Paul Ryan, who famously suggested the Janesville General Motors plant closed because of Obama administration policies when it actually closed under President Bush, is now going for an even bigger rewrite of history.

He is claiming that his austerity agenda — especially cuts for the rich — remains popular. Indeed, to hear Ryan tell it, those ideas almost prevailed.

In an “ABC News” interview a week after the election, Ryan was asked whether President Obama has a mandate to call for taxing the rich. “I don’t think so,” said Ryan, who argued: “This is a very close election.”

Ryan rejects the notion that his ideas lost. Indeed, he still claims he’s promoting “big” and “popular” ideas.

But Obama also ran on big ideas. And they were a lot more popular.

On the morning before the election, Obama appeared just a few miles up the road from Janesville.

“If we’re serious about the deficit, we can’t just cut our way to prosperity. We’ve also got to ask the wealthiest Americans to go back to the tax rates they paid when Bill Clinton was in office,” the Democrat declared.

Obama called, again and again, for raising taxes on the rich. “Because our budget reflects our values, it’s a reflection of our priorities, you know. And as long as I’m president, I’m not going to kick some poor kids off of Head Start to give me a tax cut,” the president said.

Ryan is claiming: “I don’t think we lost it on those budget issues, especially on Medicare — we clearly didn’t lose it on those issues.”

Yes, they did.

In his closing argument, Obama focused on “those budget issues.” One of the president’s biggest applause lines was: “I’m not gonna turn Medicare into a voucher just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut.”

So who got the mandate?

Ryan and Mitt Romney lost every swing state except North Carolina.

Ryan and Romney lost the Electoral College by an overwhelming 332-206 votes.

Ryan and Romney lost the popular vote by more than 3.4 million votes.

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden won a mandate in a battle of ideas where the lines were clearly drawn.

Despite what Ryan says, Obama won a mandate — a bigger mandate, in fact, than Kennedy in 1960, Nixon in 1968, Carter in 1976 or Bush in 2000 and 2004.

To say otherwise is to deny what just happened.

Ryan can try if he wants. But he should remember what happened when he tried to peddle a fantasy about the Janesville GM plant.

Ryan lost his home precinct in Janesville — not just as vice presidential candidate but as candidate for re-election to the House.

Ryan lost Janesville, as vice presidential candidate and congressional candidate.

Ryan lost surrounding Rock County, as vice presidential and congressional candidate.

Ryan and Romney lost Wisconsin — by such a resounding margin that “Saturday Night Live” mocked the result the weekend after the election.

When the rejection is so glaring that it becomes a punch line, it’s a stretch to talk about a “close election.”

And it’s absurd to suggest your ideas are popular.

John Nichols is associate editor of The Capital Times.

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(57) comments


fartinthewind said: "Perhaps there is some validity to your argument that taxing the wealth would take money out the economy, and that that would have negative consequences. But I don't buy it. Trickle down has never worked."

How can you quantitatively say that? I personally know several business owners who client list reads of the who's who in regions across the midwest and west. They are builders of second homes, landscapers, stamped concrete installers, masons, and the list goes on.

I have friends that have elevated their craft to such a level they are now living in homes comparable to the ones they are decorating. Guess, what - those clients don't want to see you show up in a broken down van that leaks oil so you buy a new truck every few years. Those clients don't want subs and employees that are floating around the industry because their workmanship is subpar, they want craftsman and are willing to pay for it, creating good paying jobs at several levels.

There are literally thousands of these types of contractors all over the region and they have created/survived in an economy/niche all their own.

I would imagine the same is true to home entertainment companies, auto repair service, marina's, etc. So despite what you've been told and want to believe, to some degree, this made up term called "trickle down" does work and has for decades.


Wait a minute pete: wasn't it you just a few weeks ago, during the presidential campaign, who was slamming Obama for stagnating middle class incomes.

And that is where I will stake my quantitative claim pete. Middle class incomes are stagnant to falling and have been for years.

Interesting piece in this morning's Washington Post or NY times. It was about the perception that capitalism has failed us. The article focused on the increasing number of people who are expressing a positive view of socialism and the decreasing number of people who are expressing a positive view of capitalism. There is clearly a demographic message in the piece. But I would also suggest the results of the survey are additional quantitative proof that trickle down hasn't worked.


don't you think the latest election told us the same thing that your articles did? We've been demagogued to death the past 2 years that capitalism is evil and is the fault of everything that ails this Country. Is it a shock to you that people are less positive about it? If it is then you haven't been paying attention. to me it's just a sad reality to where our Country is headed and the mindset of so many. back to trickle down -

your point was simply - "But I don't buy it. Trickle down has never worked." My point was it has and does in many cases. Those who want to master their crafts and capitalize on a hungry high end market have done so, good for them.

