Romney Picks Ryan; Deficits Now Center Stage

Today’s Courier Herald Column, with a note that follows:

Mitt Romney has made his pick for Vice President.  By choosing Paul Ryan, Romney has made perhaps the clearest indication yet of what kind of campaign he wishes to wage.  More importantly, the pick of the Wisconsin Congressman and House Budget Chairman demonstrates the dominate issue of what would be a Romney Presidency.  By doing so, the choice illustrates perhaps the starkest contrast in philosophy of governance since the 1980 or perhaps even the 1964 elections.

Paul Ryan’s brand is all about budgets.  Specifically, he is the Republican most leading the discussion of entitlement reform.  Often considered a “third rail” in politics as an issue that will kill anyone who touches it, the ability to curb entitlement costs – items such as Medicare and Social Security – are critical if the U.S. budget is to return to any expectation of balance within the next two generations.

Republicans and Democrats alike have generally given lip service to fiscal responsibility in the form of deficit reduction.  The truth of the matter is that neither has a record to match their rhetoric.  The only time in recent history a budget surplus has occurred was when Republicans controlled the House and Democrats controlled the Presidency.  Gridlock in D.C. combined with a booming economy likely did as much as either side’s policy initiatives in getting the budget balanced.

Republicans and Democrats in Congress used Continuing Resolutions and votes on increasing the debt ceiling over the past two years to grandstand on the issue of deficit reduction.  Yet the Democrats who continue to campaign on the insistence that the “Bush” tax cuts be repealed continue to re-authorize them, and have even cut payroll taxes as well to stimulate the economy.

Republicans, meanwhile, forced a deal that would result in dramatic cuts to defense and other domestic programs at the end of this year if alternative spending reductions could not be found.  They’re still pretending to look, but they’re looking harder at ways to leave defense spending at current levels without anyone reminding them of this pesky agreement which they originated.

For there to be true deficit reduction, there will have to be leadership at the Presidential level.  This will have to be coupled with the will of the voters, who will have to insist to their individual members of Congress that they must get serious about the problem.

By picking Ryan, this opportunity and danger now lies squarely in the hands of the Republican ticket.

This is the debate and policy argument that many rank and file Republicans have wanted for decades.  How can programs at the federal level be reduced to fit within the means of the taxes generated to pay for them.  Entitlements (Social Security, Medicare, and VA benefits) plus interest on the debt now account for all revenues collected by the federal government.  Virtually all discretionary spending including defense spending is borrowed.

A close look at failing European nations shows where we are headed.  Intellectually we know this, and know something must be done to match spending and revenues.

And yet, when we also look at how Europe is handling this, we see that the intellectual argument is not what often wins.  Greece, specifically, faces economic ruin if they don’t adopt drastic reforms.  The people of Greece know this.  Yet every time there is an election, the slate of candidates offering austerity and tough love lose, pushing the country ever closer to insolvency.

Such is the parallel for our Presidential election.  Ryan’s budget plan doesn’t balance the federal budget for 23 years, yet is labeled draconian by many opponents.  The Democrats instead offer promises that the federal government can spend even more, and that someone else will pay for it.

Intellectually we all know that offers of something for nothing are too good to be true.  It is easily demonstrated that “asking the 1% to pay just a little more” won’t balance the budget.  In fact, confiscating the entire wealth of the 1% would only balance the budget for one year, with nothing left to produce for the second and subsequent years of trillion dollar plus deficits.

Yet buying the argument of keeping the status quo and trying to make someone else pay is the easiest decision for a voter.  Romney and Ryan will be asking for sacrifices.  Entitlement reform will involve middle class reductions in future benefits and/or upper income retirees paying more for Medicare while possibly receiving less in social security in the future.  That’s a tougher sell.

While the debate is the one Republicans have wanted to have, they had best not underestimate the uphill battle that faces them when rhetoric meets reality.  While independent voters may know that reforms are needed, getting them to actually vote for reform is a much different proposition.

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Note: Peach Pundit is and will remain a blog about Georgia Politics.  I will continue to post my columns here written for a statewide audience that is not as restricted as to the more limited mission we strive for here.  As we approach the November election there will be more national coverage of events and ideas.  We understand that is where the focus will be, including some of ours. 

I would like to suggest, however, that Peach Pundit’s commenting community works best when we talk to each other and not hurl talking points du jour at each other.  As we’ve seen in the past, moving our discussions to national issues often invokes otherwise reasonable people to lay down logic and manners in exchange for invective and partisan cheerleading.  We’re  all better than that, and the problems we face as a country deserve better than that.

