Skip to comments.Mitt Romney's Selection Of Paul Ryan Is A Sign Of Desperation (Excellent Libertarian Analysis)
Posted on 08/12/2012 8:43:00 PM PDT by Zakeet
Mitt Romney's Selection Of Paul Ryan Is A Sign Of Desperation
Many folks were surprised last night as rumors began leaking that Romney tapped Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, for the prestigious VP slot. The surprise came largely because many were expecting a more mundane pick like Tim Pawlenty or Rob Portman. The reactions from the GOP base is positive overall, although the story is still fresh and drawing conclusions is difficult. The reactions from the Democrat/Liberal base are predictable and I am guessing that the Obama campaign is licking its lips over the prospect of skewering Ryan like a kabob. I have a slightly different take, my feeling is that this pick is an indication that the Romney team is struggling and sees the prospect of winning in November diminishing with each passing day. People like Pawlenty and Portman is the equivalent of swinging for a base hit - the selection of Ryan is swinging for the fences. It is desperation and an attempt to shake things up substantially in the hopes of energizing a splintered and unimpressed Conservative base.
However I prefer to focus on the economics of politics, not the politics of politics - so lets take a look at what exactly makes Ryan such a risk.
Paul Ryan, to be sure, is an impressive politician. He has a perfect pedigree, is good looking and probably considered to be the premier fiscal wonk of the Republican party. His budget is considered by many to be the boldest and most courageous attempt at tackling America's most pressing issues, entitlements. Of course there is always more than the shiny facade pimped by party loyalists and for those that have bothered to investigate Ryan's record the picture becomes a bit murkier.
For starters there is the very pressing and disturbing votes of the Bush legacy. Specifically Ryan's support of: TARP, Medicare Part D and No Child Left Behind (NCLB). All three are wonderful examples of how the Republican party only fights for fiscal sanity when they are a minority party, the second they become the majority they expand Government programs at an alarming rate. NCLB is a monstrosity that gave the Department of Education teeth, Medicare Part D tacked on hundreds of billions (half a trillion as of today per year) to the debt and was passed in the House in a manner very reminiscent to ObamaCare and TARP is an egregious disregard of the free market system and should make any citizen sick to their stomach. While Ryan may be able to justify all these votes, there are Republicans in the House who did *not* vote for these programs and quite a handful.
Then of course there is the famous Ryan budget. A budget that reminds of me the great Oz. It is daunting and impressive, but if you look behind the curtain there is a tiny little man pulling a whole lot of levers. This very budget (despite being all bark and no bite) was used to galvanize Obama and the liberal base. Remember how Ryan's policies inspired the idea that he would throw grandma off the cliff? Yet despite the proven record of the Left to make a mountain of a molehill team Romney decided to go all-in and select Paul Ryan. More importantly, for what?
In order to understand that Ryan's budget is nothing more than smoke and mirrors we turn to a detailed analysis of the budget. This interactive analysis lets you compare and contrast the Ryan and Obama budgets side by side and examine the projects for spending. Below is a series of images I selected, but I encourage to explore the interactive tool yourself.
Let us take a look:
First we got Medicaid. Clearly the difference is notable and appreciable. In fact based on this image alone it would almost invalidate all my criticism of the Ryan budget. Medicaid is pure welfare, as opposed to Medicare that is at least partially funded by FICA. Medicaid was always intended to take care of the downtrodden and unfortunate and has now ballooned into health care for all. ObamaCare functions and survives primarily on expanding the Medicaid rolls by shoving more people onto the public dime. Medicaid alone is now responsible for a quarter of many State budgets and continues to financially drain the Federal and State coffers at an alarming rate. Worst of all, it badly distorts the insurance market driving medical prices up for every single individual. So it is nice to see Paul Ryan tackle this egregious and disgusting program that does far more harm than good, but the courage and bravery amount to a spending freeze. By 2021 will be spending more on Medicaid again. Perhaps Ryan tackles the other entitlement programs better?
