Paul Ryan

Wisconsin's 1st District (WI - 01)


Ryan Planned to Cut $100 Billion from Federal Spending by 2012. In January 2011, Ryan reiterated his pledge to dramatically cut spending in his role at House Budget Committee Chairman. He said he wants to cut $60 billion in spending through fiscal year 2011 and potentially $100 billion through 2012. [The Hill, On the Money Blog, 1/07/11]


Warned of “Draconian” and European-Like Fiscal Problems If His Budget Cuts Were Not Considered. In January 2011, Ryan responded to criticisms that his budget cuts, particularly in the Ryan Roadmap, were “draconian” by arguing that not doing anything would be draconian. He said, "I would say that what is draconian is doing nothing and lying to the American people about these fiscal problems that we have.  What is draconian is procrastinating on fixing our fiscal problems, because then you will have European kinds of austerity." [ABC News, 1/26/11]


WaPo Op-Ed: Ryan Is No Fiscal Hawk. Greg Sargent, in a contributing piece to the Washington Post, wrote that Paul Ryan is no fiscal hawk for several reasons. First, despite attacking Obama for ignoring several recommendations from the commission that Ryan himself served on, Ryan had also voted against the same initiatives. Sargent also wrote that Ryan defies what a “fiscal hawk” should be because he previously supported expanding Medicare under President George Bush while voting against the Bowles-Simpson plan. [Washington Post, 2/17/11]


Still Plans to Make Drastic Cuts to Entitlements in FY 2012 Budget. In March 2011, Ryan said he plans to offer massive cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, but acknowledges he won’t balance the budget. He said, “If you want to be honest with the fiscal problem and the debt, it really is a health care problem. If you look at the future of our debt, it primarily comes from our health care entitlements. We have to reform those if we are going to get this debt crisis under control." [Associated Press, 3/11/11]


Voted against Plan He Helped to Craft. In March 2011, Ryan was a GOP appointee to Presdient Obama's fiscal commission, but he voted against its deficit-reduction plan, saying it didn't do enough to slow the exploding cost of federal health care programs. [Associated Press, 3/11/11]


Ryan on GOP Budget: We are Giving Them a Political Weapon to Go Against Us. In April 2011, Ryan admitted that the changes he proposed to Medicare would be politically unpopular. He said, "We are we are giving them a political weapon to go against us. But they will have to lie and demagogue to make it a weapon against us." [Politico, 4/03/11]


Claimed that Medicare Changes in 2012 Budget Is Not a Voucher System. Ryan recommends changing Medicare to “a premium support system” claiming that it is “very different from a voucher system” [Politico, 4/03/11]


Wanted to Emulate the Medicare Advantage Program for All Medicare Enrollees. He said of his proposal for Medicare in the FY2012 budget, “[I]t works like the Medicare prescription drug benefit similar to Medicare Advantage that we have today, which means Medicare puts a list of plans out there that competes for your business and seniors pick the plan of their choosing, and then Medicare subsidizes the cost of that plan.” [Politico, 4/03/11]


Nonpartisan Nuclear Reduction Group Targeted Ryan in Radio Ads for Deep Cuts to the US Nuclear Security Program. In March 2011, Talking Points Memo reported that radio ads featuring a retired Army general targeted Ryan for making the US more susceptible to terrorist attacks. Targeted Paul Ryan - A retired Army general, Lt. Gen. Robert Gard, is taking to the radio to call out leaders of the Republican party for making it more likely we'll be blown up by a terrorist's nuclear bomb after supporting "deep cuts to the U.S. Government's signature nuclear security program to remove highly enriched uranium and other dangerous nuclear materials from countries in the former Soviet Union and other unstable regions around the world." Gard is a veteran of the Vietnam and Korean wars and a top official at Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, a nonpartisan group (with center-left lean) focused on reducing the spread of nuclear weapons and other threats. The Center said the House budget bill cut $551 million from the White House's request for the Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration. As a result, the group says, the likelihood of a nuclear terrorist attack will go up. [Talking Points Memo, 3/24/11]


