Paul Ryan is GOP VP pick

Ryan picked – quick, initial reaction:

The flatness of politics typically derives from the narrow, compromised options available to voters. Competing candidates frequently seek to blur real ideological distinctions by instead drawing contrasts around “character” issues while wrestling for the “middle ground”. The result: Not much of a choice for voters beyond which candidate reminds them most of their own “values” biases.

This problem of limited distinction and thus choice has been increasingly receding in US politics since the GOP’s hard right turn under Bush II.

In the so-called boring election of 2012 it’s just been obliterated.

By picking Paul Ryan, an intelligent, articulate supply side ideological hardliner,  Romney has just “doubled-down”. By selecting the right’s poster warrior for deregulation, small government, welfare cutbacks and further tax cuts for the wealthiest, Romney is presenting voters with a very clear choice. Credit for this.

Most coverage will focus on the horse-race implications; the calculations behind the pick. But before we get into that, we know this: 2 from 4 people will be running the executive branch of the US govt. next year.

It’s now perfectly conceivable that despite the calamity of the 2008 financial crisis brought on following 30 years of supply side economics and the deregulation that paved its way, the United States is about to turn further right than ever.

The choice for voters is very stark.

Boring election? Only if you’re not paying attention.

  • This is the crowning triumph of the Tea Party. Will it prove a bridge too far electorally?

  • Jimmy Sands

    He needs Florida to win, so overlooking Rubio in favour of someone who wants to gut Medicare is a little counterintuitive.

  • gendjinn

    Well that’s the presidential race over.

    The only variable is the degree to which the downticket races are impacted by reduced republican base turnout.

  • Greenflag

    Picking Ryan for VP almost ensures that Health Care as in Real of Obamacare becomes the main issue in November barring any ‘black swan ‘ developments between now and then .

    Ryan is the ‘ideological ‘ leader of the Republicans the direct descendant of trickle down economics -less government , more deregulation , more Ayn Rand gumf etc but he’s also a serious number cruncher comfortable with showing the dire future facing Americans IF necessary reforms to Medicare and Social Security are not legislated for now before the impact of the ‘baby boomer’ generation which will it is estimated double American Health care costs in the next 10 years .

    The question facing most Americans and not just the Tea Party ideologues (if they can be described as such) is how will further ‘competition ‘ reduce costs in Health Care when all the evidence over the past couple of decades shows the opposite trend .

    The same is seen in Education costs with education loans now topping a trillion dollars as Americans borrow to the hilt to try to get an education which might give them an edge in the competition for a decent well paying job . In the current US economy even that door is being slammed shut for millions of graduates . Many of these poor sods have been suckered into borrowing tens of thousands to pay for degrees that just add to their life long ‘indentured servant ‘ status .

    I await to hear what the Romney /Ryan ticket policy on what they intend to do about the now much bigger banks that were one time -2008 -described as too big to fail and are now bigger than ever with even more market dominance for the top ten banks than ever in US history .

    The current administration’s response the Frank Dodds reforms all 2,300 pages of it has done little to restore faith in American financial capitalism either within the USA or across the world .

    The building sector remains moribund still drowning in foreclosures and although there are some signs of a slight recovery in some markets this sector which pulled the USA out of seven of the last eight recessions is not going to do the business this time.

    Given the state of the USA economy and it’s numerous end of an era ‘problems ‘-health care expenditure -social security -medicare -mass unemployment -and growing disparity between the rich and the poor and the emisseration of the middle President Obama should be 10 points behind Romney but he is’nt .Choosing Ryan as VP Will not I believe change the odds for Romney in fact it may make matters worse electorally .

    Perhaps he’s banking that Ryan will get the tea party ‘fired up’ they’ve been in the doldrums recently and that any remaining ‘moderate’ republicans will be enthused enough to vote if they think theres a chance of a win .

    In the final analysis it hardly much matters despite Ruarai’s overtone above of the now even starker choice facing US voters .

    Yes it is that but from a ‘financial /banking system /Wall St perspective when you have the Goldman Sachs candidate vying against another Goldman Sachs candidate then it’s clear that a Goldman Sachs candidate will win 🙁

    If that sounds too cynical or skeptical then you can put your faith in Goldman Sachs employees being advised to pledge their financial support to Romney in this election rather than with Obama . It seems that a 70/30 preference for Romney has emerged in Wall St .

    Main St v Wall St
    Trickle down ideology v Something that might work better
    Big Government v Small government
    More War solutions v Tacit withdrawal and pullback

    It should be a fascinating final three months as the USA once again elects a government into a cul de sac or a strait jacket depending on whether one sees an exit from present travails or not .

  • Brian

    Ah, Paul Ryan.

    The Ayn Rand fanatic who has never worked in the private sector in his entire adult life.

