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Paul Ryan in television interview
Paul Ryan, weasel.
Paul Ryan's spokesman was out quick on Thursday with a response to The Nation's story that he had requested funding for a program in his district from the evil, socialist doomsday law, Obamacare.

The response from his spokesman is that it's not at all hypocritical to have asked for money from Obamacare, because the program they were requesting funds with didn't start as an Obamacare program.

"This grant program was created by President Bush, not Obamacare. This ... type of misinformation is what you get from gotcha reporting on liberal blogs,"Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck said, taking a swipe at The Nation.
Certainly what that appears to say is that Bush spending on public health is good. Obama spending on public health is bad. So Huffington Post asked the next obvious question: "Why would he consider dollars approved by Bush to be a good use of money, but funds approved by Obama to be bad?"
"Don’t dumb things down," Buck suggested to HuffPost. "You think he’s opposed to all federal spending on health care? Health care spending makes up a significant portion of his budget."

On the specific program in question, related to community health centers, Buck said Ryan was merely supporting a constituent. "It's casework," he said. "As a general principle he's not going to turn away his constituents who come to him for help based on his own views of a program."

That doesn't really answer the question, since Ryan's original defense of this request said that they justified it because the program from which they requested funding was created by Bush. They "dumbed things down" with that response. We've also heard the "it's casework" defense before, too. That's just one of the explanations given for why Ryan tried to get stimulus money for his district, after he he railed publicly against the stimulus.

In this case, the constituents in question—the Kenosha Community Health Center—didn't get the funding. And if Ryan and Romney have their way and repeal the Affordable Care Act, no community health centers would get the funding under this program. It's now part of Obamacare, thus would be eliminated. Beyond that, the discretionary aid to states and localities in the Ryan budget would trickle down to community health centers, federal spending that Ryan's spokesman at least implies that he supports.

What Ryan apparently supports, like pretty much every other Republican, is whatever is good for his district. That's fine, after all that's why we have federal representatives, to get stuff done for the folks back home. But it might not be so fine to the tea party types who've elevated him to hero status when they find out he's just another pork barrel spender.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 07:59 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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