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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.com

 

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) is well-known for his twisted vendetta against the social safety net, but may have outdone even himself with a joke that even bombed with an ultra-conservative audience.

On Saturday, Ryan delivered the keynote speech at the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce’s dinner honoring Senator Orin Hatch (R-UT), the most senior Republican in the Senate, as a “Giant in Our City.”

Ryan made a few jokes about Hatch’s advanced age, but one crack about Ryan’s own impending retirement did not go over so well.

“Truthfully though, I thought that maybe I’d just retire to get my hands on some of these entitlements,” Ryan said. “Because, it didn’t look good if I waited, cause trust me, I’ve done the math.”

Republicans like Ryan often spread lies about Social Security’s future solvency in order to attack the program. But even in this setting, Ryan’s joke was poorly received, according to Associated Press reporter Steve Peoples.

As was quickly noted by observers, Ryan in hardly in a position to require assistance through his retirement. He has a reported net worth of over $7 million dollars, and one of the best retirement packages available to an American.

Ryan has been at the forefront of attempts to destroy earned benefit programs like Social Security and Medicare, and has even said he has dreamt of gutting Medicaid since he was “drinking out of a keg.”

Ryan has been singled out by Christian leaders for the cruelty of his politics, which is made all the more outrageous by the fact that Ryan, himself, used Social Security survivor’s benefits to put himself through college.

Ryan also found humor in Trump’s ongoing attack on American democracy, joking that  “There’s a lot of talk about impeachment from this resist crowd. I wonder if anybody’s told this resist crowd that next in line is Mike Pence, then me, then Sen. Hatch.”

Like most Republicans, Paul Ryan has stood by Trump every step of the way, but his inaction is made all the more disgraceful by the fact that he does so in hopes that he can crush the safety net, and the Americans who rely on it.

Published with permission of The American Independent.