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Republican budget architect Rep. Paul Ryan did not miss a beat when asked at a town hall meeting if he would support closing corporate tax loopholes to pay for keeping student loan interest rates low. "Nope" came flying out of his mouth almost before the question had ended:
RYAN: Nope. Well, I support closing tax loopholes for tax reform. [...] So that’s what we want to do with all those corporate loopholes is do that, and with the student loan bill let’s cut some spending because that’s more spending, let’s cut spending that is lower-priority spending to address this higher-priority need.
Think Progress edited Ryan's explanation of what exactly he would do with corporate tax loopholes out of this video, but we know from his budget what the plan is: any corporate loopholes he closed—and he's been less than forthcoming about what they might be—would go toward cutting taxes for wealthy individuals to the lowest rate since Hoover. Because corporate money can only go to benefit rich people. Student loans are for middle-class and poor people, so money for them has to come out of the middle-class and poor people pot, like cuts to health care funding. But while revenue from corporations and the wealthy can only be used for the benefit of corporations and the wealthy, services and aid for working families are, to Ryan, useful slush funds to be pillaged for the further benefit of corporations and the wealthy.

So when Ryan says "with the student loan bill let’s cut some spending because that’s more spending, let’s cut spending that is lower-priority spending to address this higher-priority need," he means that "lower-priority spending" is other spending that benefits non-wealthy people, and which people might not immediately notice being cut. Student loans are a "higher-priority need" because the need for them is immediately visible and they are politically popular. But no matter how popular lower student loan interest rates are, it is not enough to give Paul Ryan one instant of hesitation before he rejects the idea of paying for it by closing corporate tax loopholes.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon May 07, 2012 at 01:36 PM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

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