Those who follow politics diligently probably already have made their decision, and those who do not have no idea who Paul Ryan is, much less what he stands for within the political arena. From these people I hear many wondering just who in the world Paul Ryan is and why Romney has chosen an “unknown.”
However, those of us who follow what has become the never ending election cycle in this country, have known for quite some time that Paul Ryan’s was a namen on Mitt Romney’s short list as a possible VP pick so it wasn’t a terrible surprise when the announcement finally came. After all, it was just last week that Romney told NBC’s Chuck Todd that he wanted someone “with a vision for the country…I happen to believe we’re going to be voting for what kind of America we’re going to have.”
Clearly, Paul Ryan has a vision and the only questions to be answered are whether or not his is a vision that the majority of the people in this country share and whether a VP choice actually calculates into votes for a Presidential candidate.
As the House Budget Committee chair, the Congressman from Wisconsin has led Republicans, arguing the entire way for what he calls major changes in entitlement policy in this country…the largest of which are Social Security, Medicare, and, of course, Medicaid…and all are on a course whose ultimate destination will be over the side of a very bankrupt cliff if that course is not altered in some way.
Ryan has argued long and loud that these programs simply cannot remain in an as is status, and at least privately, there’s no one involved who does not agree. Unfortunately for all of us, few politicians have the political nerve to take action. Why? Have you looked at the numbers of Americans who are affected by at least one of the above? Now…calculate that into votes, and you’ll find the easy answer.
Then, if you’ll dig a little deeper you’ll find the harder answer proposed by Paul Ryan some time ago: the Ryan budget. Considering the proposed cuts to the budget, it says a lot (You can decide just what.) that Ryan has persuaded his fellow Republicans that his proposed budget makes sense.
Most all of the House and even Senate Republicans are on board with Ryan and have even reluctantly supported his proposal for changes to Medicare for those who are younger than fifty-five. While those fifty-five or older would remain in their same status in regard to Medicare, younger Americans would move to “premium support” where recipients would have a choice of insurances…with subsidies for low income participants.
• The latest full-scale version of the plan, unveiled in March, vows to cut spending by $5 trillion over the next decade, compared against President Obama’s plan.
• The plan would, a decade from now, give seniors the option of taking a government payment to purchase health insurance. That payment could be used to buy a private insurance plan, or go toward the traditional Medicare plan. The plan calls for extra assistance to help low-income beneficiaries and those with “greater health risks.”
• The plan would overhaul Medicaid by turning it into a block grant system for states.
• The plan would cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent. It would implement two individual income tax brackets — 10 percent and 25 percent.
• The plan would head off the scheduled automatic defense cuts, first by diverting the planned $55 million defense cut in 2013 by implementing those cuts elsewhere.
• The plan vows to bring the size of government to 20 percent of GDP by 2015.
Whether you agree with Ryan’s proposal or not, he is a number cruncher, and he does at least have a plan, something the Senate has ignored for a very long time now…so long that I would question just how far out of Constitutional compliance the U.S. Senate might actually be.
Now…the bottom line is simple…
Do Americans care that the Senate has refused to pass a budget? Do Americans fear the possible collapse of our economy here in this country? Does a VP candidate carry any weight at all in a national election, and would Romney even consider Ryan’s budget ideas should the duo gain the Oval Office?
I have no idea, but it does make for an interesting political debate in what I believe will prove to be one of the most important elections of my lifetime.
AND…of course, we all know that there is not a lot a President can do unless he has some support in both Houses, something that Romney just might not have even should he pull off a win in November.