This final installment of the series looks at how a Paul Ryan Commander in Chief would affect the various voting blocs that make up the country; the Vice President is after all supposed to be “ready on day one” to be President if the need arises.
For those of you who hoped to find a post on Paul Ryan’s biography, I can take care of that with a brief, to the point synopsis:
- He grew up fairly well off (surprise)
- The family collected Social Security when his Dad died (Gasp!)
- He’s been in politics since college
- He loves guns, bows, and generally killing things (which has endeared him to knuckle-dragger Ted Nugent)
- He’s married with 3 children (now, the youngest one is at least 7, so either the Ryans practice birth control, someone’s had something snipped – both big “devout Catholic” no-nos – or they practice abstinence, which could be the real reason behind those P90X workouts Paul does every morning…I’m just sayin’)
- The Ryans have a big house
- They have a big bank account (income in top 5% bracket)
- Conservatives worship this guy
There, now let’s move on; how would a Paul Ryan Presidency affect:
(your average American veteran, not the rich CEO types who start their own super PACs):
Virginia Pilot: “In his first presidential-level decision, Mitt Romney picks a guy who would slash veterans care by tens of billions and whose budget didn’t even use the word ‘veteran?’ Paul Ryan sees veterans as numbers, not as people,” – Jon Soltz, a two-tour Iraq vet who heads VoteVets.org.
The Nation: “…where Romney has been vague and flip-floppish on many issues, Ryan has long been very clear about his staunch support for policies that will hurt women economically.”
…programs women rely on that would see huge cuts: Childcare assistance, Head Start, job training and housing and energy assistance would likely see a $291 billion cut. Cuts to childcare and Head Start will disproportionately impact working mothers. ..The Housing Choice Voucher program provides families with rental assistance, and over 80 percent of households receiving that support are headed by women. [and] His views on contraception are from another century.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Among the largest higher-education items targeted for cuts in Mr. Ryan’s budget proposals are the federal student-aid programs. He has called for ending the in-school interest subsidy on undergraduate Stafford loans and tightening the eligibility requirements for the Pell Grant program. He would completely cut off Pell eligibility for students attending college less than half-time.”
Let me take a moment to point out the irony of that last sentence: According to Education Week,
Education Week also found: a new report…by the Education Trust says that financial-aid policies too often benefit affluent students who would go to college anyway, rather than helping those with the greatest financial need.
“In a nation founded on principles of fairness, we certainly must do better to provide our neediest students with the opportunities they require for upward economic mobility,” according to the report. “The bias toward privilege encoded in today’s financial-aid policies not only betrays our democratic principles, it also weakens our ability to reach our college aspirations.”
Karla Swift, Michigan state president of the AFL-CIO: “Ryan voted to extend the period before a unionization election, which employers use to harass and intimidate workers. He also voted against collective bargaining rights for transportation security officers, denying them a voice to negotiate for better airport security.
Until we protect all working families by securing the right to negotiate over wages, benefits and working conditions in our state constitution, it is too risky to put Ryan in a position that could influence national labor policy. Collective bargaining is an essential check on the corporate powers which threaten our democracy.”
Medicare/Think Progress: “The Ryan Plan that passed the House in 2011 is most famous… for its multiple step plan to phase out Medicare. Let us say that again so we are perfectly clear about what the Ryan Plan does to Medicare. It does not just “end Medicare as we know it” and it certainly does not “reform” Medicare.” The Ryan Plan simply ends Medicare, although it admittedly takes some time for it to achieve this goal.
…by 2012, the original Ryan Medicare Plan proved so politically unpopular that even Paul Ryan recognized he could no longer publicly support it. Ryan’s 2012 [version] backed away significantly from his original goal of phasing out Medicare. Nevertheless, the original Ryan Plan remains the purest reflection of Ryan’s vision for the country, before that vision collided headlong into electoral defeat.
The immediate impact of Paul Ryan’s original vision is a massive, 40 percent spike in new retirees’ health expenditures, followed by gradually increasing costs for the rest of those retirees’ lives. And because the Ryan vouchers never stop losing value, they will eventually become practically worthless, providing no meaningful assistance whatsoever to seniors struggling to pay their medical bills.”