We will try to hold ourselves to that standard, and we will encourage you to do the same.

81 comments

  1. John Konop says:

    This is not about ripping Obama or Romney. The problem is not of enough people want to have a serious conversation about the debt.

    …..Mitt Romney’s Double Medicare Contradiction

    There are two key contradictions in Mitt Romney’s messaging on Medicare reform.
    First, Romney says Medicare is “unsustainable” in current form. So why has he pledged to delay any Medicare reforms until 2022 and even repeal Medicare cuts contained within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, at a cost of $716 billion over ten years? Doesn’t that make Medicare even less sustainable?

    Second, Romney says that his premium-support based Medicare reform, to be implemented in 2022, will be “an improved program” and everyone will get benefits “at least comparable to what Medicare provides today.” If premium support is an improved program, why is there any need to delay implementation? Romney says his plan “honors commitments to current seniors” by waiting until 2022, but if his proposed benefit is as good as Medicare, why wouldn’t it count as honoring those commitments?…..

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-17/mitt-romney-s-double-medicare-contradiction.html

    The truth there is no difference on rate of growth, between what Obama and Ryan have in their Medicare plan. And both do not go far enough, nor do they really deal with details.

    …..Both Ryan’s most recent plan and Obama’s most recent budget strive to contain the growth of Medicare expenses to the same rate—GDP +0.5%. The difference is in how those costs are contained. This is incredibly important—Klein frames the debate as being over an effort to save money by improving quality (via the Affordable Care Act on the Democratic side) versus trusting the free market to reduce prices (on the Republican side). Neither of these approaches have been proven to lower costs, as noted by Klein…..

    Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2012/08/14/ryan-vs-obama-on-medicare-why-we-wont-have-an-actual-debate-over-where-they-differ/#ixzz23pGrk6Ys

  2. gcp says:

    With only 49% of the adult population paying income tax I am not optimistic we will ever see significant tax reform or large spending reductions. Folks expect more deductions, credits and more governmental spending on whatever particular program they use. While Ryan was an interesting pick I don’t know if he and Romney are capable of changing the attitude of the electorate.

  3. Noway says:

    I’ve heard the term “base-election” several times over the last couple of weeks. I cannot help but think that Ryan’s selection, along with “you didn’t build that”, along with the Chick Fil A fiasco and Biden’s “chains” comment will have the Repub base rabidly voting this Fall. In my opinion, it will drawf the 2010 turnout that resulted in the Repub sweep of Congress.

    • John Konop says:

      General election are won by swing voters not the base for either party on a macro. The problem for the GOP outside of heavy red states is the majority of swing voters do not care about hot button issues like gay marriage, abortion,….. The majority of them are actually against an aggressive foriegn policy, think Norquist is wrong on his tax pledge and against gay bashing. This may help people like you into that, but it hurts the GOP in swing state. That is why with a slow economy Romney is not winning. If he could focus on the economy and not have to pander to the base with hot button issues, he would be in better shape. The only way he wins now is if the economy falls back further, because of the base of the GOP focusing on………..

      • Noway says:

        It’s all about motivating voters to turn out. The crappy economy, with half of all mortgages under water, just as an example, no jobs to speak of, in addition to the hot button issues I listed will motivate people to turn out. Romney needs to steal the Hope and Change slogan and alter it slightly to Hope for Change. People would howl!

        • caroline says:

          Actually that will motivate YOU to turn out. So far I have seen no solutions from Romney that make me want to vote for him. Why on earth would you want to duplicate contentless “hope and change”.

          And his foreign policy is a real turn off like John said.

          • Noway says:

            Actually Caroline, I think there are scores like ME who will stream out in November to vote this pariah out of office. Let the democrat insults and gaffes keep comin’.

              • Noway says:

                Good and valid point, Blake. Maybe some of those in the competitive states will get POed enough by the democrat insults to make that margin of difference in some close “purple: states.

            • caroline says:

              You need to get out of the echo chamber if you think everybody thinks like you do. If they did, Romney would be leading and not mired in a tie with Obama. Georgia is out of the national mainstream of politics so I”m sure you “know a lot of people” that think like you do. George McGovern had a lot of people who thought ike that too back in 1972.

