When Jon Boehner resigned as Speaker of the House in October of 2015, the Republican establishment looked to Paul Ryan (R-WI) to rescue the position. Ryan, though, was clear in his refusal at the time: “While I am grateful for the encouragement I’ve received, I will not be a candidate,” Ryan said.
The rest is history: Less than 2 weeks later, Ryan flip-flopped on his decision and took the seat as Boehner’s replacement.
GOP insiders are now hoping Ryan will have a similar change of heart and go back on his decision not to run for the presidency. At an April 12th Capitol Hill press conference, Ryan was candid about not wanting to be the next president:
“I do not want nor will I accept the nomination for our party… I believe you should only choose a person who actually participated in the primary. Count me out.”
However, if there’s a contested Republican convention this summer in Cleveland – which looks all but certain – Ryan could still be elected as the GOP nominee. Many experts foresee this happening. Phil Houston, a former CIA agent specializing in detecting deception, says Ryan left enough wiggle room in his Capitol Hill speech to let his party know his opinion could still be swayed. According to Houston:
“If Ryan had truly and absolutely closed his mind to the prospect of becoming the Republican nominee, it seems likely that he would have made some effort to rationalize the legitimacy of the remaining three Republican candidates. He never even came close to doing so.”
Establishment GOP elites disillusioned with Trump and Cruz would be ecstatic with Ryan, a politician with a history of pandering to corporations and making things easier for the top 1 percent of income-earners. Chief among those with hopes pinned on Ryan are Charles and David Koch, the billionaire libertarians whose favorite pastime is buying elections.
In the 2012 presidential election alone, the elaborate political network managed by the Koch brothers spent at least $407 Million in an all-out effort to stop Obama from being re-elected. Although the Kochs pledged to spend an even greater $889 Million on the current election cycle, they have mostly withheld their power from the presidential election for lack of a favorite candidate. And looking around at flailing front-runner Donald Trump and his alternative, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), it’s easy to see why. If Ryan made it onto the presidential ballot, the Kochs would have no qualms pouring their millions into the race to help the 46-year-old get elected.
Why GOP Financiers Want Paul Ryan in the White House
After former governors Scott Walker and Jeb Bush left the GOP race, the Koch brothers weren’t left with much. From their perspective, Cruz and Kasich seem unlikely to have what it takes to win the general election. Populist Trump is too much of a wild-card for the Koch brothers – given his track record, they don’t support him, and they can’t be sure he’s follow their orders. Paul Ryan may just be their puppet in shining armor.
First of all, Ryan’s staunch libertarian views are congruent with those of the Koch brothers. Throughout his career, Ryan has supported dramatically lowering all forms of taxes. During the Bush administration, Ryan led the Republican coalition which stood even to the right of Bush’s policies. Ryan urged Bush to increase tax cuts for wealthy Americans, increase military spending, and increase the budget deficit.
During Obama’s presidency, Ryan has advocated for massive cuts in children’s health insurance, Medicaid, food stamps, and other welfare programs. Ryan argues that cutting such programs will motivate poor people to work harder and make more money. Budget expert Robert Greenstein, however, said that Ryan’s plan would, “Produce the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern U.S. history.”
Most importantly for the Koch brothers, though, is the fact that Ryan would be a candidate more subservient to the donor class than the other Republican presidential hopefuls. Ryan has risen to prominence within the sphere of establishment politics. His name entered the mainstream in 2012 when he ran for the vice presidency on Mitt Romney’s ticket, a move many saw as a stepping stone for Ryan’s own bid at the Oval Office. The policies proposed by Romney are a good indicator as to what Ryan’s presidential goals would be: eliminate regulations while helping corporations maximize profits as much as possible.
If Ryan Wins, America Loses
Why do the Koch brothers want a Paul Ryan presidency? Simple: because he would be great for the richest Americans. To a greater extent than they are right now, corporations would be given free rein to do what they wanted at the expense of American citizens. The large chemical, pharmaceutical, and medical companies would have an even easier time getting away with murder and hiding profits overseas. Koch-owned corporations – DuPont and Georgia-Pacific, for example – would have even less difficulty destroying the environment, exposing people to asbestos, and influencing politics. All in the interest of the bottom line.
Ryan says he won’t run for president, but how believable is this given his track record? And with $900 Million to spend, can’t the Koch brothers make anything happen? How much pressure from the party establishment will Ryan take before he changes his mind? It should be no surprise that sources have revealed the Koch brothers are privately committed to making Paul Ryan the next president. If this ever happened, America would lose while its gluttonous corporations would walk away with stuffed pockets. Unfortunately, given Ryan’s penchant for changing his mind, this frightening outcome may be more likely than it seems.