Paul Ryan: tax cuts über alles

Love this post from Chait.  Hits the nail on the head:

Faced with the extraordinary circumstance of a president who refuses either to release his tax returns or to divest his business holdings, Republicans have devised a series of creative explanations for why Donald Trump is entitled to behave like a kleptocrat. Paul Ryan, on the other hand, has no use for creative defenses of kleptocracy. He is satisfied with uncreative ones. To wit, Ryan is happy to allow unlimited conflicts of interest and potential for Trumpian self-enrichment as long as Trump signs Ryan’s bills:

“This is not what I’m concerned about in Congress,” Ryan said Wednesday during an interview on CNBC. “I have every bit of confidence he’s going to get himself right with moving from being the business guy that he is to the president he’s going to become.”

Ryan praised Trump for “basically saying let’s just go unify this party, unify this country, get things done.” …

“That is what I’m focused on,” he said, “and not the legal details of how he divorces himself from his business, which I know he will.”

The bottom line, according to Ryan, is that Trump should handle his massive, undisclosed conflicts of interest “however he wants to.”

Ryan does say he has “confidence” in Trump to avoid self-enrichment, which is a comical statement. Governments don’t run on trusting leaders to do the right thing when nobody is looking. They’re supposed to have mechanisms of accountability… If Ryan has confidence Trump would not use his power for personal gain, what possible leader would give him pause?

The answer, of course, is a leader who isn’t ready to sign some big tax cuts for the rich. And that’s what Ryan’s answer says. Asked about Trump’s blatant conflicts of interest, Ryan just says over and over he is focusing instead on “fixing the country’s big problems.” High taxes on the rich and excessively generous social spending on the poor are big problems. Kleptocratic government is not.

Liberals have been saying that the Republican Party is going to be held together by a devils’ bargain, in which Trump gives Ryan his core economic agenda, and Ryan gives Trump a free hand to corrupt American government as he sees fit. What’s amazing is that Ryan is now basically saying the same thing.

And, of course, not just Paul Ryan, but pretty much the entire Republican Party.  You give tax cuts on rich people and gutting of environmental regulations and pretty much anything goes.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

One Response to Paul Ryan: tax cuts über alles

  1. R. Jenrette says:

    If Trump uses his position to increase his wealth, can his appointees be far behind?
    Is his Secretary of State appointee going to divest himself of his Exxon stock?

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