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Why Paul Ryan is the perfect pick

Romney has done the kind of balancing presidents always seek in a vice president. Plus, he has ignited a real conversation about the country's future.
Paul Ryan, center left, and Mitt Romney campaign in Virginia.

Paul Ryan, center left, and Mitt Romney campaign in Virginia. Tvnewsbadge/Flickr

Most presidential nominees choose a running mate to balance the party ticket.

Forty-eight-year old candidate Barack Obama picked Joe Biden, a senator since the early '70s, to add some gray hair and balance the ticket generationally.  Ronald Reagan went with Ambassador George H.W. Bush to unify the ticket ideologically. Jack Kennedy from Massachusetts opted for Texas Sen. Lyndon Johnson to balance the ticket geographically.

In choosing Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney did all three and much more. The day before Ryan joined the ticket, the contest was about the current state of the economy (advantage Romney) and “likability” (advantage Obama). Now it is also about the size and scope of the federal government itself. There will be no middle ground come November. Americans will vote for a future with a larger role for the federal government or a smaller one.  

We know what side of that divide Barack Obama is on. Ryan, younger and smarter than Obama, is the leading voice in D.C. for “restoring, not replacing” the principles of freedom based on limited government. No wonder both the left and right are jazzed about Ryan being on the ticket.  It’s game on.

But gleeful liberals who regard Ryan, a 14-year veteran of Congress (first elected at 28) as a fixture of the far right should take a look at his congressional district in southeastern Wisconsin. It’s a middle-class swing district that Obama carried by four points, but which Ryan routinely wins with more than 65 percent of the vote. The Mediscare tactics already being employed against him nationally have been tried repeatedly in his congressional contests. One anti-Ryan ad showed a look-alike pushing an old lady in a wheelchair off a cliff (some liberals aren’t subtle when defending the status quo in federal entitlements).

The ads failed because his constituents know that Ryan is trying to have a serious conversation about serious issues that demand serious solutions. He respects people’s intelligence. They are reciprocating.

President Obama, regrettably, has not. He appointed a commission to tackle the issue of spending control and tax reform (the Simpson-Bowles commission), but has pointedly ignored its recommendations. He formed a jobs council but hasn’t met with them for six months.   The stimulus spending program that cost $831 billion was supposed to bring unemployment down to 5.7 percent this month.  It’s been above 8 percent for three and a half years (a predictable outcome when you outsource spending details to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid).   Five trillion dollars in new debt has been added, and 40 cents of every dollar the federal government now spends is borrowed. 

No action on tax reform. No action on entitlement reform. And his idea of health reform was Obamacare, which Ryan pointed out would actually increase health spending and the deficit. No wonder the president gave Obamacare just half a line in his State of the Union address.

Paul Ryan, on the other hand, has written plans to slow the growth in spending (not “slashing” it as numerous media stories have reported), reform the tax system to encourage businesses to generate more jobs, and reform expensive federal programs that are headed for certain insolvency, namely Medicare. Thus come the attacks for trying to end “Medicare as we know it,” which are both predictable and distorted (they neglect mentioning that choosing traditional Medicare would be an option for future retirees who opt not to shop for a better plan with premium support from the government).  

But the attacks are happening precisely because Congressman Ryan has stepped forward to put forth a serious plan for reigniting the economy, reforming taxes, and rescuing Medicare from inevitable insolvency. Inside the Beltway, that’s called “touching the third rail” of politics and inviting doom. But increasingly, outside the nation’s capital, it’s called “leadership.” Ryan’s presence on the ticket drives home the lack of that in the White House.


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Comments:

Posted Tue, Aug 14, 11:34 a.m. Inappropriate

Sorry, the entire national Republican party is nothing but a criminal pyramid scheme conspiracy against the American people.

Communities, and Environmental Regions, have an economic identity, an economic reality. You can call that socialism if you want, but it is reality. Certainly discussing how best to serve our common goals publicly and privately is an important discussion, but denying that they exist is just an excuse to steal - including from the government itself, which Ryan's record amply demonstrates.

The entire lot of the national leadership belongs under the bridge with the level 3 sex predators. It is true that they have misled many well meaning folks insulted and injured by the elite of the Democratic Party, but we'll see how well those folks do after the political trickle down gets shut off. Live and let die, as they say.

FWIW, I do hope the Republican Party keeps its majority in the House, but continuing turnover in the Congress, in both parties is even more essential.

Posted Tue, Aug 14, 11:38 a.m. Inappropriate

What, pray tell, are "Environmental Regions?"

NotFan

Posted Tue, Aug 14, 12:25 p.m. Inappropriate

Watersheds are the most obvious - for economic purposes starting with where the pollution ends up is the most important.

Posted Tue, Aug 14, 7:38 p.m. Inappropriate

Not only does your sentence make no sense, but I'm not sure you even know what a watershed is. In any case, to get back to your original statement that prompted my question, it too was barely coherent: "Communities, and Environmental Regions, have an economic identity, an economic reality. You can call that socialism if you want, but it is reality."