It's not for everyone and it's not going to benefit everyone, I never said it would. For example, I helped a guy start a company years ago on a very minimal investment, he was one of the hardest working guys I know and very astute to his customers needs, he's probably a millionaire today - that money trickled down from high end customers whether you want to believe it or not. His employees, his network of people around him are ALL doing very well. This happens all time for those willing to put themselves out there.

My point about the middle class during the election was simple, we were told obama was the warrior for the middle class and I've seen nothing economically that would indicate that.


Myanmar, Thailand, and Cambodia is the answer. The question is name three countries which have good golf courses for a President to play and try to build a legacy based on nothing while not working on creating jobs at home.



Your arguments form a circular vortex that reminds me of water siphoning down a toilet.

Increasing taxes on the "rich" would most certainly have an impact on the deficit (if in fact the money was ear marked for deficit reduction.) At the very least we would be borrowing less money to fund the deficit which in turn would affect growth of the deficit. Arguments to the contrary are simply nonsense.

Perhaps there is some validity to your argument that taxing the wealth would take money out the economy, and that that would have negative consequences. But I don't buy it. Trickle down has never worked. The wealthy are sitting on tons of cash that hasn't been put to work because the economy lacks the necessary demand. And there is something more insidious about your argument.

The argument that increasing tax revenues won't make a dent in the deficit and supporting arguments you provide push the narrative that spending cuts alone will balance the budget.

The adults in the room have to acknowledge that we can neither tax our way out of the deficit nor cut spending to eliminate the deficit. Your arguments have the uncanny ability to acknowledge the former without lending credence to the latter.

We need a balanced approach that is going to require sacrifices from all of us. That means we all are going to have to pay higher taxes. It means forms of corporate welfare are going to have to end. It means entitlement reform starting with means testing.


"Trickle down has never worked."

First, there is no such thing. It is another straw man.

If you include tax cuts and regulatory reform in your idea of "trickle down," they have worked. Do you think that increasing taxes and regulations are conducive to economic growth?

Right now the US has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Does that make us competitive? Do our regulations protect us right out of the marketplace? Do those regulations export environmental problems to someone else's backyard?


Now now tomtom. I didn't coin the phrase trickle down and it is no straw man. Republican philosophy since RR has been based on the belief that a rising tide raises all boats and that the way to rise the tide is to cut taxes on the wealthy.

And talk about a straw man. The US may have, on paper, the highest corporate tax rate in the world but in reality our the nominal corporate tax rate isn't anywhere near the published rate.

And enough of the regulatory red herring. Economic growth is sluggish because of a lack of demand not because of regulation.


The highest rate is not always paid anywhere. Do you suppose that the US is the only country that tries to influence the behavior of its citizens through tax policy?

Tax cuts have never been solely for the wealthy. In fact GW Bush's tax cuts were weighted toward the middle class. Reagan's tax cuts were done across the board. Class warfare is a straw man. This article talks about the anvil regulations have placed around the neck of US business, and how they continue to inhibit our productivity and competitiveness.


tomtom33 is correct, there is not such thing as "trickle down economics":
the term is used whenever someone wants to slam republicans or supply side economics. It's rather shallow.

If you go back to the beginning and read what I wrote I said I did not agree with everything Ryan had proposed but I did acknowledge his courage for being the ONLY one in Washington to propose a solution.
It comes down to either letting the Bush Tax Cuts expire for everyone (300 billion) and then cutting the budget another 600 Billion dollars. That would still leave a deficit of 400 Billion but that could be considered manageable. No problem with the tax hikes but I don't think anyone can imagine what those kinds of cuts would be like. Instant recession, long slow recovery, but in the end there is no doubt we would be a better country for fixing our problems instead of leaving this mess to our children.

Ryan's plan for tax cuts and budget cuts is a plan built around the principle of growing the economy out of the deficit. Tax cuts would stimulate the economy and drive GDP significantly higher than the anemic 1.4% we are currently experiencing. GDP goes up dramatically, tax revenue goes up and demand for government services goes down.

I'd be willing to give either way a try, I just can't accept the incompetence currently displayed by the current administration when it comes to economic policy. There is no plan, they don't confront the problems and continue to pit citizen vs citizen.


nav said: "I don’t UNDERSTAND why on earth the rich, who have all the conveniences and the money in the world, are so opposed to paying a little more in taxes to help out? I don’t get it! Do they think they are winning the respect of the rest of the people by showing how greedy they are. Is nothing enough for them?

For God’s sake, we have people in this country who cannot afford meals. We have seniors who are on fixed income and are suffering. We have single parents who are having a hard time making ends meet. And here are the rich talking about wanting tax cuts, making “investments” that make them more rich etc., and they demonize those who want them to pay their share?"

you clearly don't UNDERSTAND a lot about our society and the economic engine that runs it. Let me point out a couple of things for you:

1. Being rich/successful doesn't make someone a bad person, I UNDERSTAND your envious and jealous, but they aren't doing anything to prevent you from getting rich.

