Paul Ryan, who was recently tapped by Mitt Romney to be his running mate, is a 7th term congressman that currently serves as the Chairman of the House Budget Committee and a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. The Tea Party darling is most famous for his economic reform plan, The Path to Prosperity. His plan is to a balance the national budget by year 2040 by decreasing Medicare and other government programs, such as food stamps and Medicaid.
Ezra Friedlander, CEO of The Friedlander Group, a public affairs consulting firm, recently met with Ryan to discuss his support of the Orthodox Jewish community. “Ryan graciously took the time to understand the intricacies of Jewish tradition, asking questions relating to both Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jews. He is a religious Catholic so he seemed to be able to identify with Orthodox Jewry.”
A major issue brought up at the meeting was government spending. Friedlander explained, “The Orthodox Jewish community, unfortunately, has grown accustomed to relying on government social programs for support. However while this may be true, there are still many families who need these programs to survive. While smaller government would, in theory, lower taxes, which it was what everybody wants, one should be cognizant that it would also cut funding that would help large middle class families struggling to make ends meet. It is a double edge sword.”
Friedlander continued, “We are a community that is deserving of recognition and assistance since we save the government millions of dollars by sending our children to private schools. Therefore, government should recognize that passing education tax credit legislation is a first step to alleviating hardships of middle class Jewish families.”
Friedlander has no doubt that Ryan as Vice President would be sympathetic to the financial burdens of the Orthodox Jewish community who spend most of their money on tuition and other religious costs. Friedlander concluded, “I guess we will have to see if Paul Ryan ends up as Vice President to know how it all plays out.”
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