Young Voters Speak Out: Each day, RR.com will spotlight politically minded youth writers from throughout the U.S. speaking their minds on Election 2012. First-time voters, student journalists and new graduates will debate the Obama vs. Romney race to the White House. Young Democrats, Republicans and ‘Undecided’ Americans are eager to play politics and choose the next Commander & Chief.
Read Zachary Aronow's thoughts from a left-leaning perspective:
In a bit of a surprise, Mitt Romney picked Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan over some bigger names such as Senators Rob Portman and Marco Rubio or Governor Bobby Jindal. Last Sunday Romney and Ryan were introduced to a prime time audience on 60 Minutes and the nation saw a polished performer with a dangerous plan. It's a good pick in several respects: he's young, handsome and knows how to raise a lot of money. Unlike McCain-Palin, Romney is comfortable around Ryan and it potentially puts Wisconsin in play. The Ryan pick also has this benefit: it just handed Barack Obama the election.
The Grinch who Stole Retirement
Last year, Paul Ryan introduced his budget plan, which has been described by The New York Times as the most extreme budget passed by a house of Congress in modern times. It's an understandable reaction since according to this ThinkProgress list, Ryan's budget includes:
- · Massive tax cuts of up to $300,000 for millionaires while people in the middle class and low income brackets find their taxes increasing due to the elimination of deductions.
- · $200 million in cuts to Pell Grants which would result in millions of students being denied access to college education.
- · 45% cuts to Medicaid that would leave 19 million people without health care.
- · Ryan's plan for Medicare garnered the most attention since it would
A Losing Proposition
On the show, Romney distanced himself from Ryan's plan, which puts him in company with Republicans everywhere who have been trying to avoid dealing with the plan on the campaign trail and for good reason, it's a proven loser. Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Hochul won an upset victory in a conservative district by campaign heavily against the Ryan plan. Since then, the GOP has actively sought to distance themselves from Ryan's budget. Just a few months ago, the National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC) released ads in Montana, touting Senate hopeful Denny Rehberg's opposition to the Ryan budget. Other GOP candidates have ducked the issue entirely. By selecting Ryan though, Mitt Romney has left Republican candidates with nowhere to hide on the Ryan Budget as seen with Republican Maggie Brooks. Brooks, who is challenging Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, said before praising Ryan, I do not support the Ryan budget and its proposals regarding Medicare.
The M Word
The impact Ryan has for Romney remains to be seen. The same cannot be said for Republicans running for House and Senate: the Ryan pick is a disaster for them. Romney is already trying to get ahead of this, claiming in his 60 Minutes interview with Ryan, "What Paul Ryan and I have talked about is saving Medicare, is providing people greater choice in Medicare, making sure it's there for current seniors." Ryan also chimed in that his reform had bipartisan roots -- which explains why his budget received no Democratic votes. By the way, if you don't remember seeing that on 60 Minutes last Sunday, it's because it was cut from the program.
Democrats have been handed a major opening and there is no excuse now for Obama and others not to prevail in November. Defending Medicare is more than a political winner, it is vital to protect America from the destructive agenda that Romney and national Republicans have just endorsed so enthusiastically.