Paul Ryan's sense of privilege is so Ayn Randian
Paul Ryan became speaker of the House last week. In order to take the job he had several demands. Paul Ryan said he cannot and will not give up time with his family. The man should be commended for being a family man.
That said, it is amazing that he feels free to make those demands as he is on the dole of the American taxpayer. Yet he would deny taxpayers policies that would afford them that same entitlement as well. That is the instantiation of his privilege.
Chuck Todd confronted Paul Ryan on his demand for his paid family leave entitlement. "You were worried about taking this job because you wanted to spend more time with your family," Chuck Todd said. "A lot of Democrats including Elizabeth Warren said 'Hey that is great. How comes you don't support paid family leave?'"
Paul Ryan's response was one of condescension, ignorance, and privilege. "Because I love my children and I want to be home on Sundays and Saturdays like most people doesn't mean I am for taking money from hard-working taxpayers to create a brand new entitlement program. I think people in America would like to see their members of Congress be like them. Live among them. Live in their hometowns. Raise their families. Be with their kids. Go to volleyball and basketball, cubs scouts and church."
Todd reminded Ryan that a lot of people have to work on weekends but did not probe the hypocrisy even given Ryan's answer. Chuck Todd gave no scrutiny to the canned answer Ryan has been given on every network.
Paul Ryan demanded paid family leave in order to become speaker and got it. He knew that his family needs him and he ensured his job was tailored to meet that need. Yet Paul Ryan and his ilk voted against or did not support various bills providing some sort of paid family leave that would afford his constituents the same privilege.
Paul Ryan's constituents have the same aspirations, desires, and needs for family as he does. It is his responsibility to provide national policies that ensure they have that ability, that right. They don't want to see him in their hometowns. They want him legislating good national policies in Washington to make their lives better.
Americans must understand that when some talk about entitlements, they mean you are not entitled, they are. Paid family leave and other solid social programs are needed in America. Those policies would be the beginning of addressing income inequality in the aggregate.