              • Noway says:

                It’s true, Caroline. I think we’re basically screwed because of those freeloaders who vote for a living and elect anyone who promised them something for nothing. When close to 50% pay no federal taxes and have no skin in the game, at least from a federal tax point of view, it will, indeed, be a tall order for the Repubs to win. I can only hope that enough of my troglodyte and fellow caveman and women get motivated to get off the couch. But if you think this election will be a landslide for Obama like Nixon had over McGovern in ’72, I’d put down the bong for a while.

                • caroline says:

                  Did I say it was 1972 exactly? No, i was using the analogy of “everybody thinks like me” to McGovern supporters back in 1972. I don’t know what is going to happen all I have is the facts at hand and they show that everything is tied RIGHT NOW.

                  If you think you’re helping get converts to Romney, let me tell you, you are not. And why do people think that they can have everything and not pay taxes? Look no further than what the GOP has been shopping most notably George W. Bush. We were told tax cuts pay for themselves and they don’t affect the budget or increase the deficit. Two wars? Oh, no, we don’t have to pay for them either.

                  • Noway says:

                    “And why do people think that they can have everything and not pay taxes?” I agree 1000%. Please tell that to those 49% of voters who pay no federal taxes now.

              • Noway says:

                Quick question, Caroline. Who’s base do you think has been motivated more over the last month, the Repubs or Dems?

                • caroline says:

                  “Republicans currently are more highly engaged in the campaign than Democrats. If that persists, it suggests Republican turnout may be much stronger than Democratic turnout. However, Democrats may not have had as much reason to tune in to the campaign yet, given that most of the news has centered on the Republican nomination. Thought given to the election in September, after the party conventions are held, and in the final stretch of the campaign in October will give a better indication of potential turnout among party groups.”

                  This is what Gallup says about it all.

      • caroline says:

        The reason people are even voting based on social issues is because no one is offering a plan for the economy. All of Obama’s advisers are Univ of Chicago Supply Siders. I’m assuming that Romney has similar beliefs. All these candidates continually tell us is that it’s all going to trickle down and we are going to be drowning in fairy dust or the confidence fairy is choking on her own dust and that’s why the economy is bad. So what you get is an election where people just don’t want religious zealots in control of the levers of government.

        Congress has an approval rate of 10% the lowest ever recorded according to Gallup. You would think that would be enough for some people to see that the social conservative agenda is not popular with the majority of voters.

        • John Konop says:

          I think both sides would rather debate gay marriage, abortion…….over taking on budget issues. The base on both sides think they can get something for nothing. We are drowning in military and Medicare………

            • John Konop says:

              The faults is us on a macro! Until we demand a serious debate on economics it will not happen.,Irronically, Obama slams Romney for using the trade policy they both support that creates the foriegn out sourcing of jobs. It makes my head when they talk.

              • caroline says:

                Well, that’s part of the problem too but also the press is a problem. Do they dissect the issues? No. Do they discuss who the voters want to have a beer with? Yes. In reality having a beer or a barbecue with a presidential candidate is utter nonsense because the likelihood of that happening to the average voter is less than zero. Then we have screaming talking heads who spread misinformation that people do not look at skeptically. And then you also have people who self select media and adjust it to their preconceived notions because they don’t want to have to think that their beliefs might be wrongly held. And it’s more important that the Minister at Saddleback Church make a proclamation about the candidates than people actually reading what the heck the candidates plan to do when in office. So here we are. Many days following politics is like being stuck in a Monty Python skit.

      • Jimmie says:

        In perfect in your face, eat crow fashion, the Ron Paul crowd and Independents, will have a major part in deciding who wins this election. The RNC has completely shut out the whole GOP-Libertarian faction on the party. From the County GOP delegate elections all the way to the State Delegate elections, legally selected delegates that, god forbid openly support a GOP candidate, are being tossed out by the RNC. I saw first hand the dirty tactics used at the County level. In States like LA, Maine, and several others the RNC is tossing out their own rules, and with it, the properly and duly elected delegates. As much as I hate Obama and his agenda, the Romney camp and the crooked RNC is no better. Screw em both. Old Mittens and his evil cohorts will get what they deserve. At least it will only be 4 more years of evil instead of 8.

  4. IndyInjun says:

    When I first started posting on PP, things had gotten out of hand with respect to deficits and debt. Post-2008 the numbers are so huge that nothing in the Romney-Ryan horizon of thought will be sufficient.

    We actually had the spectacle of Saxby Chambliss being charged with derivatives reform. Nothing was reformed. Now government is on the hook for $trillions in off-balance-sheet liabilities that potentially exceed the national debt.

