that I need to cough up more money to support their families, that they chose to have, when they simply could not afford to do so.

    I am not of the mindset that child-rearing is a miracle, and that parents are wonderful. Children are a natural biological result of a physical act. I believe you start a family when you can afford to raise your children, and you do not start a family when you cannot afford to do so. This concept that a family is the goal, regardless of your financial condition, is ridiculous. It is why we have birth control.

    I realize this sounds very anti-liberal from a liberal guy, but there is simply too much emphasis on people having kids, and not enough emphasis on people using logical family planning. If you find yourself with X kids you cannot afford, and could never afford, you have made a very bad mistake.

    Now, all that being said, I cannot abide by policies that ignore a child after he/she is born, but fights for their rights as a fetus. I believe we need to provide daycare where required for stability of a family, and I do see a role in government providing that service, but this is not a bottomless well, and people should not be encouraged or rewarded for their irresponsible procreation.

    OK, fire away! :)

  18. dcinsider says:

    I’m sorry, but your friend and his wife decided to start a family. That was a personal choice, and with it came expenses and sacrifices. As a childless taxpayer, am I supposed to give up part of my income to support that family? Why did they have kids they could not afford to take care of? Where was the financial part of their family planning?

    If I spend too much on something, and find myself in a hole, I don’t expect a tax break. I certainly don;t expect the government to bail me out.

    I am a liberal, and I support availability of childcare, but I do not support a bottomless well that I am expected to feed with my tax dollars because your friend and his wife, and others like them, decided to raise a family they could not afford.

  19. mf_roe says:

    The fund raising is in effect a BRIBE paid to representatives for their support. It is most Certainly Not a Duty of the office. The fact that Ryan thinks he is so valuable he doesn’t have to pay the bribe speaks to his colossal arrogance.

    I think he wants the power and thinks he can gain it without paying the price,, Is there a more typical repug gesture?

  20. BeccaM says:

    I think you’re missing the forest for the trees there, Chris. Yes, absolutely — to cite “family time” based on his prior complete lack of empathy for working-class Americans is appalling and extremely hypocritical. All the more so because Ryan has a job that has only required him to be present for a tiny fraction of the year and it pays for the travel expenses which allows him to go home as often as he likes.

    However, ‘family time’ is just the pretext. What is it Ryan is looking to avoid?

    It turns out that one of the Speaker’s duties is to raise money for the party and to help various members in their campaigns. It requires him to help other Republicans, which means Ryan would have to take time away from lining his own pockets and filling his own future campaign coffers. A lot of time, particularly given how Ryan would be the de facto head of the GOP within the gov’t. (Rinse Pubis doesn’t count… he’s just a partisan mouthpiece and PR flack.)

    We’re talking about a guy who’s in love with Ayn Rand’s “Gimme mine and fuck y’all” philosophies. The very notion of helping anybody else is utterly foreign to Paul Ryan.

    In any case, the real roadblock with Ryan’s possible Speakership isn’t this, but he demand that all the radical caucuses within the GOP unilaterally disarm. That is, give up their ability to propose a motion of no-confidence and thus fire him. The main reason the Freedumb Caucus and the other radical right GOP caucuses had so much influence over the party was the fact they needed only 30 members to bring pressure against Boehner. They’re not going to want to give up that leverage.

  21. mf_roe says:

    Come on, admit it. It is going to be hilarious watching this piss-ant try to square the circle with the idiots on both sides of the repug dung hill. Just which faction of the repugs is the most delusional is irrelevant, the whole bunch are insane. Ryan can no more produce repug demands than King Canute could command the tide.

  22. mf_roe says:

    Dammit, you don’t understand how much time it takes to get grandma up that hill.

  23. douglas01 says:

    Time off for me but not for thee. Republicans are such a bunch of assholes. The hypocrisy is stunning.

  24. MoonDragon says:

    What a whiner. “I want the job of getting you to work together, but only if you work it all out before I start the job. And I don’t want any extra work for the extra pay and power. And you can’t hold me to account by threatening to fire me.” Take your whining to base housing anywhere in this country. Tell your troubles to the spouses and children who don’t see their active duty husbands/wives/fathers/mothers for 18 moths at a time. I once compared you to the annoying idiot Screech from Saved by the Bell. I was wrong. You’re more like that shit-heel douche, Dustin Diamond.

  25. 2karmanot says:

    The Ryan Diva gets perks!

  26. mf_roe says:

    Great example. Sad thing that you left out—-The price your friends “PAID” for child care isn’t tax deductible.
    I and my wife lived the two earner three child nightmare. .One works for peanut shells or stays home and forces the other to endure the abuse of employers that know “this employee will take whatever shit we dish out because they CAN NOT afford to lose the paycheck”.

  27. mf_roe says:

    Excellent! Arrogant self-righteous entitled hypocrisy in words and pictures. The ultimate Repug “Selfie”.

  28. The_Fixer says:

    I live in Wisconsin, too. One of my friends is in his late 20s, with a wife and two kids (one is only a couple of months old). They both have substantial college debt that they’re still working to pay off, and they recently bought a house. No, not a McMansion, an older home in the city that they could barely afford – and they required assistance to do so.

    After assessing their financial situation, they decided that they really could not afford child care. Most of his salary would be spent on child care. Being as his wife is the higher earner of the two, he decided to stay home and raise their kids.

    While that is a good thing, it came at a cost. In fact, more than one. First, they lose the income he would have gotten from the job. Second, the children don’t have mom around as often (she often works well into the evening as a midwife, often getting calls in the middle of the night to help with a birth). And third, my friend’s job was managing a group home for mentally disadvantaged adults. That’s a difficult position to fill, few people want to do that kind of work – it doesn’t pay very well, yet demands a professional pedigree (he has a degree, as does his wife).

    They are also were using Wisconsin’s version of food stamps, “Food Share”. They are living on the edge, and have little or no money for luxuries, or even the occasional family outing. The Governor Scott Walker wants public assistance recipients to be drug tested, and wants to make it as difficult as possible for anyone to get that kind of assistance.

    In light of this, Paul Ryan gets no sympathy from me. Lots of his constituents have a far tougher row to hoe. Tough shit if he wants time with his family – he doesn’t seem to think it’s a valuable thing for his constituents.

    This is another example of “all for me, none for thee”, which should be the Republican party’s official motto.

  29. Indigo says:

    Illegals, perhaps?

  30. emjayay says:

    I imagine that unlike most people who spend most of their weekend mowing the lawn and shopping and cleaning the gutters and doing the recycling he has people to do those things.

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