in Virginia this morning. (A battleship, Mitt? Going door to door in Paris with the Book of Mormon is not battle.) I must say that his timing couldn't have been better. His campaign was tanking fast. This is a good way to stop the bleeding; introduce your vice presidential running mate to the country and get us talking about something else besides Bain Capital and a lack of personal income tax returns for awhile. (Mitt, we still want to see those returns.)
That running mate happens to be Paul Ryan. He is white, male, and has a lot of hair. All the things needed if you want to be on a winning GOP ticket. (Sorry Sarah)
Anyway, I have some bad news for my fellow progressives who thought I was going to rip Paul Ryan with crass Eddie Munster jokes. I am not. Ryan seems like a decent enough fellow, folks I know who have met the guy all seem to confirm that. Anyway, I actually think that this is a good choice for Mitt. I think that we will finally be able to argue substantive issues and the American voters will have an opportunity to make a choice between two different economic visions for America.
I have been fortunate in life, so when I stop working and start spending my days enjoying my retirement, I will not have to depend on a social security check to keep me going. Medicare? Well I plan to be still playing a mean game of tennis long after I am 65, so I am not even thinking about long term health care right about now. Sadly, however, for those of you who are, the choice of Paul Ryan to be your potential VP might be a little problematic.
The Ryan Plan in a nutshell:
"By selecting Ryan, Romney closely associates himself with the author of a controversial budget plan which would dramatically overhaul the federal government. Ryan, as head of the House Budget Committee, has called for big reductions in taxes for both wealthy individuals and corporations and turning Medicare into a program in which each senior citizen gets a voucher of several thousand dollars to purchase their own plan, instead of the current, government-operated program. He would make Medicaid a block grant program where each state could set its own rules.
Under Ryan, corporate taxes would be 25 percent instead of 35 percent, and the highest tax bracket for individuals would also be 25 percent instead of 35 percent. He would also cut trillions in government spending, likely reducing funds for education, health care and transportation at a much faster rate than Democrats have proposed in order to balance the federal budget.
The Ryan vision is a dramatic departure from what the president is proposing. In his second term, Obama wants to raise taxes on wealthy individuals to fund increased spending in some areas of education and infrastructure and continue implementing “Obamacare,” which expands Medicaid and sets strict rules for states on how they use the program."
Democrats, including President Obama, argue Ryan’s proposals constitute “social Darwinism” and would benefit the rich at the expense of people who rely on Medicare, Medicaid and other programs. [Source]
Speaking in strictly political terms, some of you will say that this is a risky pick. That it's just another Hail Mary by the GOP. Romney was feeling heat from the right, and this is the guy that the so called thinkers in the party wanted. (Sorry Mitt, no more Etch A Sketch.) This is a a guy with some real meat on his economic plan and his vision for the future of America. Now, maybe, we can talk issues.
"The case for Mr. Ryan is that he best exemplifies the nature and stakes of this election. More than any other politician, the House Budget Chairman has defined those stakes well as a generational choice about the role of government and whether America will once again become a growth economy or sink into interest-group dominated decline.
Against the advice of every Beltway bedwetter, he has put entitlement reform at the center of the public agenda—before it becomes a crisis that requires savage cuts. And he has done so as part of a larger vision that stresses tax reform for faster growth, spending restraint to prevent a Greek-like budget fate, and a Jack Kemp-like belief in opportunity for all."
So there you have it. The case for Ryan from the right.
Of course, at the end of the day, Mitt is still the man at the top of the ticket, and....well, I love what Jed Lewison wrote:
"The case they are making for Ryan has nothing to do of demographics or geographical considerations. Nor does it have to do with checking some sort of box—like foreign policy experience—on the GOP ticket's joint resume. Instead, they are saying that without Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney is nothing more than an empty suit, someone at any given moment will say whatever he thinks is most politically expedient. In their view, Mitt Romney is just a guy who's running for office, for Pete's sake.
If they didn't believe that, they wouldn't be getting so excited for Paul Ryan. After all, Mitt Romney has repeatedly and enthusiastically supported Ryan's plan. He's already on record supporting it. If conservatives thought Mitt Romney was a man they could trust, that would be enough for them. But they do not trust him—and with good reason.
But here's the thing: even if Mitt Romney does pick Paul Ryan, he'll still be as untrustworthy as he is today. Picking Ryan might make the conservatives feel good. But if Romney does it, the only reason will be that he decided Ryan was the most expedient decision—the best tactical pick. Because that's just how Romney rolls. [Source]
That's exactly how Mitt rolls; "tactics" not substance.