    This genie now cannot be forced back into a bottle.

    • caroline says:

      Until the GOP is willing to let go of some of their sacred cows in the budget, nothing is going to go anywhere.

      • SallyForth says:

        Yep, they just scream “cut taxes” while they keep spending like a gang of drunken sailors.

  5. Blake says:

    “We will try to hold ourselves to that standard, and we will encourage you to do the same.”

    Thanks, Charlie; but please try harder:

    “The Democrats instead offer promises that the federal government can spend even more, and that someone else will pay for it.”

    Obama put a serious step toward entitlement reform on the table, and the Tea Party wing in the House forced Boehner not to take it. The firedoglakes of the world are still steaming about Obama putting as much of SS and Medicare on the table as he did. There was an effort at Presidential leadership, but the do-nothing-strategy of the GOP completely stymied it.

    Moreover, the GOP refusal (including Romney and Ryan) to consider any tax increases means their math simply doesn’t add up. This conversation about the debt that is supposedly taking or going to take place is in complete bad faith.

    These are not Democratic talking points; they’re facts. I applaud the amount of “pox on both their houses” your post contained, but saying Romney/Ryan represents a serious beginning to a conversation about controlling deficits is just another talking point and will do nothing to engender the productive discussion you’re looking for.

    • Charlie says:

      “These are not Democratic talking points; they’re facts.”

      What I believe = facts.

      What you believe = wrong.

      The entirety of the comments in this thread illustrate exactly what I was talking about in the footnote, and the circular non-productivity of the wasted energy expended by the participants is a reason why you will rarely find me wading into the comments section on the rare occasion we do cover national issues here.

      • John Konop says:

        Charlie,

        You have to admit the Norquist side of the GOP is as irrational as the Jessie Jackson side of the dems. And the Norquist side of the GOP has the louder voice within their respective parties.

        • Charlie says:

          Gee John, I’ve never called out Grover, have I?

          Oh wait, I have. Over and Over and Over again. Look back at the GA tax reform threads if you need a specific example. I’m not going to waste my time looking it up.

          So why do I have to do it right now, to respond to a Dem partisan who wants to assert that our side has crazies and his side is noble?

          I don’t.

          As I said, don’t expect a lot of responses from me in these threads. It’s not my job to help everyone erect their own monuments of ideological self-validation, whether left, right, or centrist.

          • John Konop says:

            One more thing, I would guess the Norquistnsde side of the base is why Romey sounds like someone with multiple personality disorder on issues rather than a rational businessman. And this is hurting the country.

          • Blake says:

            Seriously? These are your responses to me? First, this ambiguous dual statement, “what I believe = facts, what you believe = wrong,” which I would like to charitably interpret as not applying literally to me and you, but instead as your summing up of the bad attitude you inveighed against in your italicized note, but which may very well be meant literally–which, if that is the case, I am completely wasting my time engaging you at all.

            Second, your writing off the entire comment thread. John Konop (as usual) started it off with a worthwhile note wading into some policy weeds, and while the rest of it may not have been quite so substantive, I saw people “talk[ing] to each other,” as you had hoped, and not “hurling talking points du jour at each other.” Yes, the discussion was limited by people’s customary biases and received wisdom, but we’re only human, not perfect rational interlocutors.

            Third, you appear (since I assume you are not referring to John Konop) to sum me up and dismiss me as “a Dem partisan who wants to assert that our side has crazies and his side is noble.” This is offensive and reductionist. Yes, I tend to vote Democratic, but I am not a partisan, and I did not want to assert that “your” side has crazies and “my” side is noble. My comments specifically addressed points you had raised in your column: you generalized incorrectly about what Democrats want, and called for presidential leadership *which has already been manifested.*

            If you are genuinely not aware that President Obama went 90% of the way toward the House GOP’s demands on spending, pissing off millions of Democrats (and most of the House Dem caucus) in the process, or that it has been overwhelmingly documented that the congressional GOP agenda from before the inauguration continuing through the present has been to obstruct, obstruct, obstruct, simply refusing to deal with Obama at all, then you shouldn’t bother covering national events at all, and instead just stick to the local politics that you do know. Otherwise, if you try opining on national stories that you haven’t been following, you will just be regurgitating whatever national pundit *you* happened to pay attention to that week, and despite your high ideals of elevating the discussion all your efforts will be doomed to failure before the first word has left your head.

