Saturday, August 11, 2012

Willard Picks a Running Mate! [Yawn]

Usually when there's bad news, politicians elect to release it during the traditional "news dump" time of late Friday afternoon, when nobody's paying attention.

Willard Romney's news release announcing his vice presidential running mate was made at an even worse time -- overnight Friday night during an Olympics weekend! But the actual announcement was made Saturday morning around 9am.

So who is this guy? It's Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee. He's the author of the Ryan Budget Plan, otherwise known as the Kill Medicare Bill. This highly controversial bill would end Medicare as we know it. Medicare is one of the most successful, best loved programs any US Congress has ever passed. Ryan's plan would change Medicare into a voucher program, where seniors would stop getting government backed Medicare and instead, receive a voucher with which they could purchase health insurance.

In essence, this would be telling an 80 year old who may be suffering from a whole list of ailments, "here's a coupon. Good luck finding an insurance company that will take you. And if it's not enough, or the money runs out, too bad. You're on your own."

Let's remember that during the Regressive republican primaries, Newton Gingrich called Ryan's Medicare plan "right wing social engineering."

His Ryan Plan would also lower the tax rate of the richest Americans to 25%. The top tax rate is currently about 35%, four points lower than it was during the highly prosperous Clinton years, when millionaires and billionaires made a ton of money and still paid 39% in income taxes.

He'd extend the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2 percent, but not President Obama’s cuts for those who earn the least. Here's a chart, compiled by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which shows the skewed distribution:

Make more than $1 million? Get a tax cut of 12.5%.      Make less than $10,000? Your taxes go up!

How to make up the shortfall? That's easy. Privatize Medicare and Social Security, leaving retirees' income to the volatile whims of the financial market; raise taxes on 95% of Middle Class America, and still end up increasing the debt by $4 trillion in ten years. Many unspecified spending cuts would also go into effect.

Privatizing Social Security and turning it over to Wall Street is extremely risky. Had the plan been in effect during the 2008 financial crisis, millions of seniors' benefits would likely have been decimated.

Wikipedia states, "The 2012 Ryan budget also received criticism from elements of the Catholic Church, specifically from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and from faculty and administrators of Georgetown University. In its letter to Rep. Ryan, the group of Georgetown faculty and administrators criticized the Ryan budget as trying to "to dismantle government programs and abandon the poor to their own devices," going on to say that Catholic teaching "demands that higher levels of government provide help — "subsidium"— when communities and local governments face problems beyond their means to address such as economic crises, high unemployment, endemic poverty and hunger." 

Paul Ryan appears to be the tough, deficit-cutting hawk, yet he voted FOR the Bush tax cuts, FOR the Iraq War and FOR the $800,000,000,000 Wall Street bailout, all tremendously increasing the national debt.

Paul Ryan is the candidate of choice for working-class conservatives who think millionaires have suffered enough.

Interesting how both Willard Romney and Paul Ryan stood in front of the battleship the USS Wisconsin, using it as a military prop, despite the fact that neither of them has served a single day in the armed forces.

And neither has any foreign policy experience whatsoever.

Paul Ryan is one of the leaders of the most hated congress in American history, a congress that has the lowest approval rating since polls began measuring such things.

And yet, doesn't it all seem familiar? An older, boring Regressive republican candidate that no one is excited about chooses a younger, splashy, fringe, rightwing extremist vice presidential pick to excite the republican base, but who will be divisive with moderate republicans and independents, and who will do more harm than good to the ticket.  See what I mean? Put glasses and a big wig on Ryan and you have Sarah Palin, albeit with a bit more of a brain.

And we all know how that ended.

But Ryan is raw meat for the far rightwing Teabagger crowd just the same -- the very Teabaggers who used to scream, "get your government hands off my Social Security and Medicare," ironically the two programs Ryan would cut and destroy the most.

So, righties, enjoy your Paul Ryan Jubilation Weekend. But remember, no presidential campaign is ever won based on a vice presidential pick. On Monday, you'll still be stuck with the moderate liberal from Massachusetts you can't stand, who came up with the shining model for Obamacare -- the program you despise more than anything. And on Monday, when all the Ryan hoopla dies down, America will still be demanding 10 years of tax returns from your secretive, sneaky, liar of a candidate who paid a much lower income tax rate than you did, when he bothered to pay income taxes at all.

FORWARD!  Obama 2012.

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