Yet, Romney thinks his running mate’s budget is “marvelous.”
“If the Ryan budget had come to his desk…he would have signed it,” crowed top Romney advisor Ed Gillespie the morning after Ryan was introduced as Romney’s running mate.
Ryan-Romney’s budget has only one objective: fund more tax breaks for the richest Americans by cutting or shifting the cost of Medicare, Medicaid, Pell Grants, food stamps and other social programs onto senior citizens, the middle class, and the poor, all large Cobb County demographic profiles.
If you want peace of mind when you’re old and you get sick, if you want good public schools with dedicated teachers, if you want your kid to go to college, if you want decent highways and safe bridges, if you want police and fire protection, then Ryan says you can pay for all that.
His mega-wealthy friends like the Koch brothers don’t need them.
Until it was passed in 1965, middle class and poor American families confronted with the catastrophic or even routine illness of an elderly parent paid for the care. If the family couldn’t pay, the elderly parent received minimal or no care.
Medicare set this right and 50 years later we know it works. That’s why it’s so popular among most all Americans, regardless of their politics.
Ryan says he has a better idea. Starting in 2023, he’ll turn seniors over to the loving care of health insurance companies, giving them vouchers so they’ll have the “freedom” to choose their own plans.
But health insurance companies are just casinos where the “house” sets the odds heavily in its favor. Seniors would be shooting craps with loaded dice, the cost of premiums for their healthcare exceeding the value of a voucher, especially for those with pre-existing conditions.
The average senior would pay $6,500 more per year for out-of-pocket healthcare expenses under the Ryan-Romney plan and we’d soon be back to pre-Medicare days, when family savings were wiped out or, worse, the elderly went untreated.
Ronald Reagan’s widely respected budget director David Stockman calls the Ryan-Romney budget a “fairy tale…devoid of credible math or hard policy choices.”
The Tax Policy Center ominously warns it could add $4.5 trillion to the deficit over 10 years.
Tea party star U.S. Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), running for the seat he won after Ted Kennedy’s death, is also running away from the Ryan-Romney budget as fast as he can.
“While I applaud Ryan for getting the conversation started,” Brown wrote, “I cannot support his specific plan — and therefore will vote ‘no’ on his budget.”
The non-partisan Economic Policy Institute labeled the budget “grossly irresponsible” adding, “Ryan’s budget is doubly bad for children because his proposed cuts to public investments…would cause children to inherit a country with crumbling roads and bridges and to enter the labor market with fewer skills.”
Gross irresponsibility seems to be Ryan’s calling card. He pretends to be a fiscal hawk deeply concerned about leaving our children with crushing debt.
In reality, Ryan helped create today’s $15 trillion deficit by voting for the Bush tax cuts, Bush’s deficit-financed Medicare prescription drug benefit, and both of Bush’s unfunded wars.
If Ryan is so worried about the future, if he’s such a fiscal policy genius, why did he facilitate the borrowing and spending that put America in a deep fiscal hole?
Kevin Foley is a public relations executive, author and writer who lives in Kennesaw.