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Ryan: Atmosphere in DC is ‘poisonous’

Published: Fri, September 2, 2011 @ 12:07 a.m.

By Karl Henkel



U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan believes federal legislators know what the country needs.

Ryan, however, is unsure whether they know how to come to the necessary agreements to fix the nation’s struggling economy.

“I feel like we know where we want to be at times, but I am convinced that we can’t get there from here,” said Ryan, who spoke to a crowd of about 400 at the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber’s Salute to Business breakfast Thursday. “The current political environment in Washington is poisonous.”

Ryan, of Niles, D-17th, focused most of his 20-minnute address on ways to address the sluggish economy, most notably creating more jobs.

He said President Barack Obama’s pending jobs proposal will set the stage for America’s potential growth during the next few years.

It also may provoke more legislative bickering.

Ryan said additional government spending — which may or may not be part of Obama’s plan — shouldn’t be frowned upon, though Republicans likely won’t care for it. Ryan previously has called for more stimulus money to “try and jump- start the economy.”

“We have a national story now where every single thing the federal government spends money on is bad,” Ryan said. “If a coach runs a play three or four times and it doesn’t work, they don’t call it any more.”

Ryan didn’t elaborate on specific program cuts but said short-term fixes were the failed “plays” in his analogy. He said it’s time for the government to look long-term or risk further expanding the deficit.

“I’m concerned about the deficit,” he said. “No question that in the long term we have deficit issues. If we don’t have job creation in the next few years, we are going to have long-term deficits because there won’t be people paying taxes to the federal government to pay down the deficit.”

Ryan cited statistics that show 60 percent of jobs lost in the past two years were middle-class jobs.

“We can’t think we’re going to move forward in an economy where we just shine each other’s shoes and give each other massages and back rubs,” Ryan said. “That’s no way to generate long-term economic growth.”


1UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

This comment from the Congressman who said the waste of taxpayer money stimulate this bill should have been twice as large - hogwash! His district will be carved up soon enough.

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2lee(544 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

A big part of the problem in DC is that the air is not filled with poison(chlorine would be nice)

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3db(280 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

Want to create jobs? Eliminate NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT, impose a 25% tariff on all imports, and eliminate welfare & extended unemployment pay.

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4piak(508 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

A "poisonous" atmosphere in Washington, DC? NO...really?

Poisonous because maybe BOTH sides are believers in what they "stand" for. Their belief feeds their determination that one philosphy of governing is going to win. THEIRS!

Poisonous because a 9% unemployment rate, a multi-trillion dollar national debt, idiotic legislation that is inimical to the American worker and politically correct economic policies are fueling a crisis of the greatest magnitude.

Poisonous because the president who was supposed to unite us, can't because of his socialist tendencies, while his associates blame the Tea Party for all this.

How much has the congressman himself contributed to that poison atmosphere by HIS statements and political stands?

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5Julie1(34 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

Mr. or Ms. db,

Herbert Hoover implemented harsh trade restrictions in 1930 to "protect and expand American jobs."

The Great Depression followed with a 25% unemployment rate that lasted for years.

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6bartlettdb(2 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

Here comes Timbo one of the most partisan members of Congress and a mouth piece for the Nancy Pelosi left talking about the atmosphere in Washington. When was the last or should I say first time he has ever reached accross the aisle and sought compromise with the other party. More important when has he ever listened to his constituents and gotten their insight. He was just on vacation and how many town hall meetings did he have with the people of the district. Maybe things would improve in Washington if we sent members of Congress like Timbo into retirement.

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7iBuck(231 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

Herbert Hoover implemented extremely high "stimulus spending" and much higher tariffs in 1933 to "protect and expand American jobs". FDR doubled down and increased taxes several times, destroyed crops and livestock while Americans were starving. The Great Depression dragged on for years and years.

Today, our average tariff is 2%; our trading partners' average tariff, for goods we make here and ship there, is about 48%. When Red China was dumping steel, the US levied penalty tariffs, but the WTO sided with Red China. When it was noted that Europe was giving VAT kick-backs to their domestic firms, we altered our tax laws to balance, and the WTO went apoplectic. More recently, when rules for honest country of origin labeling were expanded, again the WTO pitched a hissy-fit, claiming it was "unfair" for Americans to know where the products they bought were made/grown.

Meanwhile, we've got hundreds of thousands of US machinists, scientists, engineers and computer wranglers unemployed and under-employed, and we're bringing in over 100K additional cheap, pliant STEM guest-workers with flexible ethics each year, and hundreds of thousands more in other categories. 400K additional foreign students are being educated at US tax-victim expense each year.

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8iBuck(231 comments)posted 3 years, 12 months ago

Larry Lebowitz: And our goal is clearly NOT to find a qualified and interested U.S. worker. And, you know, that in a sense that sounds funny, ahh, but it's what we're trying to do here... So certainly we are not going to try to find a place [at which to advertise the job] where the applicants are going to be the most numerous. We're going to try to find a place where, again, we're complying with the law, and hoping, and likely, not to find "qualified" and "interested" [American] worker applicants.

Jan/Jen Barton: What we mean by if they're interested, if they don't like the salary [because we're offering 12% below the local market compensation], if they don't like the work location [or can't locate themselves], they're not interested. Or if they just don't like the job itself, they're not interested. Um, those are ways we can "disqualify" them and get them out of the market, and focus on the ones who might be more qualified. If it gets to the point where they're, somebody's looking like they're very qualified, we ask them to have the manager of that specific position step in and go over the qualifications with them. If necessary schedule an interview, go through the whole process *to find a legal basis to disqualify them* for this particular position. In most cases that doesn't seem to be a problem... you can eliminate them...

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