  6. seenbetrdayz says:

    If the debt were to suddenly become a hotly debate issue between Obama and Romney tomorrow, no matter who you vote for, you lose. The debt is the one issue that no one will win in the long term, so maybe that’s why they focus on superficial issues.

    When the Man is ready to be paid, he doesn’t care where the money comes from.

    If I were a dictator for a day, I’d make it where everyone who votes is responsible for the costs associated with who they vote for. If that ever happened, I’d be willing to bet that no one could afford to support either party.

    • Jackster says:

      This doesn’t make any sense to me – I mean, I get what you’re tying to say here (I think) and that is that people don’t understand the costs of what they’re asking for.

      Most of the time, the folks with whom I have the most heartfelt debates about governments spending are the ones who want to know, “What if someone can’t afford it?” “What if you are poor?” … basically, where is the safety net.

      My question to you is – is that an american societal value? (The safety net & helping those who aren’t capable of helping themselves.)

      • caroline says:

        It would be helpful if we had a debate about the cost of something. People could do a cost/benefit analysis in their minds ( or maybe not) but it might help. I remember before the first Gulf War we ACTUALLY discussed the costs and George Sr. ended up getting other countries to help us out with the bill. For the last ten to 12 years that seems to have just gone by the wayside.

      • seenbetrdayz says:

        What I was saying is that people don’t actually have to pay in full for what they’re asking for. Let democrats pay 100% for democrat-controlled government when the democrats have the majority, and let republicans pay 100% for republican-controlled government when the republicans have a majority.

        We’d quickly separate people who are willing to vote for politicians from those who are willing to pay for the consequences of politicians.

        It’s not like it will ever happen, though. It was more thinking-out-loud.

  7. Jackster says:

    Here’s my issue with cutting services, increasing revenues, and shifting costs to the state from a federal perspective:

    What incentive is there then to actually shrink the scope of the mission, and not to then look at a “surplus” the way a homeless man who hasn’t eaten in 2 days looks at a half eaten sandwich in the dumpster?

    I would submit that while “righting the ship” is one argument – the lobbying class would then move to siphon current budgeted $$ which would be cut through the R’s plans into their pet legislation.

  8. saltycracker says:

    Ryan will focus on the fiscal and we might not want to get what we wished for.

    How about a tax system that cuts an equal swath out of all hides based on income or consumption or some hybrid supplemented with fines, fees, tariffs and such ?

    Nah. It is more fun to believe we can get on the winning/deserving side all the time.

  9. Happy Face says:

    The Vice-President is without real power and has to rely on being able to get the President to do what he wants. The only exception is in the case of a tie in Senate where he can use his tie breaking vote as leverage. Dick Chaney was the most powerful VP in the history of the nation and even he had a hard time getting President Bush to do what he wanted. I doubt Romney is going to care all that much about Ryan after he wins the election. Until then, yes, we’ll get lip service but Romney is going to do what Romney wants to do.

    I have my fingers crossed that much of the social agenda he’s been preaching is just there to shore up his credentials with the religious crowd, especially those who cast a wary eye toward Mormons and he’ll take a more financial focused approach after the election.

  10. I Miss the 90s says:

    So, romney has handed the election to Obama. Thank you again for a radical vp choice, GOP.

    For the record, Presidents do not rack up debt. Congress does. Presidents simply sign off on it. That being said, deficits have at least slowed down.

    The deficit is not that big of a deal. Politically it is, but that is only because very few people are used to dealing with large numbers. $16trillion is a scary number to you ‘folk.’. To put it in perspective, the top 50 publicly traded corporations in the US have a net worth of $20 trillion. Or…the top .5% wealthiest American citizens can pay off the debt entirely.

    The national debt is an issue for the never-to-be-upper-class middle-classmen in the US. It is a distraction designed to get you people to.stop paying.attention to the plutocracy that is the GOP. Do not forget that Obama is a 1%er. And, he did not have to destroy thousands of lives by shipping jobs overseas to get there.

  11. wicker says:

    3 things.

    1. The European governments who followed Ryan-style austerity plans not only failed to pay off their debts and get their economies moving again, but made things worse. Jay Bookman (one of the few times that he is actually right) pointed that out in a column of his about a month or two ago. So in bringing up Europe, you are actually choosing between two failures: the Greece way that conservatives opposed and the austerity plans that were adopted by other countries that conservatives cheered and demanded that Obama emulate.

