You’ve got to hand it to Mitt Romney. For being the most conventional Republican candidate since, well, the last rich white male Republican president, he certainly has exotic taste in running mates. He could have tapped a rising conservative senator from Florida, a portly blowhard bulldog from New Jersey, or anyone else for that matter. But instead, Romney decided to run with the one guy the rest of the Republican party has been running away from for the past two years. I’m not sure if it’s genius or desperation, but it certainly is interesting.
Now, don’t misunderstand me: I think Ryan’s ideas are awful. Really awful. A Romney-Ryan White House would be a dream for the richest 1 percent of Americans who are millionaires, but an economic nightmare for the vast majority of middle-class and lower-income Americans. Romney’s tax plan, which would make the Bush tax cuts permanent, including for the richest 2 percent, and cut the top income tax rate by another 20 percent, would give people making over $1 million in 2013 a net tax cut of over $250,000, according to a new analysis. Romney’s tax plan would increase taxes by an average of $2,000 on families making less than $200,000 a year.
Ryan, of course, authored the House budget that also would make the Bush tax breaks permanent, including those for the richest 2 percent, and cut by 30 percent both the corporate income tax rate and the top tax rate paid by the wealthiest Americans. It would give the richest Americans a tax break of nearly $300,000, while raising taxes on a typical household earning between $50,000 and $100,000 and filing jointly by over $1,350, according to the Joint Economic Committee. It also would end the Medicare guarantee and requires seniors to pay $6,000 more per year for fewer benefits than they get now. Yea, that sounds like a winner in Florida.
Putting all of these ideas together, you come up with some sort of freakish Regan-Romney-Ryan hybrid of economic policies, specifically designed to benefit the rich and crush the rest of us. This is what we should be expecting the Romney-Ryan ticket, trying to sell these ideas as “responsible” and “innovative” tax reform. Unfortunately, it’s nothing more than the same old trickle down ideas, dressed up in another shoddy costume.
Paul Ryan is like the rare Bengal tiger to Romney’s domestic tabby cat: interesting to watch, but you better not get too close, lest he turn on you and maul your campaign to death. Be careful, Mitt – you’re not exactly loved by animals to begin with.