Kudos to former Mass. governor Mitt Romney on his bold, inspired choice of Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate. Rep. Ryan brings a host of qualities to “Team Romney” that are sure to appeal to voters.
Some of that appeal will come from selecting a leader in the majority party of the least popular Congress, well, ever. This would be the same Republican House "leadership" that has staged 33 go-nowhere votes to rescind the health-care law that is almost a mirror image of Gov. Romney’s own health plan. It would also be the same Congress that trashed the country’s credit rating by nearly causing a debt default and that has left scores of necessary bills pending because of its dysfunction.
Voters will also appreciate Rep. Ryan’s fondness for Ayn Rand and his frequent criticism of the “takers” in society. Rep. Ryan, who benefited from government assistance as a youth, attended a publicly-funded university for his schooling, has drawn almost every penny of his salary as an adult from government coffers and refuses to eliminate oil company subsidies that benefit his family, is a paragon of Rand’s principles. As an added plus, voters, especially “values voters,” will especially like Rand’s atheism and open adultery.
Rep. Ryan also brings scads of credibility to Gov. Romney’s claims to be a deficit hawk. What with his proposal to increase defense spending AND cut tax rates for the wealthy and with his earlier votes to create the massively expensive Medicare drug plan, to enact the Bush tax cuts, and to support two incredibly costly wars. Rep. Ryan is so concerned about the deficit that his plan would close it by the middle of the century—talk about a futurist.
Oh, and speaking of that tax proposal, which would lower Gov. Romney’s already meager tax payments from 13.9% to 0.8% of his income, will help to take the focus off Gov. Romney’s tax shenanigans. It's not quite the zero tax rate that Gov. Romney described in criticizing the plan when Newt Gingrich espoused it in the primaries, but it's awfully close.
Rep. Ryan’s proposal to convert Medicare into a voucher program and then slowly shift the medical cost burden from the government to the elderly is also sure to be a hit. Evidence of the proposal’s popularity can be seen the assurances that Rep. Ryan has to give that no one under 55 will be affected by it. As they say, the best things are worth waiting for.