2. Keeping more of the money THEY EARN, doesn't make someone greedy or mean, it simply means that the decades of ineptitude by our gov't is no excuse to feel entitled to someone's money.

3. Many of those evil rich people/corporations give BILLIONS to non-profits and charities. Take more in taxes and kiss that funding goodbye. I volunteer for a non-profit that has been hit hard the past couple of years by this downturn and the we are struggling to keep some of the programs afloat.

4. I've never worked for a corporation, not in my dna. However, I've worked for some "rich" (by obama standards) people and this is what I know about them. They are the first ones there and last ones to leave. They often work 6-7 days a week and are the last ones to take a paycheck if payroll is tight. They have to balance employees, customers, the IRS, Work Comp auditors, new tax laws, rising health care laws, etc. Hell, my last boss would clean the office and scrub toilets on the weekends so when we came to work on Monday morning it was nice for us. My point is, your disdain for the "rich" is likely limited to a few thousand fat cats that don't see the world the way you or I do.

5. you complain about those in need and why the rich seems to want to ignore them, well we also have millions of able bodied/minded people that want to sit at home and collect everything the govt is offering, are they not just as guilty of taking money away from the single mother who is trying to raise a family and work 2 jobs?

6. Is it too much for us to ask our gov't to be accountable with the money they already have before coming for more?

7. Maybe you can prove me wrong and I would actually welcome that - I believe the gov't has enough $ to take care of those who need it, however it will never have enough for those who feel they deserve it.

I think they fundamental difference in your mindset and mine is, you want to treat the symptoms of the problems, I would like to find the cure.


Pete, you and I look at our society from two different prisims and will agree to disagree. However, I do want to address your points, one by one.

1. This point is wrong to start with as I am neither jealous or envious of rich people. Not sure how you concluded that!

2. Most of the rich didnt "earn" much money on their own. They inherited a lot of it, and from that they become more rich...thanks to people who worked FOR them. So please use the term "earn" carefully.

3. I know a lot of non-rich people who also give to charities. For many it is a slight hardship since they are not rich. IF rich people gave to charity even feeling a slight financial hardship, then your point of view would be much more valid.

4. I am referring to the TRULY rich and wealthy, not someoen with a small business, people for whom I have a high regard. Your example is not relevant.

5.Pete, I dont have this mental mind set of beleiving millions of p[eople out there are robbing the American Government at the expense of others. We have some people like that in ALL societies. But that does not mean we can punish those who are truly needy.?

6. I agree the Government should account for the money it receives in revenues, and I beleive it does. Now, you may not like the priorities that it may have but thats a different topic.

7. I am not trying to "prove" anyone wrong Pete. I am simply expressing a point of view that differs from yours.

While I disagree with most of your views, I appreciate your candor and the tenacity with which you hold your views.


According to RTT, 86% of millionaires are self made. I have now idea if that is correct but it is certainly not" most didn't earn it". Of the Forbes 400 left-leaning United for a Fair Economy, says that 40 percent of the Forbes 400 richest Americans inherited a "sizeable asset from a spouse or family member." 40% does not equal most.

Secondly we are not talking about the "TRULY rich and wealthy". We are talking about individuals making more than 200K and married couples earning over 250K. These people, while not struggling, hardly fall in the category of the millionaires and billionaires. Many of these people are small business owners who you claim to respect and those same people are going to get hit much harder than those on the Forbes 400. Fair?


you're not sure how concluded that you are envious of rich people...have you read your own posts????

Why does it matter how the rich got their money, it's their money whether it comes from a family member or not. What has a rich person ever done to impede your road to wealth and prosperity? I remember my 8th grade econ teacher telling us the first day of class " a guaranteed way to get rich, take a risk and win" Ever taken a risk Nav?

Yes, you appear to be referring to the TRULY rich, how many of them are there and how many vote republican? There are plenty of rich liberals that aren't paying a nickel more than the govt requires as well.

I never said punish the needy, I said I think there is plenty of money for those who truly need it and they should get it, but there will never be enough for those who feel they deserve it.

You believe the one of the gov't's strong suits is it's accountability of funds spent...??? good stuff, even for you.

Yes, we look at things differently but here's what I know. I served on a Town Board for two terms. There was no party affiliation and our budget had a few less zeros in it, but this was our approach. (Even though we had no party affiliation, it was pretty clear where we all stood) but, when it came to the budget we all agreed, it was OUR responsibility to make the budget work and figure out how to work with the revenue we had. Never once was there a mindset that we could spend how we wished and it was THEIR (taxpayers) burden to make the budget work. That's why we were elected, that was our job that we got paid to do.