    What a world….

    I’m not especially keen on Obama, but I will be very disturbed if Romney-Ryan win and they get both houses. The Tea Party is going to speed up American’s inexorable decline by a few decades…just like GW did.

  • Greenflag

    Although an Ayn Rand fan like many on the extreme right and like former master of financial chaos disorder Alan Greenspan apparently Ryan only recently discovered Ayn Rand was ’emigre Russian jew become atheist of the me fein variety and to hell with everybody else .

    So the USA now has a Mormon potential President with a right wing Catholic as VP representing all thats backward looking and selfish in America and the Democrats have an incumbent who is in hock to Wall St and a VP whose political career was financed by the Credit Card companies based in Delaware and whose machinations have helped drive the American economy to where 25 % of all homes are in negative equity and USA third level students are the most indebted on the planet and will graduate as ‘indentured servants ‘ for a major portion of their working lives assuming they can find jobs in an economy which is 75% dependent on consumer spending and in which 90% of consumers haven’t a bean to spend by the time they finish paying their bills .

    What a choice eh.

    But at least Ryan is asking the right questions even if his particular ‘solutions ‘ are batshit crazy 🙁

    The Dems may win this debate by default but they haven’t come up with the answers that are needed to fix Medicare and Social security –

    Meanwhile Goldman Sachs remains on track to win this election between Democratic and Republican muppets or puppets 🙁

  • Greenflag

    And neither side have any real policies to help fix the Economy mainly because they don’t know how to fix it or how to fix the ‘financial sector’

    Someone made the point last week that what was needed was to bring back Paul Volcker as head of the reserve and get rid of the Frank Dodds useless reforms to the Glass Steagall Act and instead to re-introduce the Glass Steagall act all 37 pages of it as it was introduced back in the 1930’s as the USA’s best chance to avoid the banksters from pulling another taxpayer funded heist as in 2008 .

    Now that could be an election winner but can anybody imagine politicians either Democratic or republican spitting in the faces of the financial sector to which most of them owe their re-elections and wealth .?

  • Alias

    “…just like GW did.”

    GW was a democrat who called himself a republican because that’s what he had to call himself to ride on his father’s political coat-tails. He was a practitioner of democratic ‘big government’ policies who increased the federal budget by a staggering 104% during his two terms – not even Clinton managed to squander that much taxpayers’ money. Romney and Ryan are small government advocates, so you’re really comparing two republicans with a democrat.

  • gendjinn


    you are making a fool of yourself with your stunning ignorance of US politics and reality.

    Reagan, Bush & Bush 2 exemplified Republican supply side economic policies that cut taxes for the wealthy, cut spending on social services, increased military spending and exploded the debt & deficit source.

  • gendjinn


    you should check out Elizabeth Warren, the Dem candidate for the Senate in Mass.

  • One thing lefites getting carried away about the awfulness of Ryan should ponder… Ryan polled 64% in his district when Obama won it by 2%.

    He knows how to communicate his ideas. That means Obama and his campaign team will need to communicate intelligently why they are bad ideas. He’s a potential disaster for the GOP, but the Tea Party has probably put one of its better feet forward.

  • Alias

    gendjinn, as neither of us is a senior research fellow and an expert on the federal budget, why don’t we defer to someone who is?

    Here begins your education on the subject of GW’s spending and his preference for Democratic big government:

    “During his eight years in office, President Bush oversaw a large increase in government spending. In fact, President Bush increased government spending more than any of the six presidents preceding him, including LBJ. In his last term in office, President Bush increased discretionary outlays by an estimated 48.6 percent.

    During his eight years in office, President Bush spent almost twice as much as his predecessor, President Clinton. Adjusted for inflation, in eight years, President Clinton increased the federal budget by 11 percent. In eight years, President Bush increased it by a whopping 104 percent.

    One reason offered for these large budget increases is that entitlement programs are growing rapidly. Although Social Security and Medicare spending growth outpaced most other programs in the mid-1990s, spending growth in discretionary programs has accelerated in the last 15 years, especially during Bush’s two terms. Between FY2002 and FY2009, discretionary spending rose 96 percent.

    Some argue that federal spending during the Bush years was so high because security needs drove up the budget. It is true that defense spending increased dramatically since the late-1990s, particularly since 9/11 and the beginning of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, nondefense spending increased too. Some also argue that much of the increase in nondefense spending stemmed from increases in homeland security spending. Whether this is true, the overall rapid rise of discretionary spending indicates that, here too, the administration and Congress made no trade-offs in the budget. If the administration and Congress wanted more security spending and wanted to be fiscally responsible, they should have found savings elsewhere in the budget.