Ryan: "'s like Cairo has moved to Madison these days." In response to the protests from public employees that occurred at the capitol in February 2011, Ryan said, "It's not asking a lot, it's still about half of what private sector pensions do and health care packages do. So he's [the Governor is] basically saying, I want you public workers to pay half of what our private sector counterparts and he's getting riots -- it's like Cairo has moved to Madison these days," [, 2/17/11]


Said He Wants the Federal Reserve to Ignore Interest Rates Management. In February 2011, Ryan said he feared the Federal Reserve’s policy, known as quantitative easing, which injects $600 billion into the economy from the purchases of long-term Treasuries, will cause inflation to accelerate rapidly, forming asset bubbles and crushing the dollar. Ryan said he wanted the Fed to pull back the reins and tighten monetary policy, rather than keep interest rates low. [CNN Money, 2/09/11]


Wanted to Take Away Role of Federal Reserve in Protecting Job Creation.  In February 2011, Ryan said he wants to change the Federal Reserve Act, to eliminate the job creation part of the Fed's job. The Federal Reserve is responsible for a “dual mandate” that includes keeping prices in check as well as encouraging job creation. [CNN Money, 2/09/11]


Ryan spent $268,471.48 in Q4 2010.  In the fourth quarter, Ryan spent $268,471.48 total in his congressional offices. [Statement of Disbursements, 3/01/11]


Ryan spent $2,580.48 on Franked Mail in Q4 2010.  In the fourth quarter, Ryan spent $2,580.48 solely on franked mail. [Statement of Disbursements, 3/01/11]


Ryan spent $12,839.19 on Travel in Q4 2010.  In the fourth quarter, Ryan spent $12,839.19 total in travel expenses. [Statement of Disbursements, 3/01/11]


Ryan: I didn’t know what I was voting for.  In March 2011, Ryan admitted that he did not know what he was voting for when he cast the deciding vote in favor of saving funding for Project Labor Agreements. Ryan said his vote was just a mistake, and that four or five other Republicans made the same mistake. [Washington Times Blog, 3/06/11]


Voted against Representative Guinta’s Amendment to Eliminate Funding for PLAs. In February 2011, Ryan voted against an amendment offered by Representative Frank Guinta (R-NH) to the Republican’s proposed continuing resolution, HR 1, that would have prevented federal funds from being used for construction projects requiring a project labor agreement. The amendment failed on a tie vote, 210-210. [HR 1, Vote #126, 2/19/11]


Ryan’s Family Used Social Security Payments to Make Ends Meet. Following his father’s death when he was 16 years old, Ryan’s family, consisting of his three older brothers and sisters and his mother, collected Social Security benefits until Ryan turned 18. He put the money away for college. [WPRI, Vol. 19, No. 2, July 2010]


Medicare Advantage Was Ryan’s Proposal. In 2003, Ryan began to garner national attention during the debate over President Bush’s proposal to expand prescription drug benefits to seniors through Medicare. Ryan said he is proud of the free market programs he inserted into the final bill (Medicare Advantage, Health Saving Accounts), and believes those are the “seeds” to a future overhaul of federal entitlement programs. [WPRI, Vol. 19, No. 2, July 2010]


Wanted to Remove Taxes from Exports. In a February 2011 interview with the conservative blog Parcbench, Ryan said that the U.S. has the highest tax rate in the industrialized world and used Japan as an example of what the U.S. should look like. He said the U.S. taxes our exports twice while only taxing imports once, thereby providing benefits to push jobs overseas and giving the advantage to foreign competitors. He said, “What my bill does is say that if you make a product in America and then send it overseas – take the tax off of it, and put an equal tax on our imports. That’s not protectionism – it’s what all of our trade competitors do to us. It puts us on a level playing field.” [, 2/05/11]


Said He’d Target Medicare and Medicaid Reform in Next Budget. In a February 2011 interview with Politico, Ryan said he would not merely do minor changes to entitlements, he planned on “comprehensive health care entitlement reform, other kinds of entitlement reform” and committed specifically to reforming Medicare and Medicaid. He said, “We’re going to look at all of these issues. I can’t get into the specifics about what program we are and what program we’re not going to deal with because we haven’t written this budget yet. Social Security is a big part of the problem of future debt. Now, as people know — now, Social Security is not a contributor to our deficit of any material right now. Social Security is not a big driver of our debt problems. Medicare and Medicaid are the biggest drivers of our future debt problems.” [Politico, 2/16/11]