You want to place the burden on the taxpayer as if it's their responsibility to pay for the incompetence that is our govt.

Like it or not, this is not a chicken and egg argument. The only way to pay for the govt you wish for is to have a prosperous private sector and that means LOTS of profits. A large gov't can't fund a prosperous private sector no matter how hard it tries. don't believe me, ask a public employee in Greece.


When I say ALL of us have to sacrifice to get the budget under control, I mean everyone. This includes the rich.

I don’t UNDERSTAND why on earth the rich, who have all the conveniences and the money in the world, are so opposed to paying a little more in taxes to help out? I don’t get it! Do they think they are winning the respect of the rest of the people by showing how greedy they are. Is nothing enough for them?

For God’s sake, we have people in this country who cannot afford meals. We have seniors who are on fixed income and are suffering. We have single parents who are having a hard time making ends meet. And here are the rich talking about wanting tax cuts, making “investments” that make them more rich etc., and they demonize those who want them to pay their share?

Our nation is not about some “budget” that has to be kept balanced at the expense of everything else! We have had a deficit though most of our history. The country did not come to an end before. It will not come to an end now. There are PEOPLE who live in the country, and it is the Government’s role to look after all of its citizens (to promote the welfare of the people as the constitution says).

If I, someone in the middle class (like myself) is ok with paying higher taxes to help out the unfortunate, I would think someone rich would be even MORE ok with paying a lot higher taxes than me, simply because they can afford it. Sadly, that’s not the case. Instead, the rich want THEIR taxes cut under some pretense of creating jobs through more investments. WHERE have been these jobs created when the rich had all these tax cuts? We had an unemployment rate of over 10 percent during a time the corporations were making record profits!

There is nothing sacrosanct about cutting taxes, or lowering taxes just for the sake of doing so. Tax rates (revenues) should be based on how the economy is doing, and those who are able to pay more in taxes without much of an impact (like the rich) should be able to do that. It really is as simple as that.


I don’t UNDERSTAND why on earth the rich, who have all the conveniences and the money in the world, are so opposed to paying a little more in taxes to help out? I don’t get it! Do they think they are winning the respect of the rest of the people by showing how greedy they are. Is nothing enough for them?

I can't pretend to speak for the "rich" but then again, neither can you. Perhaps they are smart enough to recognize that paying more in taxes will not solve our economic problems and will in fact make it worse.

Getting the "rich" to pay an additional 80 Billion in Federal Income Tax will have no effect on the 1.4 Trillion dollar deficit.

The "rich" paying that additional tax will effectively remove that money from the private sector and will cost jobs. We will have to borrow 80 Billion less but then that 80 billion is no longer changing hands in the private sector. President Obama stated that last year when the Bush Tax Cuts were extended. His thinking, I hope, was that the economy would have turned the corner and the 80 billion taken out would not have a negative effect. It can be argued that the economy is in worse shape today than it was a year ago making his statement even more true today than it was then.

It is wrong to cite the profits of a couple of high profile international companies when the lions share of companies experienced extreme downturns in business and profits.

If allowing the top bracket of the Bush Tax Cuts to expire would cost jobs would you support them for the sake of "fairness". I suspect Obama would.

You're right about deficits Nav, when they are reasonable their affect can be dealt with. Economy grows with a robust +GDP and the revenue stream makes up for a deficit. The problem with running a deficit that is one third of your budget for an extended period of time is that the interest payments on your debt consume more and more of your tax revenue. When, not if, interest rates rise this problem will consume even more of the revenue stream and require even more borrowing.

Ideally you apply something akin to the Keynesian model and build surpluses during periods of growth and spend that money when the private sector economy falters. Unfortunately that model won't work if the government is in a perpetual deficit spending mode.


“Paul Ryan, who famously suggested the Janesville General Motors plant closed because of Obama administration policies when it actually closed under President Bush, is now going for an even bigger rewrite of history.”

Obviously Mr. Nichols doesn’t read the Janesville Gazette, or believe what he reads in the newspaper. The GM plant did not close until April 2009. So who really is “rewriting history”?

One can argue that most production was shut down earlier BUT the plant did not close until April 2009.

”So who got the mandate?”

No one got a mandate. 51% of the peoples vote is not a mandate no matter how you want to color the statistics.

49% did vote against Obama. How wildly popular does that make his ideas?

People will make whatever they want out of this election to suit their beliefs. Just like the Walker recall election. People always want to believe that their thoughts and ideas were accepted, it was something else that influenced the voters. How do you REALLY know why someone voted for or against any candidate?