    President Bush added thousands of new federal subsidy programs during his eight years in office. In 2008, there were 1,816 subsidy programs in the federal budget that spread hundreds of billions of dollars annually to special interest groups such as state governments, businesses, nonprofit groups, and individuals. The number of subsidy programs has grown by 30 percent since 2000 and by 54 percent since 1990.”

  • Alias

    Incidentally, the worst US president in terms of jobs created before Obama was Gerald Ford. He was president when 2.1 million jobs were created in the US economy.

    Obama takes the record for the lowest number of jobs created from Ford by a convincing margin. Obama’s record is so bad that it is measured in minus figures. No new jobs have been created but 316,000 have been lost.

  • gendjinn

    Oh Alias,

    your quote does not support your assertion that Bush is a closet Democrat.

    Just like Republican presidents before him he cut taxes on the wealthy, increased spending on the military and exploded both the debt and the deficit. Medicare part D was a giant giveaway to the drug companies. The TSA & Homeland Defense were giveaways to the same corporate groups that make political contributions to the Republican party.

    By your logic, Clinton was a Republican, while both Bushes & Reagan were Democrats.

    Deficit explained.

    Have a nice day!

  • Alias

    Actually, to correct that: Obama takes the record for the lowest number of jobs created from GW (a Democrat in drag).

    The next worst president is another democrat and one-term wonder (as Obama will be) who managed to see 2.1m jobs created during his term.

  • Alias

    “Clinton was a Republican”

    Not at all. Clinton was a democrat, who like GW, was a practitioner of ‘Big Government’ and accordingly increased government spending. Just as Clinton made the state big, GW made it bigger. Obama made it bigger still.

    In fairness to Obama, he is left with the legacy of big government spending and budget deficits that was passed on to him from the other two practitioners of big government. The downside is that he hasn’t quite grasped that Keynesian economics progressed through borrowing retards growth for the generation that comes after the generation that benefits from the largess and has to pay for it.

    While Obama will go on record as the president with the worst job creation policies in history, it is better for the American people that they get rid of him while it is only in minus 6-digit figures…

  • Jack2

    Obama to be reelected is around 1.5 to 1. (Sorry as a newbie I only use decimals ). Surely got to be an easy 50% ROI. If its still up there in a few weeks I’ll stick a lump on it.

  • Interesting Politico article here: – “GOP pros fret over Paul Ryan”.

    Either this guy is Ronnie Reagan Mk II (as I noted above, he gets elected from not the most Tea Party-ish of distrcts) or he’s Sarah Palin Mk II. I’m relived how many Republican Beltway insiders think the latter. Some tidbits:

    “I think it’s a very bold choice. And an exciting and interesting pick. It’s going to elevate the campaign into a debate over big ideas. It means Romney-Ryan can run on principles and provide some real direction and vision for the Republican Party. And probably lose. Maybe big,” said former President George W. Bush senior adviser Mark McKinnon.

    “Whether or not they [the Romney campaign] want to say that they have their own plan on Day One, or whatever they’re doing, it doesn’t change the reality of them having to own the Ryan plan. How is that in the wheelhouse of creating jobs?” added a GOP consultant.

    Joked another: “The most popular phrase in Washington right now is: ‘I love Paul Ryan, but …’”

  • Greenflag

    Congressman Ryan had ten years in Congress — almost all with a House Republican majority — to reduce the deficit, prior to President Obama’s election. He did nothing.”

    That’s right.

    If, by some chance, Paul Ryan were to become the Republican nominee for vice president, the whole country would be talking about his duplicity when it comes to the balancing of budgets.

    Ryan’s first vulnerability would be the legitimate concern about his willingness to rip apart the social safety net, under the guise of “reforms” that would undermine and eventually destroy Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

    But under the serious scrutiny to which he would finally be subjected, Ryan would be revealed as something worse than a fiscal fabulist.

    He would be revealed as a hypocrite of the highest order. Americans can handle hard truths and bold ideas. But they’re not so good with hypocrisy.

  • Greenflag

    Romney for President Campaign team’s latest advice to Ryan .

    Some of your proposals, while bold and terrific, may need to be focus-grouped before you go public with them. We’re thinking in particular of your town hall meeting on Sunday, when you proposed replacing Medicaid with Groupons.

    Also, we may want to dial back comments about putting the elderly on ice floes and letting them drift out to sea.

    Whenever an audience member at a campaign event needs a defibrillator that makes for bad optics.

    Good people to quote in speeches: Ronald Reagan, Grover Norquist, Milton Friedman.

    Names to avoid: Ayn Rand, Marie Antoinette.

    Just a suggestion/thought, but maybe come up with alternative ending for stump speech, other than “We’re America’s Comeback Team, and we’re going to make America come back to the year 1860.”

    Other than those tweaks, just keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but nobody’s talking about Mitt’s tax returns anymore!

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