Spoke at Secret Super Conservative Conference. According to ThinkProgress, Ryan’s office confirmed he attended a highly secretive political strategy meeting convened by polluter billionaires Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries to coordinate the funding and direction of the conservative movement. [ThinkProgress, 2/02/11]


Koch Brothers Have Donated Nearly $60,000 to Ryan’s Campaigns. Since 1998, KOCHPAC has made 26 contributions totaling $58,000 to Ryan for Congress. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 2/03/11]


Appeared at CPAC. In February 2011, Ryan appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C. [Journal Sentinel, 2/09/11]


Outlashed against Tea Party for Their Seeming Naiveté.  In March 2011, Ryan called out the tea party for their naivety toward eliminating the budget deficit.He said, “They literally think you can just balance” the budget by cutting “waste, fraud and abuse, foreign aid and NPR. And it doesn’t work like that.” [Politico, 03/11/11]


Said No Presidential Hopeful Looked Promising. In a March 2011 interview, Ryan admitted that nobody in the current crop of GOP primary contenders has the personality to be President. When asked who he would support, Ryan did not have a clear answer, but he did make it known that “We [Republicans] will lose a personality contest.” [Politico, 3/02/11]


Ryan: Democrats Do Not Respect the Rule of the Law.  In a February 2011, Ryan criticized Wisconsin Democratic lawmakers who fled the state in an effort to avoid the passage of a budget that comprised state workers’ collective bargaining rights by calling them fugitives who lack respect for the rule of law. He said, “Democratic state legislators who have fled Madison lack respect for the rule of law.” [The Hill, 2/24/11]


Ryan: I didn’t know what I was voting for.  In March 2011, Ryan admitted that he did not know what he was voting for when he cast the deciding vote in favor of saving funding for Project Labor Agreements. Ryan said his vote was just a mistake, and that four or five other Republicans made the same mistake. [Washington Times Blog, 3/06/11]


Ryan does NOT support transportation grants for safety standards.  In March of 2011, Ryan introduced a bill that would prohibit any Federal grants to state and local governments for motorcycle-only safety checkpoints. [Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, 3/04/11]


Politico: “Ryan boots rowdy protester.” According to Politico, “Rep. Paul Ryan had local police remove a man from his town hall meeting Friday after he kept yelling about how Ryan’s budget plan would impact Medicare. It was the most dramatic moment yet in Ryan’s weeklong series of town halls, and it happened in one of the most Democratic areas of his district. Ryan warned the man once and then asked the cops to get him out. “We’re going to ask you to leave if you’re not going to be a polite person,” Ryan said.” [Politico, 4/29/11]


Politico: “Ryan crowd gets loud.” According to Politico, “Rep. Paul Ryan met his most vocal opposition to his budget plan Thursday in his last town hall meeting of the day. The crowd, packed into a high school auditorium in this Milwaukee suburb, responded with skeptical boos when he said his proposed changes to Medicare would provide seniors with benefits similar to those of a member of Congress or wouldn’t affect those over age 55.” [Politico, 4/28/11]


Politico: “Ryan dodges protesters in police car.” According to Politico, “GOP Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan had to leave his last and most raucous town hall meeting Tuesday Elvis-style — ducking out a back entrance on advice of police as protesters surrounded his car. Ryan held four community meetings in his southeastern Wisconsin district Tuesday, and two of them attracted so many attendees that crowds of people — including reporters — were left waiting outside. The meeting in Kenosha, held in a hall with a capacity for 300, had an additional 200 gathered outside, with many of them protesting Ryan's plan to change Medicare. After the Kenosha meeting, Ryan had to leave with police to avoid some protesters who had surrounded his car, he told TMJ4, a Milwaukee media outlet.” [Politico, 4/27/11]


Said Town Halls Concerning His Budget Were Larger than 2009 Health Care Town Halls. While hosting a series of town halls in the district, Ryan said that the crowds were larger than those during the August 2009 health care town hall sessions. [Politico, 4/26/11]

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