Saturday, August 18, 2012

Why Paul Ryan is the Right Pick for VP

Last week, Greta Van Susteren did a nice piece for Fox News about 42 year-old House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan. She provided background on the Janesville, Wisconsin, native who has now been tapped by Mitt Romney as his running mate on the GOP ticket. They will probably run it again. Take a look at it if you get a chance.

Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan
I like Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan, because I think it sends the strongest possible signal to the country that Romney's presidency is going to be inclined to tackle some big issues with big bold ideas. Call me naive, but Paul Ryan seems to be one of a handful in Washington today willing to put forward a plan and be bold enough to attach his name to it. Romney's choice of Ryan wasn't particularly political, nor was it conventional. But it does remind me of something Thomas Paine said: "Character is much easier kept than recovered.”

 It was the right choice. The mantle of leadership has already shifted from the current administration by default. Both men are men of character. The vacuum has been filled. Here's why:

I believe leadership on the tough issues in this current administration has been absent. Faced with the biggest deficits in history and the most amount of debt accumulated under one POTUS, what did we get? Silence on that, but assurance that healthcare reform costing the country trillions was paramount. Taxation as the funding mechanism for Obamacare was first denied by the Obama administration, then affirmed and upheld by the SCOTUS.

Paul Ryan advocates taking on the entitlement programs, the "automatic payments" in the budget that are killing our productivity. They are bold solutions, but much-needed answers.

Paul Ryan, doesn't do the political calculations on fallout. He's ready to have an adult conversation with America's younger workers under age 55. He's willing to say we won't change the plans your elders grew up expecting in their retirement years, but we need to talk - it simply isn't going to be that way for you. Leaders in neither party want that conversation, but Ryan does.

A conventional "kick the can down the road" approach is no longer possible. There are something like 23 million Americans unemployed or underemployed. Check the embedded national debt clock on this blog. We are approaching $16 trillion. Nobody who's serious about the future of America should be interested in the status quo any longer. Socialism has failed to deliver once again.

Balancing the budget is still on Ryan's radar. Spending money we don't have has to be arrested. Where have the Democrats under Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama been on that subject? AWOL. On the golf course, campaigning and begging for another four years to "finish the job."

President Obama, never one for a serious sit down adult conversation except with the likes of Entertainment Tonight and People Magazine, attacks their plans with lies and half-truths. Ask yourself if you've ever heard anything except "we need to tax the wealthy so they pay their fair share." He offers nothing in rebuttal, then blames a do-nothing Congress in stalemate.

It seems the president’s plan for Medicare is bankruptcy. Did you hear the part about Mr. Obama raiding $716 billion from Medicare in order to pay for Obamacare? Then he denies it. But the plan is simple - you take it from Medicare reimbursements to hospitals and private insurance companies.

Contrast that with a President Romney, who would repeal Obamacare on Day One, including the cuts to Medicare.

To oppose Mr. Obama now seems to be linked with racism. However, what this president has done is fail to show leadership on these core issues. It's his policies that have crippled economic growth and led to the worst recovery in 70 years. And THAT has nothing to do with his ethnic origins.

Here's what his policies have produced:

  • The unemployment rate has been above 8 percent for 42 consecutive months.
  • The average price of gasoline has more than doubled.
  • The national debt has increased by more than $5 trillion.
  • Median household income has dropped by more than $4,000.
  • One in 7 Americans is on food stamps — a record high.

I defy you explain away that economic record on the basis of race. If an old white guy from the GOP were to fail to lead the country by producing similar results, who would blame him for just being an old white guy?

A recent Rasmussen poll disclosed that just 14 percent of Americans — an all-time low — think today’s children will be better off than their parents’ generation. Does anyone in their right mind in the other 86% cast a ballot for Barack Obama in November?

Here's the deal - I am not naive enough to think that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan can lead this country back into the days of fiscal sunshine and clover anytime soon. We are in deep, deep doo-doo. Republicans and Democrats are to blame over a long period of time. The socialist agenda has now fully played out and it isn't working. Everyone used to think America could produce a better life for succeeding generations. That core value is fading fast.

A second term for Mr. Obama, one in which he would no longer have to face the wrath of voters, would mean an attempt by him to double down on higher taxes, more wasteful spending and an even greater dependency on big government. It's our last chance to end this unsustainable path we're on. Does anyone doubt his attacks on job creators and small business owners would escalate rather than abate? This is a president who reminded us all recently, "You didn’t build that.” He believes government is the dispensing machine for all good things American. He does not believe our rights and freedoms come from God.

Here's what I know for sure. Barack Obama cannot lead us out of the economic wilderness we are wandering in currently. He's proven to everyone now that he's undeserving of another bite of that apple.

Here's what we know about Mitt Romney. He's worked most of his life in the private sector. He understands how wealth is created because he's an example of a practitioner in free markets and he's succeeded. He's a turnaround expert, and what are we looking to hire in the White House this November if it isn't a turnaround guy? Turning this mess around is going to be a prodigious task, but clearly Barack Obama is NOT that guy.

In Paul Ryan, Romney now has a bold reform partner with expertise in the federal budget. Who do I like better as the captains of the ship of state to jump-start the economy and restore America’s greatness? Um, wait a minute, let me think a minute. . .

We have to become a nation that is once again financially responsible. I have little confidence that goal can be achieved under President Obama in another four years.

The Romney-Ryan ticket, I believe, has a better understanding that a strong America is dependent upon a financially sound America. I believe the generals of the Joint Chiefs, who say our biggest security threat is our profligate spending and debt. It weakens a strong defense. Put America back on a sound financial footing, and with that result America will be enabled once again to create new jobs and more take home pay for all Americans.

Paul Ryan can prioritize government spending. It's what he does best. Getting the AAA credit rating back for America might at least be possible again. The rating agencies are waiting for a serious sign that American politicians can get their act together. They selected against this POTUS and his failed leadership.

Prioritizing spending is something Democrats are loathe to do when they feel a misplaced moral obligation to the whole society to redistribute wealth and they can't seem to figure out how to say "No" to anyone. You can call the Romney/Ryan approach "trickle-down economics" if you prefer, but no one in the private sector where I've worked my whole life was ever hired by someone who was dependent on the government dole. Instead, they were innovators, entrepreneurs, risk takers and rugged individualists. They BUILD stuff, Mr. President, unlike you.

Only days after Barack Obama was sworn into office in 2009, I seem to remember when he famously boasted that if his policies didn’t turn the economy around in three years, “then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.” Conveniently, he's either forgotten he said it or doesn't believe it.

More than once in recent months, Mitt Romney has boldly asserted, "Well, Mr. President, we're here to collect on that promise." Romney may ultimately not be able to turn it around because of the sheer weight of the problem.

But this much is certain - the Obama/Biden ticket has PROVEN they can't do it. At least with the Romney/Ryan ticket we can reinvest in the one thing that's been lacking the last four years:


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