Skip to comments.Romney-Ryan Ticket Puts Entitlement Crisis at Center of Campaign (Michael Barone)
Posted on 08/12/2012 9:58:04 PM PDT by neverdem
On the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk harbor, a coatless Mitt Romney named a tieless Paul Ryan as his vice presidential nominee.
Romney's choice was not much of a surprise after he told NBC's Chuck Todd on Thursday that he wanted someone with a "vision for the country, that adds something to the political discourse about the direction of the country. I mean, I happen to believe this is a defining election for America, that we're going to be voting for what kind of America we're going to have."
This arguably describes some of the others mentioned as possible nominees, but it clearly fits Ryan.
He doesn't fit some of the standard criteria for vice president. He hasn't won a statewide election, held an executive position or become well-known nationally or even in much of Wisconsin.
But more than anyone else, more even (as impolite as it is to say) than the putative presidential nominee, Ryan has set the course for the Republican Party for the past three years, both on policy and in politics. From his post as chairman of the House Budget Committee, he has made himself not just a plausible national nominee but a formidable one by advancing and arguing for major changes in entitlement policy.
He has argued consistently that entitlement programs -- Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid -- are on an unsustainable trajectory. Left alone, they threaten to crowd out necessary government spending and throttle the private sector.
Few public policy experts, on the center-left as well as the right, disagree. But many politicians, certainly those in the Obama White House, shy away from confronting the entitlement crisis. Better to demagogue your way through one more election cycle and kick the can down the road.
What's astonishing is that Ryan has persuaded his fellow Republicans to follow his lead. Almost all House and Senate Republicans have voted for his budget resolutions. And they have included his proposal to change Medicare, for those currently younger than 55, from the current fee-for-service system to premium support, in which recipients would choose from an array of insurers, with subsidies to low earners.
Republicans rallied to the Ryan plan during the nomination contest. Newt Gingrich was lambasted for calling Ryan's budget right-wing social engineering, while Romney over time moved to embrace the basic elements of Ryan's budget and Medicare reforms.
Ryan campaigned enthusiastically for Romney in the Wisconsin primary, and there was clearly a rapport between these two number crunchers. Romney would defer to Ryan to answer and has made a point of staying in touch with him after clinching the nomination.
As a number cruncher, Romney surely recognizes that Ryan knows federal budget policy about as well as anyone. And the sometimes politically tone-deaf Romney must admire Ryan's ability, honed in hundreds of town meetings in his marginal congressional district, to explain his stances in a way that wins over ordinary voters.
Naturally, Democrats have attacked the Ryan plan as gutting Medicare and have produced an ad showing Ryan shoving a wheelchair-bound granny down a hill. They're licking their chops at the prospect of running a Mediscare campaign against the Romney-Ryan ticket.
But it's not clear that the Mediscare tactic will work when the issue gains great visibility, as it will from Ryan's selection.
For Ryan and Romney can make the point -- lost in the shuffle when this is a low-visibility issue -- that their plan would leave the current Medicare system in place for current recipients and those who are 55 or older. Those who have made plans based on the present program could continue to rely on it.
But they also can make the point that their reforms are necessary in order to make sure Medicare is sustainable in the long run. Polls show that many voters younger than 55 doubt that they ever will get the Medicare and Social Security benefits they've been promised.
One more thing about Ryan, I think, appealed to Romney. He already has shown he cannot be intimidated by the most eminent opponent. Watch the video of Ryan's five-minute evisceration of Obamacare at the president's Blair House meeting. You can tell that Obama didn't like it one bit.
He'd better get used to it. Obama's side is relying on trash-talking ads. Romney's selection of Ryan shows he wants a debate on whether America should follow Obama on the road to a European-style welfare state.
Here's a link to that video on YouTube.Paul Ryan grills President Obama at Health Care Summit
I noticed in the sidebar that there are more Ryan videos that are interesting, such as "Paul Ryan Takes Chris Matthews "To School".
You can tell that Obama didn't like it one bit.
LOL No wonder The Won is peeved. Ryan is good! He just flat out says things. Doesn't pull punches.
When the takers outnumber the makers, the takers win. That’s Obama’s strategy.
Thanks for the link.
?One more thing about Ryan, I think, appealed to Romney. He already has shown he cannot be intimidated by the most eminent opponent. Watch the video of Ryan’s five-minute evisceration of Obamacare at the president’s Blair House meeting. You can tell that Obama didn’t like it one bit. “
No he didn’t like it one bit.
Thanks for the link.
BTW, I watched the “Paul Ryan Takes Chris Matthews “To School”.
I’m very impressed with Ryan. He certainly knows what he’s talking about.
The Dems are shooting their wad on this far too early. Doing the Senior Scare thing NOW means that R&R have the next three months to run ads and educate seniors that this isn’t the case. That’s too much time if the Dems wanted this to work.
If they were smart, this should have been an October Surprise - too late to effectively counter.
Good -- the country could use a referendum on the satanic Cloward-Piven Strategy, and on its protagonist, Barky I.
Ryan's a good man; here's hoping he can keep the campaign focussed on this meme (you know Barky's slugs and thugs will be throwing the kitchen sink, anything to keep the news cycle OFF it). If he can, he'll grab Barky's jug ears and kick his skinny @ss all the way back to Chicagoland.
This honestly looked like the first time in his life ZEro has ever been lectured to, scolded, or told off.
YEA,you won’t see the liberal media parachuting into Wi.!
Paul Ryan is there to make the moral case for capitalism. In his acceptance speech in Norfolk he said that many in Washington are more concerned about the next election than the next generation. This is a moral argument.
The lines are drawn. We now have a debate of socialism versus capitalism. It’s a debate liberals shouldn’t want. Not now. Not with Paul Ryan making the case for capitalism.
Is it possible that not only will Barack Obama go down in this election, but liberalism itself?
Liberals: Be careful what you wish for.
-——Ryan knows federal budget policy about as well as anyone——
There is no one in Congress and for sure not in the regime, who has it in his head with the understanding of Ryan. The only person to come close is in the CBO.
To a team that has shunned budgetary matters completely, the need to run on budgetary matters leaves them defenseless. The tired old class warfare rhetoric delivered from a teleprompter will be like water off a duck’s back.
Exactly. Paul Ryan knows how to fight that strategy.
——Liberals: Be careful what you wish for.——
The same is true for conservatives who’s reach considerably exceed their grasp.
Ping for later.
It was only in the 1990’s that Slick Willy and his ass hats introduced this concept and word: ENTITLEMENTS. There isn’t anything we are entitled to in the US, except our freedoms under the Constitution.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.