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Letter: An out-of-perspective perspective
8/18/2012 1:01:00 PM
Peter Nelson's Aug. 15 letter (A confidence unencumbered by experience) in the "From Your Perspective" section could have more aptly been under "Out of Perspective." It demands examination - and comparison.
Mr. Nelson apparently has a narrow view of what constitutes "real life experience" as he denigrates Paul Ryan's early jobs as a waiter, fitness trainer, marketing consultant and staff member for Republican politicians. I would imagine that waiters, waitresses, fitness trainers and consultants of all kinds would take a dim view of Nelson's dismissiveness, especially those who held down those jobs working their way through college. And what better way to learn about the American system than through working with political campaigns, especially with such noted politicians as Jack Kemp.
President Obama's work record, according to fact check and his own biography, tells us he had a "couple of summer jobs" but mainly paid for college with student loans, then became a "community organizer before law school. Shortly after graduating he was hired as a "Lecturer" of Constitutional Law at Chicago Law School.
We don't know his qualifications for college entrance or for student loans because all his records - financial and academic - are sealed. Nor do we know what vast experience qualified him to lecture on Constitutional law - especially in light of the little regard he shows for that great document. And while Ryan wholeheartedly embraced the American political system, Mr. Obama's own upbringing was guided by his grandfather, an avowed communist who, seeking a proper mentor for the fatherless (divorce) Barry, placed him under the guidance of Frank Marshall Davis (the "Frank" so often mentioned in Obama's book) a proud, card-carrying member of Communist Party USA, which our government determined answered directly to Moscow.
Mr. Nelson sees Ryan's backing of the "Financial Services Modernization Act" as leading to "a devastating financial melt down (sic) in 2008." In fact, it was the mischief of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, bundling high risk mortgages with less risky mortgages and passing them off as AAA rated investment paper, that triggered the banking collapse. Jobs at Freddie and Fannie have long been awarded to cooperative ex-lobbyists, out-of-office lawmakers and close friends of high-ranking lawmakers - such as Barney Franks ex boyfriend who held a top spot.
Yes, Ryan voted for the Iraq War Resolution as did the majority - including Democrats - of Congress. But, being of an unpredictable nature, war cannot be accurately budgeted and are generally funded by special appropriations.
Mr. Nelson charges that Ryan voted for Medicare Part D and now "...to save money' he wants to restructure Medicare..." A fabricated political falsehood. Fact. Medicare currently has over $38 trillion in unfunded liabilities. Fact. Nearly every economist and most politicians, including Mr. Obama, have admitted that the system will collapse in its present configuration. Ryan's proposal for Medicare and his proposal for Social Security, whatever one thinks of them, are designed to save them for future generations.
TARP was passed in a panic, Congress being told that the world economy was about to collapse within days. In retrospect, a large number of lawmakers believe it was a mistake, but it was prudent not to take a chance at the time. It is interesting to note that Wall Street, historically, has backed the Democrat party monetarily, nearly to the exclusion of the Republican Party. Also interesting is the fact that, one by one, the financial companies, and their top officers, are being found without fault, or given small fines, for their part in the financial collapse.
So, is Ryan the man for the job and does he have "unwarranted confidence?" Wisconsin has confidence. Since his first election, Ryan has never received less than 60 percent of the vote.
Erskine Bowles, Democrat co-chair of the Simpson-Bowles committee, said the he believes himself to be "pretty good" with numbers. "But," he said, "Paul Ryan runs circles around me." He went on to endorse Ryan's budget proposal at the time as "...like Paul Ryan himself," honest, straightforward and fair.
However "unwarranted" Mr. Nelson finds Ryan's confidence, that's good enough for me.
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