21 thoughts on “It’s a Paul Ryan open thread

  1. Unfortunately, I see this as a bad choice for the reality based. IMHO, it allows Obama and the vichy Dems to cave into the “Grand Bargain,” to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid in return for too modest tax increases on the 1%.

    Would like to see Dems use Ryan as an “opportunity,” to push hard for Medicare Buy – in, aka, the public option. It gets rid of the mandate which a lot of us hate, because it forces Americans to buy LOUSY coverage from the health insurance oligopoly. Medicare Buy-in provides for COMPETITION, that the health insurance oligopoly hates and it plugs the hole in Medicare funding. AFAIK, it’s a great win-win.

    Marcy Wheeler talked about this in this imho, really worthwhile podcast.


  2. I think it makes the choice even more clear – Romney went all the way right rather than even trying to appeal to moderates and independents. The Medicare/voucher idea is going to scare the hell out of people. All the people who were not aware of what a “Ryan budget” was will now be told exactly what’s in there, and unless you are very comfortable financially, and your entire family is, it is frightening. The vouchers will not be enought to pay for decent insurance, so seniors will have to go without or settle for only catastrophic coverage. That is not the deal that Americans think we have.

    1. Yeah, I’m thinking blanketing seniors and undecideds with mailers that look like Medicare vouchers (courtesy of Paul Ryan) would be tremendously effective.

  3. Just watched a clip from Meet the Press. Watching a GOP pundit try to explain that Romney is embracing Ryan but not his budget is HIGHlarious!


  5. Don’t call it a voucher, call it a “coupon.” That underlines the cheapness of the Ryan plan.

  6. Don’t call it a voucher, call it a “coupon.” That underlines the cheapness of the Ryan plan.

  7. I think the problem that Romney will have is that Paul Ryan is a better politician than Mitt. I think a lot of conservatives are going to think the ticket is upside down.

    Secondly, I think that this puts Wisconsin in play for Romney. Going on the assumption that many if not most voters aren’t particularly political, I think a lot of Wisconsinites are going to view a vote for Romney/Ryan as a vote for Wisconsin.

    Thirdly, I wonder if this is more of a long term planning move on the part of the Republicans. Given the general difficulties involved with unseating an incumbent, and Romney’s lack of momentum, I think the GOP might have put Ryan in to give him the national exposure he would need to mount a presidential campaign in 2016.

    Finally, I think the biggest loser in this pick is Tammy Baldwin. If nothing else, conservatives are going to be more energized in Wisconsin, and I would tend to expect an influx of campaign dollars to the state. I think this will result in whomever wins the GOP primary tomorrow getting a coattails benefit from having Ryan on the ticket.

    1. Doubt conservatives with a functioning brain will want to vote R after they learn about this:

      “Ryan attended a closed meeting with congressional leaders, Bush’s Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on September 18, 2008. The purpose of the meeting was to disclose the coming economic meltdown and beg Congress to pass legislation to help collapsing banks.

      Instead of doing anything to help, Ryan left the meeting and on that very same day Paul Ryan sold shares of stock he owned in several troubled banks and reinvested the proceeds in Goldman Sachs, a bank that the meeting had disclosed was not in trouble. This is the guy Republicans want one heartbeat away from the presidency? He seems more than a little shady to me.

      Have a look at Ryan’s financial disclosure form for 2008–you can click on each page to enlarge them. The “Transactions” section begins on page 12–scroll through and look at all the trades Paul Ryan made on “9-18-08″:”


      Unfortunately, that still leaves a lot of wingnuts who think the government forcing women to bear children they don’t want is “conservative.”

  8. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities scored Ryan’s plan specifically to Mitt Romney’s known personal finances – which is only one full tax return, need we be reminded… anyway, under Ryan’s plan Romney would have paid only .82% in taxes. Under Ryan’s plan the Romneys of the world would likely pay little to no taxes ever again, meaning permanently from now to eternity – but everyone else? Uh no. Everybody else pays more to subsidize the tax breaks for the elites. Nearly all domestic programs and probably more than a few government agencies would be eviscerated in order to pay for Ryan’s elite tax cut. I think Romney’s selection is entirely predictable. In fact, I think the decision was made a long time ago. Announcing it was the issue – sorting out the most convenient time. The most convenient time coincides with Romney’s desire to end the legitimate criticism being leveled against him – his taxes – an issue which should not go to the wayside – and the details of Bain Capital – the fallacies inherent with his Olympic experience in Utah – and scrutiny of his single term as governor. Ryan is a distraction, nothing more. Ryan as Romney’s VP choice was never in question.

