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Ryan’s ‘Son of Toil’ Meme Dissolves Under Scrutiny

Kathleen Geier’s “What Paul Ryan has in common with Marie Antoinette” at the Washington Monthly puts to rest the myth of the blue collar cred of their veep candidate. Geier draws from an L.A. Times article, “Despite working-class image, Ryan comes from family of wealth” by Ralph Vartabedian, Richard A. Serrano and Ken Bensinger:

In the year after his father’s death, Ryan’s maternal grandmother set up the Ryan-Hutter Investment Partnership, which remains an important part of Ryan’s finances with assets of up to half a million dollars, according to the congressman’s 2011 financial disclosure statement. Ryan continues as the general partner running the entity for the family.
Court records indicate Ryan’s father left a probate estate of $428,000, though the number of assets existing outside the will or the probate remains unknown. Ryan was to receive $50,000 when he turned 30.
In addition to the Ryan-Hutter Investment Partnership, Ryan also benefits from another family entity, Ryan Limited Partnership, which was established in March 1995 by an aunt. Ryan’s share of that is worth up to $500,000. Ryan makes no investment decisions in either partnership, the campaign spokesman said.

The LAT piece explains, further, that Ryan:

…was born into one of the most prominent families in Janesville, Wis., the son of a successful attorney and the grandson of the top federal prosecutor for the western region of the state. Ryan grew up in a big Colonial house on a wooded lot, and his extended clan includes investment managers, corporate executives and owners of major construction companies.
…Ryan’s rise to political power and financial stability was boosted by family connections and wealth. The larger Ryan family has repeatedly helped the candidate along in his career, giving him a job when he needed one and piling up tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions.

Geier adds, “Not only did Ryan inherit wealth, he also made money the old-fashioned way: he married it,” and quotes again from the L.A. Times:

Of the Ryans’ maximum estimated assets of $7.6 million, Janna’s holdings account for about $6.5 million. She is the daughter of Dan and Prudence Little, two lawyers in Madill, Okla., who over the years have overseen a vast network of land and oil and gas mineral rights in the Red River area straddling southern Oklahoma and northern Texas.

Geier finishes off the GOP princeling’s scam:

…Paul Ryan, like so many Republicans before him, is one of those dudes who was born on third base and is desperate to persuade the world he hit a triple. Yes, like practically every other teenager of his generation, he worked a few low-paid service jobs for some pocket change when he was in high school. But for him to distort that experience and try to pass himself off as “blue collar” is a grotesque masquerade. Historically, it calls to mind nothing so much as the antics of Marie Antoinette and the ladies of her court, who from time to time would amuse themselves by donning shepherdess drag and play-acting at being pure and simple folk, modest toilers of the earth.

As Geier concludes, it’s good that not all of the MSM has been scammed by “this piece of outrageous bamboozlement.”

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