Election 2014  
comments_image Comments

7 Ways Paul Ryan Wants to Betray His Fellow Generation X-ers

The Peter Pan of American conservatism is bursting with immature, half-baked ideas for the country.

Continued from previous page


When you hit 40, you tend to start thinking about your retirement. Currently, the lack of job security, pensions, union-crushing and decent retirement plans make this sort of thinking panic-inducing for Gen X.

Paul Ryan’s economic plans would shift the burden of Medicare to Gen X in the future by turning the program into a voucher plan. And if he has anything to do with it, we can kiss any safety net in our golden years goodbye. Gen X has long been suspicious that they will never receive Social Security. But it’s not because the program is in fiscal trouble (contrary to popular belief, it isn’t). It’s because sneaky politicians like Ryan would dismantle the program under the pretense of crisis so that the bankers can skim fees off of private accounts. He has advocated the partial privatization of Social Security – an idea which ought to have been swept away in the massive stock market crash of 2008. But Ryan, his star permanently in retrograde, was advocating handing our retirement to Wall Street in 2010. He dropped that exceedingly dumb idea in his current budget for the sake of political expediency, but his consistent worship of the so-called free market suggests that he hasn’t really changed his mind.

2. She-Orientation

The women of Gen X have made tremendous economic strides, and these tech-savvy, entrepreneurial and often exhausted ladies have been at the forefront of the work/life balance movement, seeking a decent existence for their families and reasonable returns on hard work. Is that too much to ask? Apparently.

Paul Ryan lingers in the Stone Age. He has consistently voted against workplace equity for women, opposing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which makes it easier for women to file wage-discrimination lawsuits. Ryan is vehemently against a woman’s right to decide whether or not to terminate a pregnancy – oblivious to the fact that control over reproduction is a key element in women’s economic well-being and fair participation in the workforce. “I’m as pro-life as a person gets,” he boasted in 2012. 

Ryan has tried to block access to abortion even in the case of rape. Along with swamp creature Todd Akin, he co-sponsored a bill that would have narrowed the definition of rape to restrict the number of poor women who can terminate a pregnancy through Medicaid. All told, he has co-sponsored more than three dozen anti-choice bills, and his budget would end all government financing for Planned Parenthood while throwing prenatal care and infant nutrition under the bus.

3. Reverse Robin Hood

At a time of the worst income inequality since the Gilded Age, Paul Ryan wants to give more tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans. If he had his way, the U.S. would eliminate all taxes on corporate profits, capital gains and dividends. He rejected a White House proposal for a minimum tax on millionaires, calling it “class warfare.”

Ryan claims that he would cut tax rates for all families, but that’s cold comfort for Gen Xers trying to secure or maintain their position in the middle class. Even after the Bush tax cuts, Ryan's reductions would only amount to about $1,000 a year for families with annual incomes between $50,000 and $75,000. And for rich people with incomes above $1 million? They get a windfall of $250,000 a year. Ryan says he would pay for these cuts by scaling back tax breaks. But he is also committed to maintaining low taxes on capital gains, a big source of income for the wealthy. Most of the other big tax breaks — like the mortgage interest deduction and pension and health tax benefits — help the middle class. Rest assured that any attempt to broaden the tax base without raising taxes on capital income would almost inevitably sock it to middle-class families. And if those middle-class tax breaks were not slashed to pay for Ryan's high-income tax cuts, other spending would have to be reduced further  — which would also screw the middle class.