    2. I am skeptical that this will be the transforming moment of the race that everyone believes. The reason is that for the past 30+ years, ever since the Reagan revolution began, the GOP beats the tax/spending/government growth drums as loud as they can when they are running against Democrats only to put the drums and sticks away when they actually win. For example, when a Democrat like Clinton or Obama wins the White House or when Democrats win control of Congress, conservatives lambaste them for not making the deep cuts and structural reforms to politically popular entitlement programs that they themselves never even attempted when they were in power. You look at the GOP presidents and congressional leaders that have been in power for the last 30 years … Reagan, Gingrich, both Bushes, Lott, McConnell, Hastert etc. … none of them even attempted actual cuts or real reform of anything other than Great Society programs.

    The House GOP made a big show of passing the Ryan plan because they know that if it is ever enacted, it will be because a Democratic president signs it, meaning that he and his party, not them, will ultimately take the political hit for it. But if/when Romney wins the White House, everyone knows that nothing like the Ryan plan will ever see the light of day, because that would mean a GOP Congress and a GOP president taking the significant political consequences of it. The fact is that Republicans have not shown the willingness to lose elections over deficit reduction and entitlement reform that the Democrats were in 1994 and 2010 over Bill Clinton’s agenda and ObamaCare. They’d rather just keep spending, keep running up the national debt, and keep winning elections just like they did in the 80s under Reagan, the 90s under Gingrich, and the last decade under Bush. So, the only thing that the GOP is able to say to that reality is that the Democrats run up the national debt faster than we do. (Which isn’t necessarily true by the way. Reagan ballooned the national debt much faster than Carter. Bush turned a Clinton surplus into a huge deficit within a couple of years. Even Obama’s massive spending has to be in the context of dealing with a historic recession that he inherited, and many of his policies i.e. TARP were supported by Bush.)

    3. So in order for the Ryan plan to have any long term influence on the election, Romney and Ryan will have to stand up and A) apologize for Republicans in the past who lied about cutting spending and shrinking government and B) promise that they won’t be like those Republicans. In other words, a “Sister Souljah moment.” (Granted, Bill Clinton purposely quoted Sister Souljah out of context -her actual meaning was the exact opposite of what Clinton claimed – but as the cliche exists, might as well use it.)

    • caroline says:

      Really good post and another point ot ponder is those Republicans who actually did have sound budgets like Eisenhower were either lambasted as a “secret communist” or a called a “liberal” and run out of the party. The crux of today’s current GOP is scream about “big government” and then continue to expand it. The GOP is very much in love with authoritarianism and has been for quite a while.

      • wicker says:

        @caroline:

        Your progressive friends on the left and in the Democratic Party are just as much in love with authoritarianism. And you guys have purged your own party of moderates – especially the socially conservative Democrats – too. Jesse Jackson, Richard Gephardt and Al Gore all had to change their position on abortion in order to stay relevant in the Democratic Party, and Bill Clinton didn’t even allow the Democratic governor of Pennsylvania to speak at the convention that was being held in his own state because the governor was pro-life. So, Democrats really need to stop throwing stones at the GOP from their glass houses on this issue.

        • wicker says:

          I forgot to add Jimmy Carter to the list of Democrats who had to change their positions on social issues too.

        • caroline says:

          Oh, geez, more GOP talking points. I heard Ann Coulter say the exact same thing time and again. And I am not a fan of Obama FYI. Forget labels and look at issues IF YOU CAN. No one cares about Jimmy Carter anymore except Republicans. The reason Bill Clinton did now allow the Gov. of Penn to speak at the convention was because he REFUSED to endorse him for President. This is another myth that Republicans persist in perpetuating. Do you see any Republicans who refuse to endorse the nominee speaking at the convention? There were other politicians who have held similar views on abortion that were allowed to speak. So if other politicians like Dennis Kucinich were allowed to speak then the theory of his views completely falls apart doesn’t it?

        • caroline says:

          And yes Obama is an authoritarian which is why I don’t understand why conservatives don’t like him.

        • caroline says:

          Oh, and if you’re so concerned about Casey, they endorsed Obama FYI back before the PA primary in 2008.

          • I Miss the 90s says:

            Caroline, you obviously have no idea what the word authoritarian means.

            You should stop, study, then correct yourself.

            Ever heard of the word ‘choice.’ At every turn the mainstream American center and left.has advocated the freedom to choose. Whether it is to have a family, marry the person you love, or dine and/shop at.the establishment of your choosing. We believe in individualism and self-determination. When economic externalities exist we.do not believe in allowing free-riders to game the system…they should lay their for share (ie cap and trade.and the free rider tax that you call the individual mandate).

            You do not like this. You want people to only marry people of the opposite sex and are willing to have the government force religious institutions to heed your preferences. Same with issues like abortion, prayer in school, immigration, education, and others. People like you are.scared of Muslims despite the fact.that most.terrorism in the US has.been carried out by Christians.

            Authoritarians prefer order to freedom, conformity to self-determination, hierarchy to equality. President Obama its not one of those characteristics. Unfortunately for you, the GOP, especially the conservative wing, fits the bill on all fronts.

              • I Miss the 90s says:

                You are correct, Caroline. My bad.

                Wicker, you obviously have no idea what the word authoritarian means.

                You should stop, study, then correct yourself.

                Ever heard of the word ‘choice.’ At every turn the mainstream American center and left.has advocated the freedom to choose. Whether it is to have a family, marry the person you love, or dine and/shop at.the establishment of your choosing. We believe in individualism and self-determination. When economic externalities exist we.do not believe in allowing free-riders to game the system…they should lay their for share (ie cap and trade.and the free rider tax that you call the individual mandate).

                You do not like this. You want people to only marry people of the opposite sex and are willing to have the government force religious institutions to heed your preferences. Same with issues like abortion, prayer in school, immigration, education, and others. People like you are scared of Muslims despite the fact that most terrorism in the US has.been carried out by Christians.

                Authoritarians prefer order to freedom, conformity to self-determination, hierarchy to equality. President Obama its not one of those characteristics. Unfortunately for you, the GOP, especially the conservative wing, fits the bill on all fronts.

  12. Dave Bearse says:

    Paul Ryan is a career Washington politician forgetful of the timeline of his own official actions concerning his own district.

    Ryan, campaigning in Canton, OH on Aug 16, told an emotional story of how Obama’s energy policies had led to the 2009 closure of the General Motors Janesville, WI plant where “A lot of my high school buddies worked at that GM plant.” “One of the reasons that plant got shut down is $4 gasoline. You see, this costs jobs. The president’s terrible energy policies are costing us jobs.”

    GM announced the plant’s closure in April of 2008, and the last SUV rolled off the line in December 2008. Ryan initiated an effort to keep the plant open in May 2008, released a June statement that called the closure “gut-wrenching, and continued to make efforts to keep the plant open through September 2008. Ryan then claimed the President Obama had promised to keep the factory open—but that’s not true according to The Detroit News and USA Today.

    Obama wasn’t yet even the nominee, but it was so “gut-wrenching” that though Ryan didn’t even remember when it happened, it had to be Obama’s fault. Paul Ryan isn’t one to let first-hand experience or facts interfere with the primary GOP objective of insuring Obama is a one-term President.

    PS – It’s the economy. The deficit is important, but a campaign based on reducing it isn’t going to win the 2012 election, especially given the GOP’s all hat and no cattle record when in control.

  13. Scott65 says:

    What I know about Ryan (via his voting record)
    He is in favor of a FEDERAL(not states) personhood amendment. That means no invitro fertilization, no birth control, no abortion.
    He wants abortion illegal in cases of rape, incest, AND protecting the life of the mother.
    I’m not sure how that plays with women voters.
    He originally was a sponsor of SOPA until pressured to flip flop. Internet issues and the looming Comcast/Verizon monopolies are going to be big issues for the next president and neither R nor R seem to be clued in on that (and I might add that the Obama administration has been DREADFUL in this area).
    He says the stimulus was horrible and created no jobs, yet requested stimulus funds for his district and praised the jobs that money created.
    From his plan…
    His revenue numbers are based on unemployment of 2.3%…not what I would call realistic. He cuts taxes but gives no specifics on which deductions go away.
    The worst part is that Romney doesn’t seem to know whether he is for these things or against…just depends on which day. Seems to me they should have had all of this ironed out instead of flailing about when asked about it

    • Dave Bearse says:

      I clearly am no Ryan fan as indicated in a comment above, but I don’t think Ryan’s opposition to abortion generally extends to making abortion to protect the life of the mother illegal.