Dear Readers:

Denial is a mighty powerful psychological condition that is known to lead people to impulses that can cost them nearly everything. Paul Ryan sounds like he is headed in that direction and is now in need of intense psychotherapy after having his and fellow republicans' a$$es handed to them in a hat basket during the November 6th Presidential Election.

John Nichols is merely invoking reality while it seems that republicans are just plain bad at taking their own advice, which in 2010 was endlessly given to distraught democrats after their drubbing in the congressional and state gubernatorial-legislative races.

Except this time the beating republicans took was most telling and very complete. There is no way for Paul Ryan, or any other republican, to deny that Barack Obama and the democrats earned a huge mandate with their election night win.

To deny it is dangerous for the future of the republican party's ambitions not just nationally but also for Wisconsin and other states as well. In wining 332 electoral votes to 206 for the republicans, while taking the popular vote by 3.4 million votes, isn't anything near being close. That goes for determining the values regarding issues put to the test during the election, in modern mathematical/statistical analysis, which determined how a strong majority felt about them.

It will also speak volumes, as to how presidential elections actually have played out in America for decades afterwards.

To that regard, this past election is pretty substantial, in both historical and political terms, and will be for quite sometime, because it will lead to many sweeping changes in our society that will later prove very hard, if not impossible, to reverse.

An example is full implementation of the American Affordable Care Act and Barack Obama more than likely adding at least two to three Supreme Court Justices in his second term.

So get real, because Paul Ryan's and Mitt Romney's ideas were put to the ultimate test and then not just beaten but they were beaten rather decisively at the ballot box!



Well if you THINK Obama won decisively stand aside here in WI. Walker won by much larger of a margin and the Republicans swept the legislature.

I'm sorry, like I said earlier, 51% of the vote, BARELY over half the population sided with Obama for reasons they only know. Electoral college? It's winner take all in almost all states.(I believe there is one exception). One vote over 50% gives you the whole state's votes. But I guess when a Democrat wins you got to give it all the hype you can.

All we know for sure is a slight majority of the people chose Obama over Romney.


And Ryan never made any such suggestion. He did cite Obama's pledge, made during the 2008 election, to keep the plant open.


But Ryan represents the district where that plan was located. And what did he do to protect the plant from shutting down? NOTHING! That is why the wise people of Rock County, including the town he was born and raised i Janesville, rejected him in both the Presidential and the Congressional elections. That should tell the rest of us a LOT!


Ryan was not rejected, he was again sent back to Congress. What planet are you on?


What was Ryan supposed to do? He never made any promises about keeping any plant open. The Janesville GM plant was their oldest plant in North America. It simply made no sense to keep throwing money at a dinosaur.

Frankly the government should keep their noses out of private enterprise except for some limited regulations.


Paul Ryan lives in a bubble, and he is almost completely disconnected from reality. He believes what he say's, I have no doubt of that. The problem is, except for a deluded few, nobody else does. I am really surprised he managed to keep his seat in congress, just for his ideas on Medicare I am surprised that so many people in his district voted for him. But, and it goes beyond my fathoming, the GOP have a long history of getting people to vote against their own best interests. Ryan is also (fairly obviously) living in denial over the outcome of the elections, okay... perhaps the election was not a Nixon/McGovern landslide, but the simple truth is that the landslide election is the exception. Paul needs a reality check, and while I don't live in his district I am going to volunteer in the next election to get him removed from office.


There are people who live in bubbles. Paul Ryan is not one of them.


If Ryan wants to continue pushing his worn out Ayn Rand ideas, he needs to cut down on the lies coming out of his mouth nearly every time he opens it. Maybe that is part of the reason his own district voted against him.

Does the gop really consider this guy to be their intellectual leader? Sad - very sad.


His own district re-elected him.


My dear deluded John, the popular vote was less than 3% difference. The electoral vote was the result of using taxpayer money and borrowed Chinese funds to bailout the auto industry. Those states' electoral votes were easily purchased. The reference to Jimmy Carter is hilarious. We were suckered once but soon learned that he was ineffective and disposed of the peanut farmer. This Chicago machine community organizer somehow our organized the opposition. Relish your victory, the other side will be back with a vengeance after we continue to wade in the pool of high unemployment, failed hope and change crap, and see how well the government does in the health care business.


FYI Recession, the 3 percent difference is like 3 million votes! Thats a LOT of votes!

Also, as of yesterday, according to the Gallup poll, President Obama's approval rating is 58%.

You can keep wishing our nation bad things but the economy is getting better, we are safe, and we are finally going to start dealing with the deficit and other problems.


I don't care how many votes it is the fact is 49% voted against Obama.


