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Rep. Ryan: President Obama 'sowing class envy and social unrest'

The chairman of the House Budget Committee accused President Obama of leveraging the current protests against Wall Street to stoke class warfare between the American people Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) argued the president’s remarks sympathizing with the protestors are divisive and said the president has failed in his pledge to raise the level of discourse in Washington.

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“I think it’s troubling. Sowing class envy and social unrest is not what we do in America,” Ryan said. “I think the president is doing that. I think he’s preying on the emotions of fear, envy and anger and that is not constructive to unifying America.”

“I think he’s broken his promise as a uniter and now he’s dividing people. And to me that’s very unproductive,” Ryan added.

Ryan said he was concerned that the White House jobs bill consists mostly of programs that have already been proven not to work, such as payroll tax exemptions he said had failed under both Presidents Bush and Obama.

“Instead of trying to get compromises, he’s embracing conflict,” Ryan said, accusing Obama of campaigning around the country for “a bill he knows won’t pass.”

“It can’t even get out of the Senate right now,” Ryan said.

As for areas where he believes there is room for agreement, Ryan advocated reforming the business tax code by lowering rates and eliminating corporate tax loopholes.

“I say get rid of all these loopholes so we can lower rates,” Ryan said. “We shouldn’t be picking winners and losers in Washington either through spending or the tax code. Both parties have been doing this.”

But Ryan said the White House isn’t interested in compromise, even though he thinks the groundwork exists. Instead, he said the Obama administration is campaigning to create a “political ruckus” while advocating for short-term federal programs he termed “sugar high economics.”

Ryan said the idea that Washington can create demand by borrowing and spending has already failed and that policy certainty for businesses is what is needed to create jobs.