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BRIDGE BRIEFING: Ryan And The 47%

Ryan Used Similar Rhetoric To Romney’s “47%”

Ryan Said 30% Of The Country Were “Takers” Who Did Not Want The American Dream

In 2010, Ryan Said 60 % Of Americans Received More Benefits From The Government Than They Paid In Taxes; Labeling Them “Takers” Versus Makers. According to the Huffington Post, “Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan said in 2010 that 60 percent of Americans receive more financial benefits from the government than they pay in taxes, making them ‘takers,’ rather than ‘makers,’ according to a 2010 video of Ryan speaking with Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.). ‘Right now about 60 percent of the American people get more benefits in dollar value from the federal government than they pay back in taxes,’ Ryan said. ‘So we’re going to a majority of takers versus makers in America and that will be tough to come back from that. They’ll be dependent on the government for their livelihoods [rather] than themselves.’” [Huffington Post, 10/5/12]

Ryan Said 30 Percent Of Americans Wanted A “Welfare State” While 70 Percent Wanted The American Dream. According to the Huffington Post, “Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, share a similarly dim view of a very large portion of Americans, according to previously unreported remarks by Ryan. Both believe that many of their fellow citizens are dependent on government and have no motivation to improve their lives — but they disagree over the precise number. Romney’s estimate, famously, is 47 percent. For Ryan, it’s 30 percent. ‘Seventy percent of Americans want the American dream. They believe in the American idea. Only 30 percent want the welfare state,’ Ryan said. ‘Before too long, we could become a society where the net majority of Americans are takers, not makers.’ (It’s not definitively clear whether Ryan said ‘the welfare state’ or ‘their welfare state.’ HuffPost originally transcribed it as ‘their welfare state.’ Regardless, the comment was made in reference to people on government assistance.) Ryan’s comments were delivered as part of his keynote address at The American Spectator’s 2011 Robert L. Bartley Gala Dinner, which the magazine posted online.” [Huffington Post, 10/2/12]

Like Romney, Ryan Refers To Poor Americans As “Victims”

In 2005, Ryan Urged Conservatives To Convince People To Rise From “Victimhood.” According to Huffington Post, “On Wednesday, an interviewer asked Ryan three times whether or not he agreed with Romney’s particular characterization of individuals who don’t pay income taxes as ‘victims who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing.’ But back in 2005, Ryan more directly addressed similar questions. In fact, Ryan recommended that conservatives convince people to rise up out of their ‘victimhood.’ In a session he attended at the Ayn Rand-inspired advocacy group, the Atlas Society, Ryan told audience members that the ‘victimization’ argument would be one of their most effective strategies for getting people on the side of a Randian approach to free-market economics: …In arguing that conservatives should ‘try to show how victimhood has gotten them nothing,’ Ryan seemingly accepted the premise that certain Americans are, indeed, ‘victims.’ But instead of placing the blame for that on the people themselves, he argued that it was the byproduct of the political system.” [Huffington Post, 9/21/12]