Opinion: Romney-Ryan ticket

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky., on the Romney-Ryan ticket, from Aug. 13, 2012:

Republican Mitt Romney has selected his vice-presidential running mate and the choice provides a dark forecast of what to expect from a Romney administration, should there be one.

In his presidential campaign, Romney has been — at best — vague about his stance on major policy issues including taxes, the budget deficit and essential services such as Medicare.

But Romney's new running mate, Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, has not. A 14-year member of Congress, Ryan's record is crystal clear and brings an ominous new focus to Romney's meandering campaign. Voters must take notice of the damage it could wreak on basic social service safety-net programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps.

The current House Budget Committee chairman, Ryan, 42, is one of the most extreme of the House Republicans on fiscal issues. Considered the mentor of the House tea party obstructionists, he has produced his own budget proposal.

Called the "Path to Prosperity," Ryan's plan (embraced by House Republicans but fortunately not the Senate) is the classic wolf in sheep's clothing. Disguised as a deficit-reduction plan, it instead is a guide to dismantling the country's excellent Medicare health system for senior citizens, abolishing meaningful Medicaid coverage for the very poor and disabled, and privatizing Social Security.

It also would make major cuts in food stamps, the last protection of many poor and unemployed citizens against hunger, and make benefits harder to get. ...

But it is Ryan's budget proposal that is likely to be most alarming to all but ultra-right or tea party voters.

The Romney campaign has been quick to point out that Ryan's budget plan is not necessarily that of Romney, who will be releasing his own plan. Someday. Eventually. Meanwhile, Romney has been virtually silent on details of his budget and tax proposals.

But his choice of Ryan speaks loudly and voters must listen to what it tells them.

Online:

http://www.courier-journal.com

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