Outsider View of Romney VP Choice

In a surprise move, Mitt Romney picked Wisconsin Congressmen Paul Ryan as his VP running mate.

Ryan is best known for his controversial “Ryan Budget” plan for setting the U.S. back on a path to fiscal solvency. The fireworks over Romney’s choice has already begun.

This is the year of the great ideological political divide between Democrats and Republicans. Charges and counter-charges over Ryan from mainstream media outlets will come fast and furious. It will be difficult to separate fact from fiction.

It is therefore instructive to get a first impression perspective on Romney’s VP choice from the outside.

London’s Financial Times, one of the world’s most respected newspapers, provides an outsider’s first impression this morning:
Romney picks Ryan as running-mate
– Richard McGregor and Reuters, Financial Times, 8/10/2012

The FT’s Take on Paul Ryan

In its first sentence, the FT describes Ryan as:

a bold choice that puts the Wisconsin congressman’s controversial budget at the centre of the campaign

The FT hit the nail squarely on the head. The 2012 campaign is a deeply divisive ideological war between Democrats and Republicans over how best to fix the economy and create jobs.

The Ryan budget just became ground zero in that war.

Most economists forecast a very slow economic recovery featuring exceptionally high unemployment lasting years, not months as in previous recessions. We are already nearly 4 years into it and the end is nowhere in sight.

The FT says Romney was urged by “conservative leaders” to pass over safer choices. Romney was widely expected to make a middle-of-the-road selection. Ryan is a darling of the Tea Party Movement which spearheaded the Republican landslide in the 2010 mid-term elections. The Tea Party is the Republican’s secret weapon in 2012 to.

The FT concludes that the Florida leg of the Romney bus tour will be an instant test of the Ryan choice. Florida has a high senior population that is affected by entitlement reforms proposed in the Ryan budget. Democrats salivate at the chance to jump all over Ryan.

Conclusions

The FT has it right. Ryan is a bold, but risky choice for Romney.

Ryan’s biggest problem is that he is the first elected official to seriously confront this nation’s unsustainable entitlement spending spree. That paints a giant target on his chest for Democrats to take pot shots at.

Unsustainable spending is the single largest impediment to long-term growth and prosperity facing the nation today.

The long-term unfunded liability for just three entitlement programs – Social Security, Medicare and the Prescription Drug Program – is now over $120 trillion!! It goes up about a trillion more every couple months or so.

That means the federal government has promised $120 trillion in benefits to its citizens that it has no funding for. The federal government will take in about $2.4 trillion in tax revenues this year. It will spend about $3.8 trillion. Entitlement liabilities are growing much faster than even the national debt.

Whether Romney is elected or not, entitlement reform will necessarily happen one way or another. It’s impossible for this nation to come up with $120 trillion to pay for entitlements.

We can either take a Ryan-like planned approach to entitlement reform and fiscal responsibility to return back to prosperity or fall into a catastrophic approach without a plan and no prosperity. That will happen one way or the other regardless of who gets elected in 2012.

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Posted on Aug 11, 2012, in 2012 Elections, culture, Debt, economics, Life, news, Opinion, Politics, Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Romney just went up a notch in my book. This the type of decission I would expect from a good corporate He picked a man that is smart, knowledgeable, and will be an effective contributor to the executive team. They complement each other in many ways. Romney is a big picture gut and Ryan is a detail guy. Romney is a bit of an elitest and Ryan is not. Ryan has been in Congress since 1999. He has no home or even an apartment in DC. He sleeps on a cot in his office and after the last vote on Thursday each week he heads home where his pick-up truck is parked at the airport waiting for him. men are devoted family men. Romney might have picked someone who would havebeen more helpful in the campaign to get himself elected; but he picked someone who will be a great asset if he is elected. Neither man is as bold as I would like them to be on policy; but, all in all I think we have a pretty good teaam.

    • I agree… unfortunately it also further divides political parties and the nation in full. This is gonna a very, VERY bitter campaign. It is possible there will be no winners.

      Personally, I’m rooting for Republicans this time around.

  2. I enjoy reading these kind of laid out views on politics (since I find myself so ignorant of the facts). Thanks!

    • You honor me implying that my humble opinion is meaningful in any way. Believe me, I question that every time I comment on any topic.

      But I do have this in my favor… my facts are meticulously researched.

  3. By Ryan’s choice, Romney cements a relationship with the Tea Party side and likely takes away Wisconsin from Obama in the Electoral College. Obama and crew will now paint themselves as centrists, and these two as inexperienced on foreign policy and too far to the right for independents. It looks to be a repeat of the 1980 election when the rightward direction of the country bites down on failed policies. The US economy is in for a long slog of unemployment whether these two win or Obama and Biden do. Trillions of debt from the past control the future whether it be a Republican or Democrat administration. I would not be surprised if Americans revolve the two major parties for several presidential elections.

    • You called that one right on the money, Randel!

      I’ve been observing Tea Party activism this election cycle. I didn’t in 2010 and was surprised at the outcome.

      The Supreme Court Obamacare decision awakened a sleeping giant. The Ryan pick puts them solidly behind Romney now.

      Romney’s chances to be elected president just took a step forward.

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