Next we have Medicare. What's this? Apparently Grandma is not going off a cliff, instead it would appear that she is being pushed up a hill! Ryan's plan spends MORE on Medicare than Obama. This is quite the shock considering that Ryan's plan is considered to be the most courageous entitlement reform evah! It is ironic that Obama and the Left are painting Ryan as the grim reaper chasing your granny, where instead he is slowing down Medicaid to HELP granny. Oh, you have to love politics - don't you?
Next up is Social Security. No, it is not a graphical glitch. Ryan's plan does absolutely nothing for Social Security. Yet conservative websites and pundits swoon over Ryan like he is the next coming of Barry Goldwater, more on that later.
Lastly, the national debt. This is probably not surprising, but after all the hoopla and all the bravado the end result is that the speed at which our fiscal apocalypse arrives is merely slowed down by a teeny weeny bit. Yet one would think that as grandma flies off the cliff with her belongings and rusty wheelchair bouncing off the jagged rocks that America is about to embark on the greatest age of austerity ever devised.
Not really. We have a budget from an individual who thought there was nothing wrong in forking over a blank check to Wall St, nothing wrong with expanding Medicare by half a trillion and nothing wrong with growing a department that Reagan's campaign promised to eliminate. We sure have come a long way, have we not?
So this of course begs the question, why did Romney do this? Why select a VP that will provide such easy ammunition for the Left with virtually no reward? The answer is quite simple. Romney and Ryan represent exactly the same problem even if one appears to be a moderate and the other appears to be an epic fiscal warrior. The Republican party fights for and pushes through the status-quo. The images you see up above and the Ryan record is the status-quo. No doubt about it.
Yet Romney is counting on the ignorance of Republican base to run with the facade of Ryan's conservatism. If that illusion holds then Ryan's image will invariably boost Romney's own image as many will view Romney's decision as courageous and bold despite Obama's willingness to distort Ryan's budget. In other words, you are witnessing a most fantastic and glamorous circus. A bad Hollywood movie, except that ending will be quite real and not something you can pause or turn off.
However we all know what happens when politicians threaten the sacred cows of entitlement spending. They get destroyed. Barry Goldwater was America's last libertarian-Republican candidate and he was obliterated because he dared to speak up against Social Security. Barry's loss paved the way for the great society and the invention of Medicare and Medicaid. How ironic. Poll after poll shows that Americans refuse to accept changes to entitlement programs, despite their clamoring for someone to fix our debt.
Romney and Ryan will lose in November and the image of the heartless Conservative killing granny will resonate with America, the tragedy of course is that neither Ryan or Romney are willing to actually cut anything! The tragedy will become even more amusing as we will witness a nasty and partisan fight further dividing Americans as they fight and defend differing policies with the exact same results.
Romney's campaign is ignoring the lessons of Barry Goldwater and going all-in on an individual that has consistently voted for awful legislation and whose budget is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. A move that can be summarized in one word: desperation.
The author of this editorial makes some excellent points, IMHO
Geez, it’s just never frickin’ good enough....
Idiocy. The “heartless conservative killing granny” had a devastating effect on conservatives in 2010. /SARCASM
The author of that editorial is a complete and total fool.
He also misuses the phrase “begs the question.”
These are the same charts the liberals are posting all around on Twitter. I wonder if they originated from a democrat website or if the article itself is supplying the opposition with them.
Heard a lib say today that Romney’s VP pick “is a sign of weakness”. So making something stronger is a sign of weakness. Got it.
The author is a cynical Libertarian, unwilling to ever give any credit to anyone who tries to make a difference for the Conservative cause.
Screw Libertarians, they don’t know how to win much of anything!
Let’s put it this way. Paul Ryan is one of those very few candidates I was hoping would run for President but never decided to run in the primaries.
He’s also the son of a Bulgarian communist intel operative.
ZeroHedge is Soviet agitprop.
“The author of that editorial is a complete and total fool.”
” Harry Reid knows someone who once saw Paul Ryan tear the tag off a mattress. “
I enjoy Durden more often than not, but I think he misses the boat here.
Yes, it is an incremental approach to resolving the deficit, but it is far, far better than what we have today.
It is already a very tough sale politically. I am not sure the American people will even buy this relatively modest proposal as it is. I can’t even imagine going to them with an even more aggressive plan — although I sure would love for that to be the case.
Maybe I will post that on his Facebook.
