Fecteau: A House Speaker’s Sad Departure
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Mr. Ryan had a number of alleged conservative victories or so some argue. He did pass the largest tax reform package since the Reagan-era. Some – I am included here – maintain that his alleged “tax reform” was just a massive tax cut to the rich, giving many of the rest of us simply scraps off their affluent, financial table. Mr. Ryan’s increased military spending was another supposed accomplishment.
Looking a little closer to those supposed victories, it doesn’t look too pretty. As an individual so influenced by the writings of Ayn Rand, Mr. Ryan let government spending and deficits continue to grow out of control. The Congressional Budget Office projects that under the current budget plan deficit and debt will grow by hundreds of billions each year because of the increased spending for the military and tax breaks disguised as tax reform. By 2020, the deficit levels will be almost a trillion a year until there is a revision or a government readjustment.
Mr. Ryan also has some and more overt significant failures – to conservatives and Republicans at least. The most prominent disaster was the repeal of Obamacare which is still a law. Despite numerous tries, Republicans just couldn’t muster up enough support to repeal then President Barack Obama’s signature Healthcare legislation. Even with a Republican-controlled Congress, and a Republican President Trump, Mr. Ryan couldn’t dismantle Obamacare – to the relief of millions.
Mr. Ryan did seem more consumed in later years by a candidate and then President that was more interested in attention than helping his fellow Americans (we are talking about Mr. Trump of course). Mr. Trump’s constant Tweets seemed to throw Mr. Ryan’s delicate political calculus out of whack; angering and isolating key allies. Mr. Ryan had to almost routinely apologize or do damage control for Mr. Trump’s occasional bullish, pigheaded, and as Mr. Ryan said, “racist” behavior. This is something everyone should recognize, and respect (though the Republicans did bring this on themselves).
However, despite it all, Mr. Ryan did promote his viewpoint, and did attempt to herd the cats in the U.S. House; for that, everyone has to give him some credit. He is a public servant, and someone I disagreed with most of the time, but an individual that deserves to be recognized in history for his service in this tumultuous time.
We all need to wish Mr. Ryan the best, and hope he enjoys his retirement with his family, but, what next? That is a question that not even Mr. Ryan can answer.
Related Slideshow: GoLocal: Benchmark Poll, October 2017
Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices. How likely is it that you will vote in this election?
Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...
Definitely be voting: 78%
Probably be voting: 13%
What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?
Jobs and economy: 21%
State budget: 9%
Corruption/Public integrity: .8%
Don’t know: .9%
Recently, a proposal has been made to permit the issuance of $81 million in bonds by the State to build a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox. If there was an election today on this issue, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $81 million in financing supported moral obligation bonds to build the stadium?
Net: Approve: 28%
Definitely approve: 15%
Probably approve: 14%
Net: Reject: 67%
Probably reject: 19%
Definitely reject: 48%
Don't know: 4%
The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS. Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).
$50,000 or less: 27%
More $50,000 but less than $75,000: 13%
More $75,000 but less than $100,000: 13%
More $100,000 but less than $150,000: 17%
$150,000 or more: 13%
Don't know/refused: 17%
What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?
Black or African American: 6%
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