Never trust a Republican. Ever!


nav, do everyone a favor and go back and re-read 196ski's post and try to respond to that if you are able.

it appears that nickels, you and other like minded individuals are so blinded by ideology that you have no solutions nor are you capable of coming up with one. nickkels obsession with ryan is getting to be a little strange/obsessive. I wish he and others on the left spent half the energy looking for solutions to the REAL problems that face us, that they do re-living the election/campaign. That part is over, your guys won now what are you going to do with it. The ball is in the hands of the party you chose, rather than continually spiking it it's time to do something with it. This means you're in the game jon, probably something you're not used to, but it's time to put the big boy pants on and get to work.

This is lazy journalism, move on (and in journalism in the broad sense)


Pete, I have read his talking points again and again. Its time that he respond to what I said?


nav, you, like everyone in your party, has been saying NOTHING for the past 4 years. Let me be clear, what exactly have you said to deal with the financial mess we are facing???? Yea, we get it, tax the rich - fine. do you know what that means in today's economy???? do you have any idea?? I didn't think so. I'll simplify it as much as I can for you...

Your "tax the rich" solution to everything that ails this country would have generated enough revenue to cover the deficit for the first 3 weeks of October.....that's it!!! Sadly the rest of us have to live in the other 49 weeks of the year and you have no solution for that. oh yea, hire teachers is what obama said, how could I forget.

I'll say it again, you won, you've proved that the 'Amercian Idolization' of our Country is alive and kicking. Sadly, for many of those who voted for the "popular/cool" guy, they have no idea how bad he is really hurting them.

Can't wait for those doctor shortages that the poor will be faced with (trust me, the rich will always have doctors) Can't wait for austerity and the public employees will be told by their union they must go to the streets and cause massive destruction (the rest of us will be working of course) Can't wait until SS goes bankrupt so the ones in my generation will have given into a system for 40+ years with nothing but empty promises when we reach 65. and according to your really cool guy president, if we hire more teachers we'll have nothing to worry about.


Paul Ryan has a LOSER label atatched to him. He is lucky he barely won his congressional seat. As more and more people catch on to the REAL paul Ryan, he will NOT have a job!


Barely won his congressional seat with 55% of the vote.

OK, I'll go along with that BUT Obama only got 51% of the popular vote so he too BARELY won his election.


You need to get your facts straight. President Obama won was by 52.8%, or almost 3 million votes. Thats 3 MILLION!


Obama's margin was less than half of his 2008 margin. That's a fact.



Updated 11/09/2012 12:19 pm EST: As of Noon on Friday, with nearly all votes in, Obama assuredly will win the popular vote, leading Romney by a count of 61,173,739 or 50.5% to 58,167,260 or 48.0%. At this point, a few final votes are being counted and then all that's left is for the results to be officially certified.

Maybe you need to get your facts straight.


how can any human person fall for the "paul ryan garbage"? mr. paul speaks with forked tounge. his nonsense is always for the wealthy. an example is checking the state tax code for his pals in racine county. i believe it is the johnson wax company, they pay no wisconsin state tax.


I have a lot of respect for Paul Ryan even though I don't agree with all of his policies.

Every politician in Washington knows that we have a serious problem with Social Security and Medicare.
The CBO said in Congressional testimony last summer that by 2025 Social Security, Medicare, health services and the interest on our debt will consume 100% of tax revenues. 12 short years from now. If you think your going to be alive in 12 years this concerns you.

Obama has said it numerous times. None of them however are willing to put solutions on the table. Why? Because nobody wants to hear it. Ryan had the integrity to not only say it but put a very unpopular solution on the table. And for his honesty he has been slammed repeatedly by Democrats who have equated his plan to pushing grandma off a cliff. And yet they have no plan of their own. They don't even want to talk about it. Politics before country.

From the Trustee's report (the last link).

"Social Security’s expenditures exceeded non-interest income in 2010 and 2011, the first such occurrences since 1983, and the Trustees estimate that these expenditures will remain greater than non-interest income throughout the 75-year projection period. The deficit of non-interest income relative to expenditures was about $49 billion in 2010 and $45 billion in 2011, and the Trustees project that it will average about $66 billion between 2012 and 2018 before rising steeply as the economy slows after the recovery is complete and the number of beneficiaries continues to grow at a substantially faster rate than the number of covered workers."

"The Medicare HI Trust Fund faces depletion earlier than the combined Social Security Trust Funds, though not as soon as the Disability Insurance Trust Fund when separately considered. "

"Lawmakers should address the financial challenges facing Social Security and Medicare as soon as possible. Taking action sooner rather than later will leave more options and more time available to phase in changes so that the public has adequate time to prepare."

We are being told something we don't want to hear, a classic "kill the messenger" (Ryan). OUR attitude and subsequent voting reinforces the dishonest behavior of our elected officials. Why talk about real problems when you can just laugh them away, Biden in 16.