“You didn’t hear it from me but a friend of my cousin who works in a cheese factory in Wisconsin has a former boss that actually saw a missing tag off a mattress that supposedly belonged to a cousin of THE Paul Ryan”
Like there is someone the Left won’t attack...
Its harder to sell $1trillion cut than give vague answers without offending anyone, but when they get into office, they have no excuse not do do massive cuts. That is what most conservatives are hoping for
The dems are bashing Paul Ryan’s Facebook...
Give this crap a rest.
Working to get Barry , HOlder , Janet and the radical left reelected.
Right, so now Paul Ryan is a big spending RINO liberal?
The author can take this brilliant analysis and shove it.
Excellent points but, what were the other choices?
Start with these:
Washington crossing the Delaware was an act of desperation.
Nothing wrong with that.
The author is trying to score points for himself swimming against the tide. My libertarian friends are thrilled with Ryan, especially his Ayn Rand quotes.
There aren’t very many true conservatives Romney could have chosen that would improve his electability. Who would they be? Duncan Hunter? Palin?
The Left and the media(redundancy, I know) will try to kill of anyone Romney chooses, regardless. There’s no perfect person, AFAIK.
Ever go over to MassMitt’s website, and look at “his” “issues” section?
“cutting the deficit” Sound familiar? Like the Coffee Server before the Blair House Show.
“building energy independence” Sound familiar? Like the Coffee Server again?
“ensuring Americans have the skills to succeed” Sounds familiar? NCLB again? Big Bureau Ed?
And how about his getting rid of Obamacare ...BUT....REPLACING IT!!!
It takes a Cronyville.
Apparently the Catholics got mad at Ryan for those quotes and Ryan was later forced to say that he did not believe in the philosophy of Ayn Rand, that it is an atheist philosophy and blah blah blah.
It would be if Washington crossed the Delaware for no apparent reason. That’s the point of the article.
I like his Ayn Rand quotes as well. And Paul Ryan is well read ... to the point where he both understands and purports to be an adherent of the Austrian School of Economics (in stark contrast to Keynesianism).
Unfortunately, as clearly noted in the article, Ryan talks the talk, but he doesn't walk the walk. And that is a problem.
It is desperation and an attempt to shake things up substantially in the hopes of energizing a splintered and unimpressed Conservative base.
Perhaps so and why are conservatives unimpressed? This is a reasonable start on that answer:
...the Republican party only fights for fiscal sanity when they are a minority party, the second they become the majority they expand Government programs at an alarming rate.
Picking Ryan may be desperation on Romney's part or not, but my first impression is that Romney is showing why he has been a successful business man.
His picking Ryan will turn a lot of conservative heads his way and has already opened more than a few wallets and purses that would have stayed closed to him and his campaign.
If picking Ryan is a sign of desperation, it's being rewarded with exactly the kind of support he was hoping for.
Point goes to Romney.
The dims tried this dribble a couple months ago when a marketwatch columnist tried claim barry did not increase spending much. That article was debunked after a day but not before the little obot lemmings posted it all over the internet. Same thing is happening here.
Note the graphs magically start in 2011 to avoid the kenyan’s record. There is a clear pro-obama agenda here.
“The author of that editorial is a complete and total fool.”
Can you explain what is incorrect in the article? Can you explain how the author is a “complete and total fool”? Or are you a tool of the GOPe and are just following your programming? I’ll rephrase the question: Beep? Beep? Boop? 01010101110110101?
This libertarian is pretty happy with Ryan.
Is that author really Zakaria?
These “excellent points” sound remarkably familiar. They are the same points that were made prior to the 2010 midterm election. It was said that voters would reject the Republicans for many reasons including the ones listed in the article.
Throughout 2010, editorial after editorial predicted that Republicans would alienate voters because of their positions. Paul Ryan, among others, was regularly attacked.
>> More on that later.
When is later?
See, Ryan is Pro-Life, and the faux Libertarians don’t like that very much. So the frauds will deride Ryan and turn a blind eye to the Marxist they truly long for.
As a Conservative Libertarian, I call BS on this imputation.
