Paul Ryan′s Stimulus Hypocrisy

August 15, 2012 | By
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Like every other House Republican, Rep. Paul Ryan voted against President Obama’s Recovery Act in 2009- but that didn’t stop him from soliciting stimulus money for his district. Lawrence discusses with Time’s Michael Grunwald, author of a new book about the Recovery Act “The New New Deal,” and the Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart.

See While Calling Stimulus ‘Wasteful,’ Paul Ryan Secured Millions Of Dollars In Grants For Clean Energy at ThinkProgress

When it comes to the stimulus, presumptive GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan was against it before he was for it.

Or, to be more precise, he was for it at the same time he was against it.

According to documents obtained by the Boston Globe, Rep. Ryan (R-WI) lobbied the Department of Energy for tens of millions of dollars in stimulus grants for Wisconsin energy initiatives at least four times — even while calling the stimulus a “wasteful spending spree.”

The Globe reports:

“This trillion dollar spending bill misses the mark on all counts,” said Ryan in a statement from his office. “This is not a crisis we can spend and borrow our way out of – that is how we got here in the first place.”

But later that year, once the bill was passed and signed into law, Ryan sought to make sure his constituents benefited.

On October 5, 2009, he wrote a letter to Chu on behalf of the nonprofit Energy Center of Wisconsin, which was applying for a grant under the Recovery Act’s Geothermal Technologies Program.

Under the grant program the center received a total of $240,000, according to its president, Frank Greb.

The same day Ryan sent another letter advocating for a grant application, in which the Energy Center partnered with Milwaukee Area Technical College, for training building technicians and operators in energy-saving techniques. For that program, the government provided $740,364, according to federal records.

But the biggest payoff came for the Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation. Ryan predicted the $20 million grant would be able to “create or retain approximately 7,600 new jobs over the three-year grant period and the subsequent three years.”

Yet in an interview with MSNBC two years later, Ryan again bashed the stimulus package.

Ryan is best known for his role as chairman of the House Budget Committee. He’s well liked within the Tea Party for his strong rhetoric on slashing federal spending (cutting everything except the military and fossil fuel subsidies) — a key reason why he was chosen by the Romney campaign.

However, according to the documents, Ryan requested millions of dollars for a variety of programs under the stimulus package, including $5.4 million for bus services and tens of millions of dollars for renewable energy and efficiency programs.

Read more:  ThinkProgress

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