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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Paul Ryan's Little Ethics Problem

June 22nd, 2011

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has been called "a very serious man." Ross Douthat lauded his "honesty." Peter Wehner credited Ryan with restoring the GOP as a "party of ideas." David Brooks called him "courageous." The National Review said that Rep. Ryan was doing nothing less than "pointing the way back toward a republic."

With all due respect, it appears they might have hitched their carts to the wrong horse. This is putting it very politely.

From The Daily Beast:
"The financial disclosure report Ryan filed with Congress last month and made public this week shows he and his wife, Janna, own stakes in four family companies that lease land in Texas and Oklahoma to the very energy companies that benefit from the tax subsidies in Ryan's budget plan."


"Ryan’s office says the congressman wasn’t thinking about himself or the oil companies that lease his land when he drafted the budget blueprint that extended the energy tax breaks. “These are properties that Congressman Ryan married into,” spokesman Kevin Seifert said. “It’s not something he has a lot of control over.”

Nonetheless, the properties have been a lucrative investment for Ryan and his wife, earning them as much as $117,000 last year, and $60,000 the year before, his personal financial disclosure reports show. Overall, Ryan, 41, listed assets worth between $590,000 and $2.5 million, putting him in the top third of the richest members of the House."

An ethical man would have already divested personal holdings that directly benefit from his own legislation. Period. But not Ryan... He apparently thinks this isn't "serious."

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