I am glad you have a lot of "respect" of Ryan. I would respect Ryan too IF I thought his motive4s were sincere. OF COURSE, the nation has to deal with the deficit. We don't need Paul Ryan to tell us that.

It is HOW he says the deficit should be reduced where a lot of people don't agree with him. Many think he has extreme positions, positions that halp the wealty, not the poor.

Is there a LAW that says that one has to reduce the deficit on the backs of the workling and the poor? Is there a law that says that rich people should be made richer so that the deficit can be reduced? I sure would like to see those laws!

In a civil society, we need to use rational approaches to solving problems. To try to get things done by not compromising or raising unnecessary gloom and doom sceneios, like Ryan does, will not get us anywhere!

You may conceptually agree with Ryan's goals, but you need to study him and his approach more carefully to see if he is what the majority of the people want. I dont think he is, and until he is, he will keep losing elections all the while saying how tough he is.


"OF COURSE, the nation has to deal with the deficit. We don't need Paul Ryan to tell us that."

Obviously you do. NO ONE on either side has come up with a proposal and the President acknowledges it and then ignores it. That is not leadership.

"It is HOW he says the deficit should be reduced where a lot of people don't agree with him. Many think he has extreme positions, positions that halp the wealty, not the poor."

Great, then where is the alternative plan? Oh, that's right there isn't one. As for Ryan's plan being "extreme" what would you call a 1.4 Trillion dollar annual deficit? Do you even understand Ryan's plan or does the fact that he is a Republican preclude you from opening your mind?

Nav do you understand even understand the problem?
A 1.4 Trillion dollar annual deficit cannot be sustained. We may not have to pay back the principle debt but we do have to pay the interest. Right now interest is low and so we are "only" paying 300 Billion per year in interest payments. Keep in mind that the top bracket Bush Tax Cut, the one that Obama covets, is worth 80 Billion per year. That 300 Billion is Taxpayer money is OUR money that does not go to any government program, it goes to those that invest in our debt. And as bad as that is what happens when interest rates go up? The Fed is holding them down now but again that won't last forever. This could create a death spiral that we could not get out of. The Fed would be forced to do massive devaluations of the dollar and costs of everything would explode and wages would stagnate even worse than they are now.

Ryan's plan isn't popular, it isn't what a majority of the people want.
What does that mean? Of course it isn't popular, this is a slap in the face with reality. There may be other options, burying your head in the sand is not one of them.

Ryan knows that it is impossible to tax our way out of this. It is also impossible to cut our way out of this. Even a combination of the two won't do it. It is 1.3 Trillion dollars, a third of our spending.
It is Ryan's belief that they ONLY way out of this mess is through economic growth. Our "recovery" is turning into the slowest recovery in history. We have yet to crack 2% GDP growth and each of the last 3 quarters have been successively lower. We could easily be headed into another recession. There is NO PLAN. NONE.

Lowering taxes puts money in everyones hands. Middle class has money to spend and the top brackets have money and incentive to INVEST. We GROW our way out, not by devaluing the dollar as we are currently doing, but by the generation of wealth through the work of EVERYONE, rich/middle class, all races, all genders.

You don't like it. I accept that. Then tell me what or whose plan you do like. Show me where it puts people back to work, generates wealth for everyone and solves the budget/entitlement crisis we now face.


Oh, now we should accept a plan just because it is there, as bad as it is?
I dont think so!

The President and the Congressional leaders are now going to work together and hopefully come up with a plan which, hopefully, will spread the pain uniformally, including the rich folks.

The rich people and corporations already have PLENTY of money to spend. I am surprised you don't know that. They are sitting on billions of dollars in case. They do NOT need more tax incentives. No one is stopping them from investing, and to suggest otherwise is hogwash. What they DO need to do is to pay higher taxes and start employing more Americans. The election is over. The ucertaintainty they were complaining about is gone. What is their excuse NOW?

You cannot equaye tax cuts for the middle class with tax cuts for the rich because dollar for dollar the rich get WAY MORE benefit than people in the middle class.


"Oh, now we should accept a plan just because it is there, as bad as it is?
I dont think so!"

Of course you don't Nav, Your statements indicate you have zero understanding of the problem.

"Rich people and corporations have PLENTY of money to spent". This confirms that you don't get it. Corporations were sitting on cash, they took their money and either reinvested in their own company through stock by backs or they paid their shareholders dividends. And again we are talking about a small percentage of corporations. Most all of them effectively downsized and were able to remain profitable.

Raising taxes on the rich will make those green with envy happy but it will not fix anything. In fact if you remove 80 Billion from the economy which is exactly what will happen and jobs will be lost. Obama said that last year. Oops, forgot that didn't you. If anything we are in worse shape now than we were a year ago. And then there will be a series of budget cuts that Republicans will demand. That means less government spending which will result in further job losses. Won't matter where the cuts come from, defense, education, energy, health services, Federal workers will lose their jobs and no doubt this will translate into less Federal money coming into Wisconsin. More cuts, layoffs, and probably higher contributions to their benefits. We could very well head back into another recession and all the while the clock will be ticking down on Social Security and Medicare.