    1. Actually the whole thing is a little surprising…Ryan gives up a cherry committee seat that in the long run might be more beneficial to his future political career…and the House GOP leadership loses their standard bearer.

      1. I respectfully disagree, Ed. If one supposes that the strategy on the Right is one of culling and grooming, then the Ryan choice is not only unsurprising – it is essential. Ryan is a culler. He’s already been groomed. As a VP candidate, he forces moderate Republican elected officials to either capitulate and shift farther to the right at the potent risk of marginalization. This he has already done with his budget without being the VP running mate. The GOP doesn’t lose their standard bearer; rather that standard-bearer is raised to new heights, and the concomitant elevation is Ryan’s extremist agenda – extremism is not only normalized but elevated.

        Ryan also does for Romney what Palin did for McCain – he energizes the base in a way that the GOP presidential nominee cannot and he moves more “independents” to the right. Palin’s was a “popular” appeal, Ryan’s is a “serious” appeal. Ryan, like Romney continues to enjoy more favorable press than he deserves. We shall see if that holds true in the coming months or if the press actually does its job. I’d wager Ryan receives very little scrutiny from the mainstream media. Even if he does, he’s far more adept at misdirecting and skillfully walking back from unpopular positions than Romney is.

        At this stage, I wouldn’t see emptying Ryan’s seat as tactically flawed if Republicans gain control of both house and senate – which is clearly as much of a goal as unseating Obama.

  9. I agree. It’s not as if Romney had any choice in the matter, as does any Republican running under the ALEC initiatives. Romney was indeed so flummoxed by the Ryan pick that he had to be told that he had introduced Ryan as the “next President of the United State”, unlike Obama who realized his gaff immediately when annoucing Biden.
    Ryan goes against everything decent Romney tried to do as Mass. Governor.

  10. Seniors under Ryans plan would not have to change a thing when it comes to medicare. QUIT LYING!

    1. Charmaine, I’m here to help. Read this article. It’s quite articulate. Not only will seniors have no chance of being able to afford Medicare in the long term (because vouchers will quickly fall far behind the rate of rising costs) but his budget also adds many trillions to the deficit. With massive tax cuts to the wealthy to boot. http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2012/08/13/paul-ryans-extremist-medicare-plan-dangerous-or-a-political-lie-manufactured-by-democrats/

    2. Charmaine you really need to stop lying. The Ryan plan transforms the existing system into a voucher program where seniors will not receive the guaranteed benefit they receive now. His plan weakens medicare solvency and reopens the Medicare Part D prescription drug donut hole. His plan privatizes health care for seniors which doesn’t control costs; it simply shifts costs onto seniors. That seniors currently in the system will not see a benefit change is immaterial – seniors in the future will. Americans 55 and younger will see a very drastic change. After paying into Medicare their whole lives, they will have to pay out of pocket for any medical cost exceeding the Ryan voucher amount. It is you who are lying about what Ryan’s plan does.

      5.3 trillion in cuts in domestic spending is unprecedented, plainly unsustainable and will eviscerate government as we know it. Romney’s financial record is irresponsible at best, immoral at worst. As far as I’m concerned neither can be trusted, they are private servants not public servants. Caring for the most vulnerable in our society, sheltering those most in need of succor is not on their agenda. Period. Face it. Don’t like it? Don’t vote for them.

      There’s no telling how quickly the coffers for today’s seniors will run out if Ryan/Romney are at the helm or if Conservatives win a majority in Congress. Seniors over 55 and currently enrolled in medicare should be afraid. Very afraid. Between government shut downs, Conservative fiscal irresponsibility, the potential for expediting privatization, starving the beast, and any number of shortsighted Anti-Government measures Conservatives could potentially whip up in the near future current medicare and medicaid recipients should be very afraid.

  11. It appears Paul Ryan is a “switch hitter” on moral issues which do not match his conservative ideology.

    To be sure, batting from the right, he’s hitting ’em out of the park on abortion and gay/lesbian marriage issues.

    But when it comes to his Catholic Church’s teaching that collective bargaining is a worker’s moral right, Ryan, strikes out on the left side.

    Same thing with his budget bill when he fouls out with the bases loaded as “hungry children, poor families, and vulnerable seniors…” are left stranded as Catholic bishops made the call mentioned in the NYT editorial of 8/11/12 “Mr. Ryan’s Cramped Vision.”

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