What a calculated, cynical assault on the poor, the middle class and seniors to choose a man for his look of youth and vigor, a man who would take away Medicare, privatize social security and gut health benefits for the wanting. The plus side is only for Romney, to draw in the Republican base which loves Ryan.
Basically Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan is a slap in the face to the majority of voters and an uppercut to the vulnerable and the poor. Its cynicism involves a unified program of harnessing inattentive Americans, fostering alienation, encouraging a dumbing-down of voters, working on disenfranchising minorities, trying to enlarge the felon list in key states, disrupting voting by the working poor, and promoting voting with angst and anger.
The non-rich have been brainwashed and conditioned through a societal reconstruction with the help of the right-wing-controlled Supreme Court, deregulation, corporate media changes and the like. It is truly a cynical plan that works with the airwaves buffeting Americans with Republican negativity through money dikes being opened via the Citizens United ruling, Democratic voter suppression in Republican states, a growing right-wing media splaying angst and fear, a corporate media standing mute about the veracity of candidates, and a Republican majority in the House and a filibustering minority in the Senate rejecting a chance for economic growth and jobs.
Meanwhile Romney’s goal was to bring excitement and clarity to his gaffe-ridden, mundane campaign and to override, or obfuscate, the images painted by the Obama campaign of an out-of-touch opportunistic flip-flopper. Ryan is intended to redefine Romney as a conservative which tends to please the Republican base, though it makes Romney own the Ryan budget, which is totally unfriendly to average Americans, cutting almost $6 trillion over 10 years.
Joining forces in killing Robin Hood, the Ryan-Romney budget is the single largest transfer of wealth from middle and low-income earners to millionaires and billionaires in our country’s history. A good part of it is delayed in its full imposition, but program cuts will be felt right away for most of the non-rich, most especially for some 50 million denied coverage when Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, one of Romney’s promised signature acts.
The slap in the face to seniors is a glancing blow in that Ryan’s budget is targeted at the 54-and-younger crowd and its direct draconian cuts only start in 2023, though seniors would feel the pain of budget cuts to Medicare and social security right away if Republicans rule in the next election.
For everyone not rich, it is a landscape beset by a heartless government, where opportunity is only for the rich, a truly bleak “Roadmap for America’s Future,” the name of Ryan’s original 2008 plan. Romney has now positioned himself as a willing participant in the purging of all social programs, but his purge would bring an even more deprivation to the 90% while the top 10% bask in even more riches.
It is the usual privatization roadmap that makes corporations rich and the people poorer. The Ryan-Romney plan would, starting in 2023, provide new Medicare beneficiaries with a private plan and give low-income recipients extra help. In effect, Medicare would be replaced by private plans which usually eat up 30% of funds for administration vs. some 6% for Medicare administration. We saw the rash of military privatization under George W. Bush bring waste, graft and lack of accountability from which we are still trying to recover.
Ryan’s plan would reduce taxes for the wealthy even more and like Romney’s plan increase taxes for the middle class and the poor. Ryan’s thinking was inspired by the atheist Ayn Rand’s harsh social Darwinist philosophy, spelled out in her novel, Atlas Shrugged. It tends to justify the thinking of many conservatives who are seemingly bereft of empathy for those who struggle in our society.
Romney doesn’t seem to pretend adherence to any philosophy – after all, to get the Republican nomination for president, he reframed himself ”severely conservative,” though to win as Massachusetts governor he was moderate, only a single-minded quest for power, void of principles other than expediency to guide its path.
In this case, Ryan, who claims the advocacy of an atheist Social Darwinist, seems to be part of that expedient path for Mitt Romney.