Political Correction

Rep. Paul Ryan Reaffirms Opposition To "Welfare" For "Well-Connected Energy Companies"

May 18, 2011 4:10 pm ET - by Matt Finkelstein

Rep. Paul Ryan

As the political media gawks at the collapse of Newt Gingrich's presidential candidacy, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is attempting to recast his argument for the budget plan Gingrich described as "right-wing social engineering." On the heels of his Chicago Tribune op-ed and speech in the Windy City, Ryan has another column in today's Christian Science Monitor purporting to give a "reality check on budget hysteria." In the column, Ryan writes that we must end "wasteful welfare for corporations," including "well-connected energy companies."

As we strengthen welfare for those who need it, we end it for those who don't. We end wasteful welfare for corporations such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, big agribusinesses, well-connected energy companies, and others that have gotten a free ride from the taxpayer for too long.

Ryan doesn't name names, but those corporations that don't need welfare presumably include the big five oil companies — ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Conoco Phillips, and Chevron — whose taxpayer subsidies received a vote of confidence from oil-funded Senate Republicans last night.

Last month, Ryan expressed support for ending oil subsidies, but he has repeatedly voted to preserve them. Meanwhile, the House-passed budget would lower the top corporate tax rate by 10 percentage points.  

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