Social Security/Think Progress: “Ryan proposed $1.2 trillion in cuts and the partial privatization of Social Security upon taking control of the Budget Committee in 2011… Ryan’s fight against Social Security has been ongoing since he pushed President George W. Bush to privatize the program in 2005″:
Under Ryan’s initial version, American workers would be able to invest about half of their payroll taxes, which fund Social Security, in private accounts. As a plan to reduce government debt, it made no sense. It simply took money from one part of the budget and spent it on private accounts, at a cost of two trillion dollars in transition expenses.
Bush ultimately went with a slightly less radical proposal that still failed in the Senate and caused Republicans massive losses in the 2006 mid-term elections.
Aided by the mainstream media’s spreading of the lie that Social Security is “going bankrupt,” Ryan has been able to thrust Social Security “reform” back onto the table, and it was embraced during the primary by virtually every Republican candidate.
What Ryan and his Republican colleagues continue to ignore, however, is how easy fixing Social Security would be if they weren’t so insistent on protecting the wealthiest Americans from a single tax increase. By lifting the payroll tax cap that currently limits Social Security contributions to the first $110,100 in income, Congress could ensure the program’s solvency for the next 75 years — longer than the program has been in existence to this point.
That wouldn’t fit Ryan’s belief that the government doesn’t have a role in helping protect the financial security of the American people. But it would prevent millions of Americans from losing… much of their retirement savings, as they would have during the 2008 financial crisis had Ryan’s plan to privatize Social Security become law.”
Earl Ofari Hutchinson/Thy Black Man: [Ryan as V.P.] “…would come at the worst possible time for the poor and minorities. The poor are not only getting poorer, they are also more numerous than any time in the last half-century and have slipped even further behind in wealth and income disparities.
Other reports repeatedly confirm that a disproportionate number of the poor are blacks and Hispanics. The single biggest reason for their plunge downward is the relentless pecking away at federal spending on enhancement programs in health care, education, job and skills training, and the massive cutbacks and downsizing in the public employment sector.
Gay City News: It’s not simply that Ryan is reluctant to take the plunge on marriage rights for same-sex couples. Throughout his years in Congress, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the Washington-based LGBT lobby, has identified only one instance in which the 42-year-old Wisconsin Republican has ever taken a pro-LGBT position.
In 2007, Ryan was one of 35 Republicans to vote for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which at that time only proposed to protect against job bias based on sexual orientation, not gender identity or expression.
Ryan’s advocacy that day was not unambiguous. When Republicans unsuccessfully tried a parliamentary maneuver to shelve the bill prior to its passage –– with what is known as a motion to recommit –– he joined 26 other GOP ENDA supporters in the unsuccessful effort to kill the bill they would vote for just moments later. That day, he voted against ENDA before he voted for it.
Economic Policy Institute: “Roughly 10 million jobs are needed to restore pre-recession unemployment and labor force participation rates, yet the 2013 Ryan budget again turned the dial on unemployment in the wrong direction …
Relative to current policies, EPI estimated that primary spending cuts of $125 billion in fiscal 2013 would reduce GDP by 1.1 percent, and primary cuts of $279 billion in fiscal 2014 would reduce GDP by 2.4 percent…
these deep government spending cuts would reduce employment by 1.3 million jobs in fiscal 2013 and 2.8 million jobs in fiscal 2014, relative to current budget policies.”
That Sacred Republican White Middle Class Voting Bloc
Thomas Edsall/New York Times Opinion: “The overarching strategy of the Romney campaign is to turn out as many white voters as possible in a contest that may well come down to turnout on Election Day.
The Ryan budget, however, tackles a broad array of domestic social spending… Ryan’s plan imposes harsh costs on a very large proportion of white voters…” [Surprise!]
So who is left that even stands a chance at a better life under a Romney/Ryan White House; let’s see… how many rich, white, straight guys are there?
The Rest of the Series: