In a move reminiscent of a terrifying episode on the Twilight Zone, Mitt Romney – the poster child for greed, dishonesty hypocrisy and the end of the American Dream – picked Paul Ryan, a callous cut throat politician with ethics a notch underneath that of a child molester, and whom Obama accused of favoring a “thinly veiled social Darwinism“, as his presidential running mate. And with that an unholy alliance; a match in political hell, is born.
Romney couldn’t have picked a better person for the job, as Ryan personifies every bit the things Romney stands for but is just too clumsy and inept to put in a coherent sentence.
So in a nutshell, here are some facts about Paul Ryan which, one can only hope, the American people will take into account when casting their vote this November.
- Paul Ryan’s role model, philosophical inspiration and muse is psychopath Ayn Rand, a 20th-century libertarian novelist best known for her “philosophy” that centered on the idea that selfishness is “virtue.” Rand described altruism as “evil,” condemned Christianity for advocating compassion for the poor, viewed the feminist movement as “phony,” and called Arabs “almost totally primitive savages.” Though he publicly rejected “her philosophy” in 2012, Ryan had professed himself a strong devotee. “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand,” he said at a D.C. gathering honoring the author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. “I give out ‘Atlas Shrugged’ as Christmas presents, and I make all my interns read it. Well… I try to make my interns read it.”
- Paul Ryan favors tax increases for middle class wage earners to basically make up for trillions in tax cuts for the wealthy. His infamous budget — which Romney embraced — replaces the current tax structure with two brackets — 25 percent and 10 percent — and cut the top rate from 35 percent. Federal tax collections would fall by about $4.5 trillion over the next decade as a result and to avoid increasing the national debt, the budget proposes massive cuts in social programs and “special-interest loopholes and tax shelters that litter the code.” But 62 percent of the savings would come from programs that benefit the lower- and middle-classes, who would also experience a tax increase. That’s because while Ryan would extend the Bush tax cuts, which are due to expire at the end of this year, he would not extend President Obama’s tax cuts for those with the lowest incomes, which will expire at the same time. Households earning more than $1 million a year, meanwhile, could see a net tax cut of about $300,000 annually.
- Ryan’s budget would semi privatize Medicare and turn it into a voucher program, increasing seniors’ costs by up to $6,350 per year. In essence what the program does is give seniors a voucher worth around $6,000 a year with which they then go “shop around” for private plans or traditional fee-for-service Medicare, because we all know how much insurance companies are just dying to insure the elderly. In reality, no insurance company will insure a senior citizen with pre-exiting condition for $ 6,000 a year, which effectively would leave those elderly without health-care, unless they can come up with whatever the difference is between the $6,000 from medicare and what the insurance company demands as annual premium. This program would effectively end medicare in the United States as we know it. Not to mention that for most people this equals a death sentence.
- Paul Ryan wants to end social security, which he refers to as a “ponzi scheme”. In September of 2011, Ryan agreed with Rick Perry’s characterization of Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme” and since 2005 has advocated for privatizing the retirement benefit and investing it in stocks and bonds. Conservatives claim that this would “outperform the current formula based on wages earned and overall wage appreciation,” but the economic crisis of 2008 should serve as a wake-up call for policymakers who seek to hinge Americans’ retirement on the stock market. In fact, “a person with a private Social Security account similar to what President George W. Bush proposed in 2005″ would havelost much of their retirement savings.
- Ryan’s budget would result in 4.1 million lost jobs in 2 years. Ryan’s budget calls for massive reductions in government spending. He has proposed cutting discretionary spending by about $120 billion over the next two years and mandatory programs by $284 billion, which, the Economic Policy Institute estimates, would suck demand out of the economy and reduce employment by 1.3 million jobs in fiscal 2013 and 2.8 million jobs in fiscal 2014, relative to current budget policies.
- Paul Ryan wants to eliminate Pell Grants for more more than 1 million students. Pell Grants, which help cover tuition costs for low-income Americans, are on Ryan;’s list of cuts, which he wants to cut by $200 billion, which would ultimately knock more than one million students off the program over the next 10 years
- Paul Ryan supports $40 billion in subsides for big oil. In 2011, Ryan joined all House Republicans and 13 Democrats in his vote to keep Big Oil tax loopholes as part of the FY 2011 spending bill. His budget would retain a decade’s worth of oil tax breaks worth $40 billion, while cutting billions of dollars from investments to develop alternative fuels and clean energy technologies that would serve as substitutes for oil. For instance, it calls for a $3 billion cut in energy programs in FY 2013 alone and would spend only $150 million over five years — or 20 percent of what was invested in 2012 — on energy programs. Ryan “and his wife, Janna, own stakes in four family companies that lease land in Texas and Oklahoma to the very energy companies that benefit from the tax subsidies in Ryan’s budget plan,” The Daily Beast reported in June of 2011. “Ryan’s father-in-law, Daniel Little, who runs the companies, told Newsweek and The Daily Beast that the family companies are currently leasing the land for mining and drilling to energy giants such as Chesapeake Energy, Devon, and XTO Energy, a recently acquired subsidiary of ExxonMobil.
- Paul Ryan opposes a woman’s right to choose.
- Paul Ryan supports an amendment to the Constitution that says life begins at fertilization. Ryan joined 62 other Republicans in co-sponsoring the Sanctity of Human Life Act, which declares that a fertilized egg “shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.” This would outlaw abortion, some forms of contraception and invitro fertilization
- Paul Ryan supports making the coverage of birth control illegal based on religious views
- Paul Ryan wants to end medicaid on a federal level and turn it into a state program, which would mean the end of medicaid for the poor – the ones who need it the most.
- Paul Ryan voted against legislation aimed at erasing pay discrimination against women.
- Ryan, like Romney, favors the flawed theory that new budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy, while placing greater burdens on the middle class and seniors, will somehow deliver a stronger economy.
- Ryan rubber-stamped the reckless Bush economic policies that exploded our deficit and crashed our economy.
- Paul Ryan voted for two wars that were unpaid for.
- Paul Ryan voted for the Bush tax cuts that were unpaid for.
- Paul Ryan voted for the prescription drug bill that wasn’t paid for.
So here is Paul Ryan for you. A contemptible jerk who loves to go after the poor and the unfortunate. A cowardly, callou fresh of the boat rodent ready to ruin the United States, one legislation at a time and a smirk on his face.
What Romney and Ryan, the Dystopian Duo, want is really a return to the Robber Baron age of unregulated capitalism and social Darwinism where millions suffered in extreme poverty without access to food or medical care and where elders were forced to live with their children or in extreme poverty.
Moreover, the trickle down economics he so much favors used to maybe work at a time when people didn’t have to be billionaires. In today’s economy, however, nothing trickles down but more work with less pay.
The assumption, of course, is that the American people are wise enough to understand the truly disastrous and detrimental direction these two will take us and thus not vote for this ticket. Given two terms of George W. Bush that ultimately ruined our economy and just the systematic way people in this country keep voting against their own self interest, that is an assumption I am not willing to make so easily.