Charlie Pierce has a nice takedown this morning of the myth of the Ryan family fortune being unconnected from, you know, gubmint. It was, rather, almost entirely amassed doing…wait for it…highway construction.
Which is all well and fine, but that’s two ways Paul Ryan owes his current life to the largesse of the American taxpayer. The first, of course, being the Social Security survivors benefits he collected after his father died.
What is it about GOP VP candidates and their mythology of isolation from government money? Remember this nugget from 2000?
LIEBERMAN: Dick Cheney must be one of the few people who think nothing has been accomplished in the last eight years. Promises were made and promises were kept. Has Al Gore — did Al Gore make promises in 1992? Absolutely. Did he deliver? Big time. If I may put it that way. That’s the record. Look at the 20 — look at the 22 million new jobs. Look at the 4 million new businesses. Look at the lower interest rates, low rate of inflation, high rate of growth. I think if you asked most people in America today that famous question that Ronald Reagan asked, “Are you better off today than you were eight years ago?” Most people would say yes. I’m pleased to see, Dick, from the newspapers that you’re better off than you were eight years ago, too.
CHENEY: I can tell you, Joe, the government had absolutely nothing to do with it. (LAUGHTER) (APPLAUSE)
That applause line uttered, I might add, by the Chairman and CEO of Halliburton, which counted, among its many customers, the United States Government.
Irony isn’t just dead. It’s so long gone people barely remember it.