The Disastrous Mr Ryan

Have you ever thought old people have it too easy? That we’re wasting money on the sick? That money should redistributed from them to the super rich? Do you think Mitt Romney and other rich people should only pay 1% in tax? Do you believe we should take from the poor to give to the rich? Have you ever looked at Somalia and thought “that country does well without a government, we should defund ours”? Do you oppose laws that would require men and women to get equal pay for equal work? Do you like pretending to be a deficit hawk while really massively increasing the national debt? If so then you’ll love the Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan.

It’s quite clear why Romney picked Ryan. Under Ryan’s budget plan, Romney would only pay 0.82% of his income in taxes. The Tax Policy Center found that the Ryan plan would cut taxes on the richest 1% in half. It is an absolute outrage that a multi millionaire should pay next to nothing. Why is there one law for ordinary working people who have to pay a large chunk of their income in taxes and another law for the rich who don’t? The reason for this is that Ryan proposed abolishing dividend and capital gains tax which is where Romney and most of the rich get their money. Essentially Ryan wants to take the rich out of the tax net.

Ryan’s budget would actually raise taxes for the bottom 30%

How can you run a government if you do not tax the rich? The simple answer is that you cannot properly. That is why the Ryan plan calls for massive cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. In his plan seniors, the disabled, the sick and the poor would be sacrificed to allow huge tax cuts for the rich. In fact the bottom 30% of earners would actually see their taxes rise. Ryan is no reasonable guy with a decent solution, rather he is an extreme ideologue forcing through his agenda. His voting record is ranked as right wing as Michelle Bachmann. His plan would more or less abolish all government programs outside Social Security, Health and Defence. This means nothing for food stamps, nothing for unemployment, nothing for veterans programs, nothing for research, nothing for education, nothing for infrastructure, nothing for investment. Nothing.

It has been criticized by Robert Greenstein as “likely to produce the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern US history.” Yet it is being bizarrely presented a reasonable deficit reducing plan. It should really be called a plan to take from the poor, sick and old to give to the rich. The Economic Policy Institute has said “Ryan’s policies would inarguably redistribute income from the middle class to millionaires.” It will undoubtedly further increase the all ready outrageous levels of inequality in America.

His proposed budget cuts would destroy 4.1 million jobs over the next 2 years according to the Economic Policy Institute. They said “Paul Ryan’s budget doesn’t just fail to address job creation; it aggressively slows job growth . . . the budget cuts discretionary programs . . . sucking demand out of the economy when it most needs it and leading to job loss.”

The most damaging criticism of his plan is that it does not reduce the deficit. It won’t balance the budget until 2040 and will add 14 trillion in debt. Paul Krugman has criticised it saying “So the budget is a fraud. No, it’s not “imperfect”, it’s not a bit shaky on the numbers; it’s completely based on almost $5 trillion dollars of alleged revenue that are pure fabrication.” His plan would leave America with a deficit of 1.3 trillion in 2020, the same as Obama’s plan which Ryan and Republicans in general have condemned in apocalyptic language. He proposes reducing tax rates to two bands of 10% and 25%. However he claims this will not reduce revenue as he will reduce loopholes. The problem is he has not named a single loophole that he will close. This is not a well thought out plan; it is a back of the envelope plan used as an excuse to gut the poor to enrich the wealthy.

Ryan does not care about the deficit. After all he voted for the Bush tax cuts which accounted for most of the deficit and wiped out the surplus inherited from Clinton. His only criticism was that it was too small. He voted for the huge expense of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He has continuously argued in favour of borrowing to fund tax cuts. He voted for the tax cut aspect of Obama’s stimulus. He opposed the Bowles-Simpson proposal to reduce the deficit because it included a tax increase. He voted for the bank bailouts and the auto bailouts, as well as the massive highway expansion that occurred when Bush was President. Ryan only became a fiscal conservative when Obama became President.

He voted for the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act in 1999. This law was implemented during the Great Depression to ensure it could never happen again. It prevented banks from becoming “too big to fail”. Its repeal was a major cause of the financial crash in America. In 2000 he voted against laws which would have regulated derivatives, another cause of the financial collapse.

The Ryan Budget is the only plan that wants to give people less health insurance. It would repeal Obama’s healthcare plan which has so far provided insurance to 30 million people who otherwise could not get it. On top of this his plan would remove health insurance from another 14 to 27 million people by cutting Medicaid.

He wants to end Medicare and replace it with a block grant from the government. In theory competition of the free market will lead to lower prices and better coverage. However the real world doesn’t work like that. Competition between private health insurers has led to a highly inefficient system that costs twice as much as European universal healthcare while failing to cover millions of people. It is highly unlikely that the block grant will keep up with inflation and seniors will end up paying more according to the Congressional Budget Office. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that these vouchers would be wholly insufficient to protect seniors from rising health costs.

Ryan voted against the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and voted for the Defence of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. He opposed the Lilly Ledbetter Act which increased enforcement of equal pay for women. He is extremely opposed to abortion and has voted for laws that would prevent women getting abortions even if it costs them their lives. He also opposes abortion even in the event of rape and opposes stem cell research even if it is life saving. His position is so extreme that even contraceptives could be banned. He voted for the Patriot Act and other violations of civil liberties. He has been criticized by interest groups representing seniors, Arabs, civil liberties, gay rights, public education, public health and separation of church and state. Ryan has accused scientists of engaging in conspiracy to “intentionally mislead the public on the issue of climate change.” Ryan supported 40 billion in subsidies for big oil while cutting renewable energy subsidies.

He supports privatising Social Security, arguing that if people’s life savings are invested in the market they would make more money. Luckily his plan was defeated because if it hadn’t, billions would have been lost in the stock market crash. Even George Bush decided not to follow his plan finding it too extreme.

He criticised Romneycare saying he was not a fan of it as the “system (is) bursting at the seams, they’re seeing premium increases, rationing and benefit cuts.” He also said it is not that dissimilar to Obamacare, and you probably know I’m not a big fan of Obamacare.” It seems strange that even the Republican Vice Presidential candidate thinks Romney’s plan is similar to Obama’s plan seeing the levels of hate many Republicans share for it.

Ryan is a man who pretends to be a thoughtful man with a plan to reduce the deficit. Instead he will actually increase the deficit while slaughtering the sick, the old and the poor, all to pay for tax cuts for the rich. His plan is quite simply a disaster.


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