When Mitt Romney chose Rep. Paul Ryan to be his running mate nine days ago, he forced Democrats to engage in serious intellectual debate in the coming weeks and months, rather than demagoguing which has been the main practice of the Obama/Biden campaign as of yet.
Well, that’s what one would have thought, because, well, conventional wisdom says so. However, in the latter, Democrats and the left have tried to demonize Paul Ryan in every way absolutely imaginable. The day after the announcement of Paul Ryan to be the running-mate of Mitt Romney, the attacks started. From Ryan’s budget, to a ‘war on women’, to Ryan ‘pushing grandma off of the cliff’, let’s debunk five myths about Paul Ryan.
1. The Ryan Plan Destroys Medicare.
The Liberal New York Congressman, Rep. Steve Israel has recently claimed that the Romney/Ryan ticket is a “nightmare for seniors who’ve earned their Medicare benefits. For the last 18 months, we’ve said Republicans will have to defend the indefensible—their vote to end Medicare.” The Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been running around spewing lies claiming that the Ryan Plan would end Medicare as we know it. This wouldn’t be the first time that Schultz has lied, or probably the last. Look at what she said regarding presidential tax returns and Mitt Romney.
The Wyden-Ryan Medicare Plan – yes that is Democratic Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon – says that the plan will not affect anyone over 55. Anyone over 55 wouldn’t see a change in their plans or their benefits. Anyone under 55 wouldn’t either, unless they voluntarily chose to take part in the Plan. Washington would still be paying the premiums for the healthcare choices you made, and if you believed in the basic principles of free-market capitalism, this would improve the services while driving down the cost.
Furthermore, the liberal leaning Urban Institute recently found that the average citizen will pay $149,000 in Medicare taxes, while only taking out $351,000 in medical services during retirement. In reality, the party that doesn’t want to reform Medicare, and who doesn’t want to ‘change Medicare as we know it’, is single-handedly destroying the system from the inside out.
2. Paul Ryan is a Constitutional Obstructionist
According to a recent Gallup Poll, the 112th Congress’ approval rating has hit an all-time low. Of course, Obama, his administration, and his campaign blame the GOP for the gridlock in Congress, which may we not forget; Paul Ryan is a part of. It’s not necessarily fair, considering the House has passed massive amount of bills that focus on economic recovery that have been killed by Harry Reid in the Senate. May we also not forget that, a) Obama’s ‘serious’ budget was rejected by everyone in both the House and the Senate, and b) Ryan’s Budget passed the House by a vote of 228-191.
Contrary to what the President said yesterday during his surprise visit to the press room of the White House, he is stepping across the preverbal line ‘in the sand’. “So, if you happen to see Congressman Ryan, tell him how important this farm bill is to Iowa and our rural communities. It’s time to put politics aside and pass it right away,” the President said last week in Iowa. But in fact, the House has already passed a measure that helps farmers that have been struck financially by the drought.
3. The Ryan Budget is Extreme
President Obama’s Campaign Manager, Jim Messina, someone who probably actually hasn’t sat down and read the Ryan Plan, is calling the plan ‘radical’.
New York Times Columnist, Paul Krugman, is spewing the common lies about the Ryan Plan. He said the plan, “would kill people, no question,” while the Plan would “cut discretionary spending to levels not seen since Calvin Coolidge.” In defense of Coolidge, life wasn’t that bad under his leadership – low taxation, high economic growth and relative peace. But, to anyone’s surprise, this isn’t true. The Ryan Plan only brings back non-military discretionary spending to the 2008 levels. The plan also cuts the federal bureaucracy and it’s subsidies by 10% and it reforms the compensation plans of federal employees.
But when we talk about discretionary spending as a percentage of the entire budget, you don’t have to be an economic genius to know that Krugman does have a point, but a very misleading one at that. Because mandatory spending has grown at about six times that of discretionary spending over the past 20 years, it’s really easy to argue that President Obama will keep discretionary spending at levels not seen since Calvin Coolidge – anyone could.
However, there are a lot of Conservatives that aren’t exactly in love with the Ryan Budget. For one, it balances the budget over ten years versus the Connie-Mac Penny Plan which balances the budget over eight years. Don’t we know that anything a president implements that expands past his time in office, usually never completely comes to fruition? Meaning, I seriously doubt that the Ryan Budget would make it all ten years.
Moreover, the Ryan Plan only reduces spending from current levels of 24% down to 19.8% of the GDP. Several leading economists have pointed out that this would only bring down federal expenditures to post-WWII levels. Furthermore, in the Ryan Budget federal spending increases over the next ten years, and revenue each year after. The budget would expand from $3.6 trillion in 2013 to $4.9 trillion in 2022.
4. Ryan is at ‘War with Women’
Didn’t we all see this one coming? It’s a classic ‘hail mary’ out of the playbook of the left against anyone on the right. Democratic Pennsylvania Congressman Patrick Murphy said that Ryan “believes we should ban all birth control as well. He voted for that.” The President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, Nancy Keenan, said that Ryan “supported the ‘Let Women Die Bill,’ which would allow hospitals to refuse to provide a woman emergency, lifesaving abortion care, even if she could die without it.”
Gosh, Ryan really does hate woman, right? Wrong. Ryan has never voted or said any of these things that he is being accused of. However, he did vote for the “Protect Life Act,” which would have, if it passed, rewritten provisions in Obamacare that allowed for federal subsidies to be provided for abortions. Ironic, because liberals and the left already claim that the government doesn’t fund abortions. “Protect Life Act,” also had a provision that exempted Catholic hospitals from having to pay for contraception or abortions. He also supported a bill that would have dulled the HHS Mandate that Catholic hospitals provide free condoms.
5. Ryan’s Plan Favors the Rich
Another classic play from the playbook of those on the left – class warfare. A day on the campaign trail just wouldn’t be right with a little class warfare. Many on the left have claimed that Romney “chose a leader of the House Republicans who shares his commitment” of a “new budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy…”
Regardless of what you will hear from Chris Matthews, Al Sharpton or an Obama SuperPAC add, there are absolutely zero special tax cuts in the Ryan Budget ‘for the wealthy’. Common sense tells you that when Washington enacts across-the-board tax reform, the rich (who already pay the vast majority of the taxes) are likely to benefit. Ryan’s Plan however, only supports keeping the current tax rates that we’ve had for the last decade – one’s that a lot on the left have also supported.
What the Ryan plan does do is simplify our tax system. We currently have a six-bracket tax system. Under the Ryan Plan, this would be simplified to two tax brackets – the lower bracket being a 10% bracket, and the upper bracket being a 25% bracket. This plan fixes the Alternative Minimum Tax, and cuts corporate tax rates to reflect those of other competitive nations to the U.S. Ryan and Romney both also support closing loopholes that wealthy Americans disproportionally use.
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