Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Veep


I am not one to put a great deal of stock in who a presidential candidate selects as his running mate. Although I was certainly excited about Sarah Palin’s 2008 convention speech when I blogged about it, I have always said that it makes almost no difference who the vice presidential candidate is because people cast their votes based on the person atop the ticket.

Nevertheless, something feels different when it comes to Romney tabbing Paul Ryan as his VP choice. I felt it in my bones the night before the announcement was even made, when National Review published this obscure but juicy bit of flight data.

Rush Limbaugh is dead right in his observation that putting Ryan on the ticket proves Romney is 1) serious about winning the election on philosophical grounds, as opposed to dumbed down talking points, and 2) serious not only about winning, but about governing.

Ryan was already the conservatives’ putative leader in Congress by virtue of him facing the government’s fiscal problems head-on and making sober, detailed proposals to pull government back within its means. Being unafraid to make his “hard call” proposals in a time of economic distress, to a graying population, in an environment which dictates he face reelection every 24 months, demonstrates that Ryan is a statesman driven by principle, not a politician driven by opportunism.

And there is a certain amount of cosmic perfection in the fact he hails from Wisconsin. Voters in that traditionally blue state sent stalwart conservative Scott Walker to the governor’s mansion to push back against bureaucracy and staunch the flow of red ink. Then, when leftist agitators led by heavily funded public sector unions sought to have Walker recalled, the voters responded by handily defeating the recall effort. If this is how things are going in Wisconsin, and one of Wisconsin’s own is on the GOP ticket, Obama & Co. must be getting nervous.

Within hours of the announcement that the Romney campaign had become the Romney-Ryan campaign, Democrats broke out their tired old playbook and tried to scare senior citizens by claiming that Ryan wants to destroy Medicare. That lie won’t work for them this time, however, because Ryan’s plan explicitly saves Medicare from its looming collapse, whereas Obama’s plan explicitly defunds it by more than $700 billion. And unlike a couple decades ago, today’s generation of seniors is not as susceptible to rhetoric because they are not weighed down by manipulated recollections of the Roosevelt era.

Finally, those who doubt whether Paul Ryan has any detailed plans for the macroeconomic troubles facing America need only realize that his budget would reduce the number of personal income tax brackets to two, with the lower bracket paying 10 percent and the upper paying 25 percent. It would also reduce the corporate income tax rate (which  makes us uncompetitive because it is among the highest in the industrialized world) from 35 to 25 percent.

While Ryan’s ideas about taxation should be music to the ears of conservatives and horror to the ears of liberals, everyone in the middle just needs to be educated about the fact that across-the-board cuts in tax rates have historically led to increased tax income for the government, since lower rates lead to economic growth, which in turn leads to higher employment and higher wages, which in turn lead to a bigger pie for the government to take a piece of.

If your concern is the citizenry, then the promise of higher employment and higher wages should make you smile because it is good for the economy in general. If your concern is government revenue, the promise of higher employment and higher wages should make you smile because 20 percent of 100 is more than 30 percent of 50. Everybody wins.

When the Ryan pick became known, many in the Media-Democrat Complex began crowing that it was good news for them and bad news for Republicans because voters would be sure to reject Ryan’s budgetary discipline. If they actually believed that (which I doubt) they must be scratching their heads over the plethora of polls which show that Ryan’s favorability ratings have improved by some 20 percent since the announcement was made and people became more familiar with his ideas. They must also be scratching their heads over the massive crowds that have packed events attended by Romney and Ryan the last few days, compared to the sparse attendance at events attended by Obama and Biden.

Granted, there is no way of knowing whether Romney will adopt all, or even most, of Ryan’s proposals. But I suspect he will adopt many of them, especially the big ones, and now there is no doubt that the two men see eye to eye when it comes to their overall vision for America. I have always believed that Romney is more conservative than his critics on the right suggest, and I am happy to see those critics finally coming ’round.

1 comment:

Betsy Adams said...

I am glad you blogged about this --since I was curious as to how you felt about Ryan as VP choice... I agree with you totally...

Our country does need to deal with the deficit and entitlements --and who else to do it but Ryan. He is SO smart... I really like him. In fact, I truly wish he were our Pres. candidate instead of VP...

I am anxious to watch the convention next week. Hope that hurricane stays away from you all down there...

Let's keep hoping and praying that we can win this election in November. If we don't, it's no telling what our country will be like in four years...

Betsy