Paul Ryan took the oath of Speaker of the House of Representatives yesterday, succeeding John Boehner, who retired from Congress today after serving 24 years.
In his first speech as Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan called on Congress to come together (as everyone does) to fix the broken problems of Washington (as they always do), and surprisingly called on Congress to their part to end the stagnation of working American wages:
Here’s a problem: they’re working hard, they’re paying a lot, they’re trying to do right by their families, and they’re going nowhere fast. They never get a raise, they never get a break, the bills keep piling up and the taxes and the debt. They’re working harder than ever to get ahead, and yet they are falling further behind.
Some Democrats have said Ryan’s speech sounded like a progressive call to action. But the sad irony in Ryan’s first speech as Speaker is, that while he decries the stagnant wages of the American worker, he’s been the most unfriendly to Americans’ wages.
So while he says we need to help Americans get the raise they deserve, he has voted down every concrete opportunity to do just that.
According to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, now Speaker Ryan has voted against raising the minimum wage at least 10 times since he’s been in office.
When President Obama called for raising the minimum wage in his 2013 State of the Union address, Ryan lambasted the President as being “inflationary,” saying:
I think it’s inflationary. I think it actually is counterproductive in many ways. You end up costing job from people who are the bottom rung of the economic ladder. Look, I wish we could just pass a law saying everybody should make more money without any adverse consequences. The problem is you’re costing jobs from those who are just trying to get entry level jobs. The goal ought to be is to get people out of entry level jobs into better jobs, better paying jobs. That’s better education and a growing economy. Those are some of the things he talked about and I don’t think raising minimum wage — and history is very clear about this — doesn’t actually accomplish those goals.
Bottom line: don’t expect anything new from the guy whose budget would have decimated Medicare.
Former Speaker Boehner said he’d rather commit suicide than raise the minimum wage, and new Speaker Paul Ryan has referred to raising the minimum wage as “inflationary.”
Paul Ryan is not serious about helping the middle class achieve the American Dream. The only thing he’s interested in is elevating his power status, much like Marco Rubio.
Featured image via Wiki Commons