      • Scott65 says:

        The personhood amendment proposed by Paul Ryan carries no exception for the health of the mother…it has no exceptions…period

    • Happy Face says:

      Is it really smart for him to highlight that he’s Catholic? Go take a look at the post the other day about the Atlanta Catholic’s getting a huge donation and see how quickly it went off track. I know he was trying to get the Catholic vote but there are other religions and not all of them have a positive view of Catholics. Though you’ve got to admire that he isn’t afraid to show who he is.

      • Harry says:

        Besides the fact that he relates his belief, of course it’s smart for him to highlight he’s Catholic. The Catholic vote has been a swing vote, and I include in that statement millions of Hispanic Catholics who I assure you, are not too happy about forced abortion services.

        • I Miss the 90s says:

          It is a good thing that we forced abortion does not exist in the US. Anyone who believes otherwise is literally retarded.

          It is pretty clear that being asked to present their papers because of skin color is a bigger and a real concern.

                • Lea Thrace says:

                  DUDE. LOOSEN THE TIN FOIL. Your brain needs oxygen.

                  Your “source” is a bunch of ramblings and conjecture. Not a SINGLE shred of evidence that Catholic hospitals will be FORCED to perform abortions.

                  Please read the following very carefully:

                  No one is forced to have any abortion.
                  No one is forced to perform an abortion.
                  Birth control is not abortion no matter what your interpretation of the bible is.

                  • Harry says:

                    I’m saying that forcing abortions on catholic hospitals as well as any other politically-correct jackboot demands, is what Obama would like to achieve.

                    • Lea Thrace says:

                      Is that along the same lines as the conspiracy theory that he was going to take all the guns away and abolish the 2nd ammendment? Or that he is a secret Kenyan covert operative sent here to usurp the American government? Or Bush caused 9-11? The moon landing wasnt real?

                      Nothing like that has ever been said. You cannot even point out to me where there is any evidence of this.

                      THere is NO PROOF of anything you say. It’s just mindless rambling and conjecture.

                      Seriously dude. Get help. Come back to terra firma.

              • Harry says:

                The catholic church very well understands Obama’s endgame – every institution must be subservient to his Marxist worldview.

                • jbgotcha says:

                  Obama is so far from being Marxist it’s not even funny. He is a pure capitalist and supporter of the corporate state. “Marxist” is just a term people use to create fear and distrust (thanks to the WWII propaganda machine) and to eliminate any diversity in conversation around politics. Of course, your lens on the world disallows you from operating outside of what you read online. With that said, carry on.

                    • I Miss the 90s says:

                      Harry, dude, you do not even have the foggiest idea of what Marxism is.

                      Lea is correct, loosen the tin foil. Perhaps you should also take a few courses in public policy, constitutional law, and American politics. I know you will not, but doing so may help you understand a few things. Like identifying credible news outlets and some critical thinking skills.

                      The tortured logic of that article is reminiscent of claims that Jews were the cause of all problems in the Weimar Republic.

                      First, birth-control is not abortion. To abort and to prevent are two different things…you should probably learn the difference between these ideas.

                      Second, just because an insurance plan must cover contraception does not mean that employees must use contraception. That is the employees personal decision, not the decision of their employer.

                      I know, I know. You believe in a world where private entities shackle The People in chains under the guise of free-enterprise. Guess what? This is America and we do not take that kind of tyranny from anybody…even history’s most successful corporation (e.g. the Roman Catholic Church).

                      You should stop drinking the kool-aid. You never know when your cult leaders will spike it.

                    • Harry says:

                      The Obama crew wants all organizations including catholic organizations to provide insurance to their employees that includes abortion on demand. They had to delay to 2013, but it’s coming. Catholic voters are not happy. Enough said.

                    • Blake says:

                      http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/poll-shows-catholics-side-with-bishops-on-religious-liberty-but-warm-to-obama/2012/08/02/gJQA9vJeSX_story.html

                      Story on poll by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Key paragraphs:

                      “As for Catholic voters’ presidential preferences, 51 percent say they support or lean toward Obama; 42 percent back Romney. That’s not too different from all Americans — the poll found they prefer Obama to Romney, 50 percent to 43 percent.

                      Though Obama certainly hasn’t locked down the crucial Catholic vote, the trend appears positive for the president. In an April Pew poll, Obama trailed Romney among Catholic voters, 45 to 50 percent.

                      “Catholics in recent elections tend to closely resemble the electorate as a whole,” said Gregory A. Smith, the poll’s lead researcher.”

                    • Blake says:

                      Whatever, Harry. Pew’s polls are well regarded, and the story just happened to be at the Washington Post.

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