August 15, 2012

Paul Ryan's So-Called "Record"

You might have seen a version of this latest meme making the rounds.  Basically, the claim is that Paul Ryan has only had two bills passed into law during the entire 13 years he's been in Congress.  Since that works out to .15 bills passed per year, that would be a truly lousy average, if it's true.

With Republicans slamming Obama so much about his "lack of experience" and claiming that he didn't get much done, it would be stunning hypocrisy if they selected a vice president with a less impressive record.

Which means it stands a good chance of being true.

We'd better check it out.

We'll start with Obama's record, just so we have a good idea of what the Republicans consider an inadequate measure.

Obama serve in the Senate from January 2005 through November 2008; or just over a month shy of four years.

He served on five committees, and eleven sub-committees, and an ad-hoc committee. 

He sponsored and/or co-sponsored the following bills that were passed into law:
  1. the Secure Fence Act (signed into law)
  2. The Lugar-Obama Initiative, an expansion of Nunn-Lugar (signed into law)
  3. The Coburn-Obama Transparency Act (signed into law)
  4. the Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act (introduced by Obama) (signed into law)
  5. the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act (signed into law)
  6. A resolution commemorating the 44th anniversary of the deaths of civil rights workersPassed (passed - Simple Resolution)
That's about 1.5 bills into law per year.  So that's our metric.  If you only manage to pass 1.5 bills into law, you are an ineffective legislator, according to the Grand Ol' Party.

Let's see how Representative Ryan compares:

He was elected to the House in 1998.

In that time, he served on two committees, one sub-committee, and five caucuses; that's about half the number of groups that Obama participated in. 

He sponsored or co-sponsored the following bills that were passed into law:
  1. An Amendment to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify the taxation of arrow components. (signed into law)
  2. To Designate the "Les Aspin Post Office Building"  (signed into law)
Shit.  I thought that was bullshit.  But he really has only gotten two bills passed in 13 years. That works out to .15 bills into law per year.

   Ryan: 0.15
Obama: 1.5

OK, that looks bad.  But let's see if Ryan looks better when you summarize what their bills accomplished:  After all, quality, not quantity, is what we should value in a legislator.
  • Paul Ryan made hunting arrows cheaper and got a post office named after the man who installed the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy into the armed forces.
  • Barack Obama secured our borders, reduced the number of nuclear warheads on the planet, made government procurement procedures available to public scrutiny, help feed starving people,  forced elected and appointed officials to wait several years before they could become lobbyists, and honored civilians who died fighting for our rights.
So it looks like Mitt Romney has left no stone turned to find the best possible person to be a heartbeat away from running the country.

1 comment:

  1. However, if you hate government, the fact that you did so little actual governing should be a plus...but then, that would count for BHO as well, and they can't accept that. Tough position to be in, I guess. But what do you expect from people who spend billions of dollars to get elected while simultaneously "despising government?"