Paul Ryan

Ryan too conservative to help Romney

Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan

I’ve been a bit out of touch this weekend, so this is my knee-jerk reaction to Paul Ryan’s selection as Mitt Romney’s running mate — before being bombarded by media coverage or either campaign.

I’m surprised Romney picked someone more conservative than himself when his problem will be attracting votes from people who are more moderate.

In general my impression of Ryan is that he’s principled, honest, and very intelligent, but he’s hard-core conservative with very sharp edges. A rigid and prickly ideologue. He’s right (no pun intended) in one regard; the country is overspending by a wide margin. But common sense dictates we both cut spending and increase revenue. A balanced approach. Whether the increased revenue comes through eliminating the Bush tax cuts, trimming the bloat and inefficiencies in federal programs, clamping down on fraud, or some combination, it’s got to be balanced; I don’t believe for a second that programs for the middle and lower classes should be slashed while the wealthy go untouched, unscathed, untaxed.

As a senior on both Medicare and Social Security, I can guarantee I won’t vote for anyone wanting to make any drastic changes to these programs, much less abolish them. No Medicare vouchers, period. I’ve never seen a voucher program that worked fairly and adequately for everyone. Sure, there is a lot of administrative bloat and inefficiency in both programs, with lots of savings to be had. For example, I’d support gradually increasing the age for eligibility. And some means testing. And I’d certainly clamp tight regulations on the health care insurance companies and phase in either a public option or a single-payer plan.

His budget ideas aside, he’s opposed to abortion rights, even in cases of rape and incest. That alone is a deal-breaker.

Yes, Ryan would only be the vice president, a position that traditionally has been relatively inconsequential; nevertheless Romney has embraced him. ‘Nuf said.

When it comes to Paul Ryan, I don’t need to wait to “be scared by Obama.” Ryan himself did that a long time ago.

12 thoughts on “Ryan too conservative to help Romney

  1. I too recognize that Ryan has positive attributes, PT. He’s an admirable guy for having a strong work ethic himself, strong family values, and for having the political courage to tackle entitlement issues. But I agree too that his thinking is too extreme both for entitlements and especially for healthcare. His medical voucher program would be downright draconian for the middle and lower middle classes. Finally, topping everything in my opinion is the stubborn Tea Party demand for pampering the rich tax-wise when the nation is bogged down in a financial slump. Ryan and Romney share that mantle.

    1. Hypocritical as hell, if you ask me, for wealthy politicians (and they’re all wealthy, relatively speaking) to propose anything that doesn’t include re-imposing the taxes on themselves that were in effect when we had a balanced budget (under Clinton). It takes a lot of gall to sit in Washington and expect the middle and lower classes bite all the bullets and take all the hits while you and your rich friends give up nothing.

  2. When I saw news of the announcement, I thought: “I wonder what PT will think of this bloke?”
    I am beginning to add yours to the voices of the big networks here: so often you say something they don’t. Thanks for another perspective.

    1. My opinions are a lot like Forrest Gump’s life — ” … just a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” But I’m flattered you come to see what flavor I’m offering. Thank you.

  3. Not that it really matters to me since I’ll never vote for either major candidate, but what I don’t understand is how Romney convinced Ryan to sacrifice his political career like this.

  4. I don’t follow American politics so I can’t seriously comment on his policies. But I would like to say that as a senior myself who uses Medicare the thought of politicians tinkering with it or it being withdrawn sends shivers up my spine.

    1. I’d managed to shut out most of the politics for the last few months — I’m up to HERE with the partisanship and negative campaigning. It was pretty hard to miss the Ryan thing, though. Everything else stopped when the story broke. I’ve got those same shivers about anyone messing with the programs I’m so dependent on. I wish I weren’t and that I were wealthy enough to not worry about it, but I’m not. So I do. A lot.

  5. I wandered off your “Freshly Pressed” story and found this! Good read!

    I am saddened about how my Republicans are acting these days. Facebook has become a very hostile place as opposed to the old days of people posting baby pictures. I am shocked about how people act towards people seeking government help. I see posts about drug testing them and how they feel they are “entitled”.

    I work in a center as a volunteer helping people find employment and I also register people for welfare. We also have a food pantry. Since I actually talk to the people, I find many to be once productive people who can not find employment. Many are elderly and are used to a time without computers. My last client was a 68 year old widower who told me she had 26.00 in her account. These are the people who are going to pay if we cut these programs or force drug testing. If I had 26.00 dollars to my name, I would hope the process would go fast so I could eat. Sadly, with the economy and the rising usage of computers, I feel that more and more older Americans will be joining this lady.

    I really do not understand why the party continues on the path of extremism. Alienating your voting pool seems like a poor way to attempt to win an election. At least my mind is already made up on who I am voting for.

    1. As you may have read elsewhere, I was a Republican most of my life. Reasonably moderate and open-minded. I didn’t leave the GOP, they left me. I don’t understand their thinking either, unless they’re reverting to Goldwater’s thinking: “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” Goldwater was the first presidential candidate I ever voted for and I loved those comments back then. But I was young, idealistic, and still supported by my parents. What did I know?

  6. Well, you know what my reaction is. Typical “guy went to college on his father’s Social Security benefit and now thinks no one else should have the same because suddenly entitlements are evil” GOPness.

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