Since Ryan first ran for reelection in 2000, his district has suffured devastating manufacturing job losses. Rock County, Wisconsin (which contains Ryan's hometown of Janesville) lost a whopping 54% of it's manufacturing jobs in that 12 year span. During the same period of time Racine County lost 33% and Kenosha County lost 30% of their manufacturing jobs.
So, what has Paul Ryan been doing in Washington, D.C. since the turn of the century? Nothing for his constituents...
Ryan trumpeted the $1.2 trillion in Bush tax cuts showered largely on the richest 1 percent, pushed for the deregulation of Wall Street financial manipulations, opposed 2007 efforts to rein in the financial industry's increasingly risky practices but then voted for a virtually unconditional bailout of the big banks after the meltdown in 2008 in order to "save the free enterprise system." Ryan also voted for the auto bailout without any provisions to prioritize US jobs including those in his district. Further, Ryan has been a consistent supporter of the "free trade" deals with low-wage, repressive regimes that have fueled the offshoring of jobs.
In recent years, Ryan's home district has lost thousands of family-sustaining jobs. Its economic foundations have been dangerously hollowed out: Delco in Oak Creek shut down at a cost of 3,800 jobs, mostly going to Mexico; Chrysler in Kenosha had 850 jobs sent to Mexico with the help of auto industry "bailout" funds; and General Motors in his hometown of Janesville eliminated 2,800 jobs directly with its pre-Christmas 2008 plant closing, while GM kept open a low-wage plant with parallel capacities in Silao, Mexico. The GM shutdown in Janesville wiped out another 3,000 jobs in nearby supplier plants.
From Lou Kaye over at Rock Netroots:
Mr. Ryan likes to remind us that we are his employer. Doing an adequate job responding to constituents’ individual needs is the minimum requirement of the job; but let’s also look at what Mr. Ryan has been doing the last 14 years in Congress as our alleged representative.It should come as no surprise then, to the thousands of farm families Ryan represents, that they'll get no help from him to deal with the worst drought in recent memory. In the words of National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson:
Eight of those years, Ryan walked lock step with the agenda of former President Bush where the rich got richer and the rest of us poorer. Ryan voted AGAINST the minimum wage increase; stem cell research; ethics reform; lowering the cost of student loans; union organizing; troop withdrawal from Iraq; and lower prescription drug prices! Ryan advocates privatizing Social Security and diminishing Medicare to a more costly voucher program.
It is crystal clear that Republican leadership is what is holding the farm bill hostage.
On the heels of one of the most devastating disasters our country has seen in many years, the agricultural community needs certainty here and now, not in six weeks time. Allowing Congress to pack up and leave town once again without taking up a farm bill is an irresponsible travesty."
Darin Von Ruden, President of the Wisconsin Farmers Union says...
The Farm Bill is not only critical to farmers, but to everyone. It affects 16 million jobs and is a vital investment in rural America.
Pushing the Farm Bill off until a lame duck session –if it even comes to the floor then –or calling for a three-month extension of the current legislation leaves our farmers without certainty on important programs necessary to make business and planting decisions, especially when we’re just coming out of severe drought. Dairy and land conservation programs will take the most immediate hit because they expire at the end of the month. The Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC), for example, protects dairy farmers from low milk prices, and has enabled many family dairies to at least stay in business. The failure to provide funding for conservation programs makes no sense. These programs provide farmers with proven tools that can protect crops and soils against drought and floods, and actually save money and preserve natural resources. These programs are needed now more than ever.
The House leadership chose to walk away from farmers rather than do their job and deal with the tough political questions and take the difficult votes. Our family farmers and our rural communities should not be used as pawns in this game.
This is a BIG F*ING DEAL for Wisconsin's Dairy industry:
While expiration of the 2008 Farm Bill program (...) has little or no effect on some important programs, it has terminated a number of important programs and will very adversely affect many farmers and ranchers, as well as ongoing market development and conservation efforts (...)Paul Ryan was elected to represent Wisconsin in Congress and has instead served the Washington insiders who groomed him for office and their wealthy corporate donors.
(Senate Agriculture Committee chairwoman Debbie) Stabenow shared "that the country's dairy farmers will be among the first impacted, which could cause the price of milk to increase." The Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program expired Sept. 30. That program compensated dairy producers when domestic milk prices fall below a specified level.
"Without a new farm bill, dairy farmers are left with uncertainty and inadequate assistance," the commodity groups stated. "While milk prices are high enough that the price support program doesn’t kick in; unfortunately, there is no other safety net to help battle the highest feed costs on record."