As most of you know, Paul Ryan is a ridiculous fraud who nevertheless carries a seemingly unshakeable media reputation as a good Republican who can be reasoned with. He supported all of the unfunded spending of the Bush era, and his objection to the upper-class tax cuts is that they weren’t big enough, but nonetheless he is consistently portrayed as a Policy Wonk With Green Eyeshades Who Cares About Deficits and the Poor.
Many noted on Wednesday that despite Trump’s order, the government can’t spend money that Congress hasn’t appropriated. But House Speaker Paul Ryan confirmed in an interview with MSNBC’s Greta Van Susteren on Wednesday that Congress is going to find a way to let Trump use U.S. taxpayer money to kick off construction of the wall.
“First off, we’re going to pay for it and front the money,” Ryan said. He didn’t elaborate, but according to CNN, during the Republican lawmakers’ retreat in Philadelphia this week, Ryan said they could push through a special spending bill dedicated to the wall in the next few months.
Will Ryan letting Trump do more or less whatever he wants as long as he gets upper-class tax cuts, less environmental and labor regulation, and slashed spending for actually beneficial federal programs in return damage his reputation in the mainstream press at all? My guess is no. But, to be fair, I think there’s at least a 50/50 chance that over the next four years Glenn Greenwald will stop writing that the American power elite is collectively and resolutely opposed to Donald Trump.