There’s an interesting little nugget in the NYTimes today about the $7M fortune of Paul Ryan and how he earned it, which is to say that he didn’t:
Mr. Ryan reported two tax-deferred college savings plans, with a combined value of between $150,000 and $300,000. He also reported two investment partnerships worth, in total, between $350,000 and $750,000, mostly containing shares of stock in well-known companies, including Apple, Goodrich, Kraft Foods, Visa and Whole Foods. Both partnerships were formed by Mr. Ryan and other family members to manage assets left by his grandparents and an aunt. Mrs. Ryan has reported receiving a trust after her mother died in 2010 that is valued between $1 million and $5 million, according to a letter Mr. Ryan filed with his latest financial disclosure. Mrs. Ryan also has longstanding interests in several mining and oil exploration investments in Oklahoma and Texas managed by her father, Dan Little, a lawyer in Oklahoma whose clients include oil and gas companies. Those investments generated as much as $150,000 in income last year.
Oh. So who were these grandparents that were so generous with little Paul, who as we all know required Social Security survivor benefits to become launched to be the man he is today? Wiki tells us:
His great-grandfather, Patrick William Ryan (1858–1917), founded the Ryan Incorporated Central construction business in 1884. Ryan’s grandfather was appointed U.S. Attorney for Western Wisconsin by President Calvin Coolidge.
A quick click on lucky 13 brings us to The History Page of Ryan Inc. in WI where we quickly learn that:
Ryan Incorporated Central has been shaping the earth since 1884. The Company started in Janesville, Wisconsin with a team of mules building railroad embankment in Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. As it grew, it added road work and mining in the early 1900′s. By the 1940′s the Company had become a full-service grading contractor serving both private industrial and public transportation customers, including some of the original work at what would become O’Hare Airport. During the 1970′s and 1980′s, Ryan expanded its services to include landfill construction and waste remediation, and in the 1990′s added golf course construction. Today, Ryan Incorporated Central is one of the nation’s premier mass excavation and site-work contractors with expertise in residential, commercial, transportation, entertainment, energy and environmental work. This including extensive experience in power and industrial site-work, state-of-the-art municipal and industrial landfill construction and capping and full service golf course construction. The Company’s project size ranges in dollar value from $10,000 to $50,000,000.
So in otherwords, when Obama says that “you didn’t build that” in the midwest it’s true: Ryan’s family probably did, and with your tax dollars, which of course means that when Ryan wasn’t earning a living from his tax-payer funded salary, his family fortune was accruing from taxpayer dollars.
But what else can we learn about the fortune from his tax attorney wife, Janna Ryan, née, Little:
The Oklahoman’s political blog reported Saturday that her grandfather, Reuel W. Little, was a lawyer and rancher in the state who helped form a third political party in Oklahoma in the 1960s. His 1993 obituary stated that he was the American Party’s gubernatorial candidate in 1970. Three years earlier, Little started the push for a third party in order to get former Alabama governor George Wallace on the ballot as a presidential candidate.
Janna’s first cousin is Oklahoma Democratic Rep. Dan Boren.
Nice. Segregationist roots, but that’s not fair to her. It should be noted that Reuel Little was also a very successful attorney, but you don’t say things like that in Oklahoma appearantly:
The Little Law Firm, PLLC has been serving Oklahoma since 1927. The Firm began when Reuel W. Little (1942-1993) opened the office in Madill, Oklahoma. From its inception, the firm embraced the valued tradition of community service and the protection of individuals and businesses.
Jana Ryan’s father, Dan Little runs the joint now and he personally (not the firm) specializes in Business Law & Commercial Litigation, Oil & Gas, Real Estate. It doesn’t take many clicks to learn that his firm and Dan in particular are involved in defending and promoting the practice of Fraking, you know, where you poison the ground water and cause earthquakes to retrieve a tablespoon of really dirty oil
So you see, they are self-made millionaires (who did it the old-fashioned way by being well-connected from birth), and if they can do it, so can you.