There really is no way to dramatically reduce the national debt or deficits over the short term. Our aging population will require more and more resources. We will see the historical battle between guns and butter as some hard choices will have to made re national security versus the so-called safety net. Aside from defense and the entitlement programs and other mandatories, the rest of the government (discretionary) consumes only 12% of the budget. Most of the federal budget is on automatic pilot. Congress doesn't even get involved.
Ryan understands the political dynamic involved with making some real cuts. There is no easy solution in the short term and you can't take a meat ax approach. Moreover, Obamacare will add another 18 million to Medicaid. We need to pare back the welfare state, but it will have to be done slowly and methodically.
And there are some dangers out there that could throw a monkey wrench into our plans. If interest rates go back up to historical levels, then our debt servicing costs could approach $1 trillion a year. We will need to grow our economy and increase revenue. However, the Left will want to use the increased revenue to keep their welfare programs going a little longer even though they are unsustainable.
“These excellent points sound remarkably familiar. They are the same points that were made prior to the 2010 midterm election. It was said that voters would reject the Republicans for many reasons including the ones listed in the article.
Throughout 2010, editorial after editorial predicted that Republicans would alienate voters because of their positions. Paul Ryan, among others, was regularly attacked.”
So the media in 2010 was arguing that the Ryan plan didn’t actually cut anything and that is was just one big gimmick?
Very nice graphics! Seems to me besides the usual entitlements, the unemployment insurance is huge. Zero’s contribution in destroying jobs. I assume food stamps are inclusive in that.
Freeper Hoodat posted this , hence the quotes .
Rand's writing has some very good points but nearly all of her fans (all believing Christians, for example) reject at least part of her Objectivist philosophy.
From the article:
“Poll after poll shows that Americans refuse to accept changes to entitlement programs, despite their clamoring for someone to fix our debt.”
“Romney and Ryan will lose in November and the image of the heartless Conservative killing granny will resonate with America”
This is what the article said. This is almost exactly the same as what the MSM was saying about Republicans throughout 2010 and predicting that they would lose in the midterm elections.
re: “Apparently the Catholics got mad at Ryan for those quotes and Ryan was later forced to say that he did not believe in the philosophy of Ayn Rand, that it is an atheist philosophy and blah blah blah.”
Ryan’s point was that he didn’t have to agree with her views on God in order to agree with her political/economic philosophy. What’s the problem?
“Rand’s writing has some very good points but nearly all of her fans (all believing Christians, for example) reject at least part of her Objectivist philosophy.”
It goes without saying, but Ryan backed off from them totally. Even I would compliment Nietzsche, who, despite the obvious problems, was an enemy of socialist and government and promoted a radical individualism. You take what is good and you spit out the bad. Ryan surrendered it though:
I reject her philosophy, Ryan told Robert Costa of the National Review. Its an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. He added that he had merely enjoyed a couple of her novels, which also included another bestseller, The Fountainhead.
Yep, food stamps are included in that number. SS has been running in the red since 2010 and Medicare Part A has been running in the red since 2008. Moreover, Medicare Parts B and D (SMI) premiums only fund 25% of the costs. By law, the General Fund picks up 75% of the costs, which is why Medicare will consume the entire federal budget if it is not reformed. Our aging population will drive the costs upward in a fairly rapid fashion over the next 20 years.
ZeroHedge is Soviet agitprop.
Tyler Durden is the name of a character in the movie Fight Club. At last count, more than 40 "editors" were allowed to post using that alias.
Zero Hedge was purportedly founded by several ex-Goldman employees who grew a bit of a conscience. The supposed Bulgarian connection, still mentioned from time to time by MSM rags, was debunked long ago.
More about the organization here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero_Hedge.
“Catholics got mad at Ryan for those quotes and Ryan was later forced to say that he did not believe in the philosophy of Ayn Rand”
The vast majority of Catholics did not get mad at Ryan. A few left wing academics criticized Rep. Ryan and the MSM falsely claimed that they spoke for Catholics and represented the opinions of most Catholics. Nothing could be further from the truth.
“Ryans point was that he didnt have to agree with her views on God in order to agree with her political/economic philosophy. Whats the problem?”
Well, that isn’t what he actually said.
Just who do you think Tyler Durden would choose for Romney as VP?