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Ryan and Romney's Roadmap For America
Maureen Dowd and Others Dissect Paul Ryan NYTimes 8-19-12
Tom Morello: "I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta rage in him. A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically, the only thing he's not raging against is the privileged elite he's groveling front of for campaign contributions."
Howard Fineman: "Ryan turns out, upon closer inspection, not to be a purifying ideologhue, but rather a young, power-hungry, ladder-climbing trimmer." The self-styled deficit cutter wacked W's deficit exploding agenda, and the tut-tutting critic of the Obama stimulus grabbed for the president's stimulus money.
Grover Norquist told Bloomberg's Al Hunt that Ryan would be the Dick Cheney of economic and tax policy. And that's a compliment.
Maureen Dowd: "Ryan looks like a bonus Romney son, As Dan Quale did with Bush senior. Republicans find the tableau of two rich white guys--same shirts, different generations--comforting...but the closer you get the uglier it gets."
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Ryan's Roadmap Budget: "A Just spending bill cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor and vulnerable persons." (In a letter to Congress)
Jesuits: In a letter to Ryan--"Your budget appears to reflect the values of your favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
Ryan's former parish priest, Father Stephen Umhoefer: "You can't tell somebody that in 10 years your economic situation is going to be just wonderful because meanwhile your kids may starve to death."
Paul Krugman Exposes Ryan Plan as a Fraud
- An Unserious Man - NYTimes.com
So much for the real debate we were supposed to have once Paul Ryan joined the ticket. What we have instead is the triumph of style over substance.
Ryan and Romney's Roadmap for America
It's timely to ask "Who is Paul Ryan?" and "What does he stand for?" Paul Ryan is arguably the most powerful Republican in Congress and has been mentioned as a possible VP running mate for Mitt Romney. [Announced August 10 aboard the battleship Wisconsin in Norfolk.] Ryan has offered a "Roadmap for America's Future" and a budget proposal which has been endorsed by Romney. The Ryan-Romney Roadmap is reminiscent of Newt Gingrich's "Contract with America" but it's much more radical and far-reaching.
Who is Paul Ryan?
Paul Ryan is a 42-year-old Congressman first elected in 1998. He heads the key House Budget Committee. He is a member of the prominent Wisconsin Ryan clan, who with the Fitzgeralds and the Cullens constitute the Irish mafia in Janesville. He grew up and lives not in a historic house in Janesville which has six bedrooms and eight bathrooms. Numerous Ryan relatives live in his neighborhood. At the end of his high school senior year Ryan was elected "Biggest Brown-noser. Ryan acknowledges Atlas Shrugged and Ayn Rand as "the reason I got involved in public service...The fight we are in here, make no mistake about it, is a fight of individualism versus collectivism." Ryan was influenced in Miami University in Ohio by libertarian professor William R. Hart who introduced him to the National Review, Hayek, Friedman and other libertarians. Upon graduation, in 1991 Ryan got an internship in the office of a GOP Wisconsin Congressman and shortly thereafter a job as political analyst and speech writer for Jack Kemp at Empower America which was engaged in pushing Republicans rightward on public policy issues. At age 27, in 1997, Ryan was elected to Congress. Privatizing Social Security was his first policy initiative a watered-down version of which was endorsed reluctantly by President George W. Bush and which contributed to Bush's political decline. Ryan blamed the fact that privatizing Social Security bombed politically on the Administration's "bad job of selling it."
Ryan-Romney Budget and Roadmap
It is doubtful that many American voters are aware of how radical Ryan and his budget/roadmap are. Many have been seduced by false analogies between government taxation and budget and individual family budget policies. His plan is designed to reduce the welfare state and the government's role in protecting citizens from misfortunes for the most part beyond their control. Many aren't aware that Ryan's radical budget and long-range plan includes:
--A scaled down plan to privatize Social Security which would provide for 1/3 of Social Security taxes, instead of 1/2 to be invested in private accounts. (His long-term goal no doubt remains one of completely privatizing Social Security, thus transforming a social insurance program into one that permits individuals to speculate with their savings in private markets, which few are well-equipped to do.)
--End Medicare and replace it with direct payments to seniors who could then buy private health insurance.
--End Medicaid and replace it with lump sum payments to the states to use as they see fit.
--Repeal Obama's health-care reform law.
Ryan's budget/roadmap has been endorsed by Sarah Palin, Dick Armey, the Weekly Standard and passed by the Tea Party- dominated House of Representatives. Mitt Romney said in Chicago in March "I'm very supportive of the Ryan budget plan and a week later in Wisconsin "I think it'd be marvelous if the Senate were to puck up Paul Ryan's budget and adopt it and pass it along to the President." John Boehner was more cautious about Ryan's plan, and conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer opined "At 37 footnotes, it might be the most annotated suicide note in history." Peter Orzag, then Obama budget director, dissected Ryan's budget pointing out that it would "provide large tax benefits to upper-income households..." President Obama commented 'I believe it (Ryan budget) paints a vision of our future that's deeply pessimistic...There's nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. And I don't think there's anything courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don't have any clout on Capitol Hill."
Paul Ryan appeared shocked by the President's broadside, and he objected to Obama's claim that he was "pitting children with autism or Down's syndrome against millionaires and billionaires...and ending America as we know it." Two days later Ryan's plan passed the House 235 to 193. Only four Republicans voted against it. (Ron Paul, Texas, Walter Jones, NC, David McKinley, W. Va., Denny Rehbey, Montana) (Five Republican senators voted with Democrats against the proposal in the Senate. (Scott Brown, Mass., Susan Collins, Maine, Dean Heller, Nevada, and Rand Paul, Kentucky)
Effect on November Election
The budget stalemate's effect on the November election is far from clear. Ryan's budget has widespread GOP support in Congress. However, public support for Congress is at an all time low, around ten percent. And the budget leaves Romney and GOP candidates vulnerable to attack because of it's effect on popular and effective government programs. Obama has already made it clear that he will attack Mitt Romney for his support of Ryan's radical proposals.
[I am indebted to Ryan Lizza's long and excellent article in the New Yorker, August 6, 2012, as well as other sources.]
8-16-12NYTimes OPINION "Middle-Age Blues" Susan Collins
- Middle-Age Blues - NYTimes.com
We are learning so much about Paul Ryan, people! But what will this all mean to the American health care system?
Twelve things you should know about Paul Ryan
8-14-12NYTimes--"Paul Ryan's Fairy Tale Budget Plan" by David Stockman
- Paul Ryan’s Fairy-Tale Budget Plan - NYTimes.com
Paul D. Ryan’s talk of shrinking Big Government and giving tax cuts to “job creators” will do nothing to reverse the nation’s economic decline and arrest its fiscal collapse.
1-26-10Wall Street Journal "A GOP Roadmap for America's Future" by Paul D. Ryan
- Paul D. Ryan: A GOP Road Map for America's Future - WSJ.com
Congressman Paul Ryan writes in The Wall Street Journal that there's still time to rejuvenate our market economy and avoid a European-style welfare state.
8-6-10 Business Insider "Roadmap for America"
- Road Map for America
But what has most irritated liberal Paul Krugman about the plan is that, even though Republicans are billing it as the answer to our our deficit "apocalypse," it won't cut the deficit at all. Read more: http://articles.businessinsider.com/2010-08-06
HubPages "Mitt Romney for President"
- Mitt Romney for President 2012
Mitt Romney lost to John McCain in his quest for the Republican nomination for the 2008 presidential election, but this year many pundits believe he will get the GOP nomination for the 2012 election against Barack Obama. With unemployment at a post-W