The only one equating tax cuts on the middle class and the rich is you. I think it is a pointless discussion. It will never be "fair" no matter what we do. I worry about my family, business and employees and don't spend my life in envy over someone else.

Ryan had a plan, Obama and the Democrats do not. The choice they have had is either act like adults and spell out alternatives or act like spoiled children and demonize Ryan. That they chose to demonize is a poor reflection on them not Ryan.


Ryan epitomizes a politican in self denial. The fact that he does nto even consider the possibility that he could be wrong WRONG on his views, does not see that 48% of the people who voted for him and Ronbey did so because they hated President Obama, NOT because they liked the ideas of Romney and Ryan, makes someone like Ryan a dangerous idealog.

The people of the United States have made sure Paul Ryan won't be in national leadership. As more and more people in his own district start to disown him, he will not win his next election...period.


How on earth would you know why people voted as they did?


I know that I rejected Ryan's ideas. I rejected his plan to voucherize medicare, to cut domestic programs and increase military spending and I reject his notion of tax cut for the wealthy. think that the only reason that the election was as close as it was is because of the tons of money used to stir up racist fears and bigotry and sexist prejudices. If people had voted with their brains Obama would have won every state including the deep south.


He has no notion of tax cuts for the wealthy. He does favor no tax increases on anyone while the economy is so weak.

Tons of money was spent demonizing Romney and promoting class warfare in battleground States. I hope that Obama's war on business does not succeed. Business is where the jobs are.


Ryan does not get it, but he does know how to go after & grab an easy paycheck.


You think governing at the Federal level is easy?


"Ryan lost surrounding Rock County" — virtually ALL of which is in Mark Pocan's 2nd District, not Ryan's own 1st District, which he won.
It's fatuous to use votes for a CANDIDATE to try to discern public sentiment on any particular ISSUE. Maybe a lot of people voted for Romney/Ryan because the GOP fielded the most anti-abortion ticket. Should Ryan claim them as favoring his economic ideas? Maybe a lot of people voted against them because Romney was such a flip-flopper and secretive about his taxes. Does that mean they DISliked Ryan's economic ideas?
You can't tell. Candidates take positions on all sorts of different issues, and it's impossible to say, short of exit polling about THOSE SPECIFIC ISSUES, which ones tipped the voters one way or the other.
You should know that, John.


Dear Poster:

The Romney/Ryan Ticket adopted Paul Ryan's draconian Budget screed into its election talking points especially during the republican primary. Granted, that later on Mitt Romney later tried to back away from it and distance himself from a lot of Paul Ryan's budgetary points in the general election campaign that strategy proved very hard to carry out by often forcing Romney to outright lie.

The most telling thing about how the voters rejected Ryan's ideas was in what they said after voting in the exit poll surveys.

That's where the data was made very clear and concise by showing a high percentage of those voting against the Romney-Ryan Ticket didn't like slashing health & social services, cutting taxes for the wealthy, cutting social security & medicare/medicaid benefits, and severely cutting back on Educational funding while increasing the military budget by $2 trillion.

How much of a rebuke does Paul Ryan and republicans need to get it through their heads that a strong majority of Americans on election day were solidly against his economics and budgetary plans?



You didn't even read the comment that you replied to.


Ryan continues to embrace his delusions. I believe that's a symptom of insanity. Without the Republican's dirty and secretive gerrymandered redistricting he would have lost his House seat because most of us recognize a fake when we see one. He and Ron Johnson are fakes. Both of them have relied on their wives' wealth to survive. Ryan has been dependent on the federal government for all but maybe 2 years of his adult life. He worked one year in the private sector, and that was for his family's business that just happened to get most of its profits from - government contracts! His college was paid for by student loans and his father's Social Security money. His paycheck has come from the government since he was in his 20's. But he hates government and those who depend on it. Wow.


Do you really believe what you just wrote?

Check out Obama and his background....what has he ever done, except campaign?


Obama also won the presidency, like twice now


"what has [Obama] ever done, except campaign?"
Govern. Teach constitutional law. Edit the Harvard Law Review. Write a couple of best sellers. Play basketball. Raise a family. Win the Nobel Peace Prize. Be one of the coolest guys on the planet when faced with astonishing provocations. Serve in the Illinois and US Senates. Oh, yeah, and get elected President of the United States. Twice.
A pretty dismal track record, to be sure, but cut the guy some slack. He's only 51 and hasn't had time to pile up the huge stack of accomplishments YOU undoubtedly have.

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