Monday, August 13, 2012

The Point Of Decision

Over the weekend, amid the din of kids and parents preparing for school, and the 2012 Summer Olympics winding down, Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced his choice for a Vice Presidential running mate: Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

We agree with those who say choosing Ryan was not a bold or courageous choice by Romney. It was a choice, however, that tells us a great deal about Mitt Romney.

The Romney/Ryan ticket is the end result of a Republican Party that has given on up functional governing for pure ideology. Ryan, in fact, has long been known as an ideological devotee of the extremist right-wing author Ayn Rand - a woman who blasted government assistance, but took Medicare and Social Security when she did not need to. Ryan's ideology seems to mesh perfectly with Romney's: One set of rules for us, and another for "those people."

Of course, as columnist E.J. Dionne noted over the weekend, we all know how well sticking to ideology at the expense of progress worked out for the Democratic Party in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

To put it bluntly, for seniors, the working class, the middle class - basically anyone who enjoys Medicare, Social Security, and a fair day's wage - the Romney/Ryan combo is a ticket straight to Screw U. That isn't an educational institution and it's nowhere any sane American wants to be.

As we discussed in one of our most widely read commentaries ever, "Barrel Full' O Stupid", the Ryan budget plan would raise medical costs for the elderly and poor significantly. It would also destroy Medicare as we know it, and would replace it with a coupon/voucher system. If you ran out of voucher coupons and needed medical care? Too bad for you. The wealthiest American people and corporations would be fine, though, as they'd be receiving a multi-trillion dollar tax cutThe Ryan plan would blow also a massive hole in the deficit, as we noted back in March, and would continue racking up massive debt. At best, it might balance the Federal budget sometime between 2030 and 2040 if everything went perfectly - which, in the real world, never happens.

Not surprisingly, you heard none of these facts from the Romney/Ryan camp over the weekend. In fact, the full range of both Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan's twisting the truth was on display multiple times over the weekend - notably in a "60 Minutes" interview that was full of baloney, and not much else.

Most tellingly, Mr. Romney insisted over the weekend that while he respected Paul Ryan's ideas, Romney would not run on the Ryan budget plan. By the end of the weekend, however, the Romney campaign was telling everyone that if Mitt were President, he'd happily sign the Ryan budget plan into law.

On top of all this, the Romney campaign also was caught insisting on seeing multiple years of tax returns from those people they considered for VP choices. Meanwhile, the Romney camp steadfastly refuses to show more than one full year of his tax returns to the American people.

This dual standard of rules and positions is guaranteed to be a hallmark of the Romney/Ryan campaign. One set of rules for Romney, Ryan, and those they are pandering to that day, and another set of rules and proposals that will put the screws to "those people".

In America, however, the great majority of us are "those people" at some point in our lives. Which means that if America picks Romney and Ryan, almost everyone will get screwed.

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