Paul Ryan likes to paint himself as the living embodiment of the “come up from nothing” American Dream. On the campaign trail he talks about the couple of low-paying jobs he had as a youth. But here’s what Paul Ryan doesn’t tell you about his path to success:
And yet Ryan, 42, 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. [...]
But there was also more to it than work. 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.
And then there were several trust funds worth hundreds of thousands. And he married a very wealthy woman.
Not saying Paul Ryan didn’t work to get where he is today, but he is far from a “rags-to-riches” hero in a Horatio Alger novel. He had many advantages along the way that are simply not available to the millions of Americans who don’t grow up in fancy neighborhoods and being able to depend on trust funds.
On an ironic note, Paul Ryan got his education at a public college. But his budget plan proposes to severely slash funding for public education. Thus, others who weren’t born under as fortunate circumstances as himself, will have that much less opportunity to reach the American Dream under his policies, than were essentially handed to Mr. Ryan throughout his life.