For starters, who ever called a community with "an economic identity, an economic reality" (By the way, what community doesn't have that?) "socialism?"

More broadly: What on earth is your point? I hope you were stoned on something when you wrote your original statement and your reply, because I'd hate to think your synapses are always that far apart.

NotFan

Posted Tue, Aug 14, 11:34 a.m. Inappropriate

Romney's choice is easy to understand. He had to pick someone the wingnuts really like, or enough tea party voters might have stayed home. The real question is this: Why didn't Romney pick Marco Rubio?

Rubio's tea party credentials were just as good, and he'd have brought in a ton of Hispanic votes. My guess is skeletons in the closet. The public penalizes Democrats for financial corruption and Republicans for sexual excursions, so I'm thinking Rubio must have petted the wrong sweaty thing somewhere along the line.

Ryan also brings a fresh look, and seems normal. This deflects attention from Romney's downright weirdness, which plays well in Utah, southern Idaho, and other funny-underwear districts that love the Mor-bots, but not so much in the rest of the country. If I were Obama, I'd be tempted to see if Biden and Hillary would be interested in switching jobs. This would cement Obama's victory by giving 4 million Republicans a stroke or a heart attack.

NotFan

Posted Tue, Aug 14, 12:20 p.m. Inappropriate

Here's a fun exercise for those of you with local political interests:

Have you read the Washington State Republican Party Platform? It has interesting comments on gay marriage ("Government’s responsibility is to uphold and respect traditional institutions, such as marriage between one man and one woman"), the state of healthcare in America ("We believe the greatest HEALTHCARE system in the world is best preserved by ..."), climate change ("Climate change occurs naturally and warming from human generated greenhouse gases has yet to be proven ... At present climate change science does not provide sufficient basis to formulate public policy") and other topics.

Check it out! http://www.wsrp.org/resources/party-documents

lazowska

Posted Tue, Aug 14, 12:29 p.m. Inappropriate

The Republican position on climate change is kinda like playing Russian Roulette. Sure, we don't know for sure what is going to happen, but if you still want to play not knowing if there is one bullet or five in the gun, be my guest. Don't however point that gun at my head, or anyone else's and then expect a bailout for yet another failure.

Posted Tue, Aug 14, 11:30 p.m. Inappropriate

If you want to complain about not paying attention to global warming, you can start with the Seattle City Council. The "progressives" there banned plastic grocery bags, which of all the ways you can carry things other than in your own arms, have the least impact on global warming.

NotFan

Posted Tue, Aug 14, 12:40 p.m. Inappropriate

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/07/obamas-second-term-agenda-cutting-social-security-medicare-andor-medicaid.html#ZseBhPX7MYeGqQtA.01

"This is probably the least important Presidential election since the 1950s. As an experienced political hand told me, the two candidates are speaking not to the voters, but to the big money. They hold the same views, pursue the same policies, and are backed by similar interests. Mitt Romney implemented Obamacare in Massachusetts, or Obama implemented Romneycare nationally. Both are pro-choice or anti-choice as political needs change, both tend to be hawkish on foreign policy, both favor tax cuts for businesses, and both believe deeply in a corrupt technocratic establishment."— Matt Stoller

afreeman

Posted Tue, Aug 14, 4:36 p.m. Inappropriate

Romney foreign policy is more Hawkish than Obama.
Depleted uranium, cluster bomb, carpet bomb, missle, grenade,
automatic rifle and most other WMDs are more deadly than Drone.
Obama devises more tax breaks for small Business.
Only big business has the means to buy legislation.
Technocrats and their establishments aren't that bad.

Wells

Posted Tue, Aug 14, 1:33 p.m. Inappropriate

Under the breath paren count (this may be the new record) 8!!! (note, see # 2 in this link: http://www.ehow.com/how_2057192_use-parentheses-correctly.html)

andy

Posted Tue, Aug 14, 4:21 p.m. Inappropriate

My attention wandered at "He has ignited a real conversation about the country future."

Oh yeah right, sure...real talkin...about...real stuff.

Wells

Posted Tue, Aug 14, 5 p.m. Inappropriate

Even a heavy duty commercial dryer isn't strong enuff to spin this mush.

jwatts

Posted Tue, Aug 14, 5:53 p.m. Inappropriate

There is one statement with which I suspect most will agree - "There will be no middle ground come November" - Unfortunately to resolve America's problems we need to occupy the rational middle ground but all we have at the moment is a rush to idealogical grid lock and altered realities.

I would happily vote for anybody who wanted to adhere to the majority (but unfortunately not the super majority required in its terms of reference) recommendation of the Simpson-Bowles commission - that is that to solve the long term deficit of the US in a rational way it is necessary to take a balanced approach and (1) decrease military spending, (2) decrease non-military entitlements and discretionary spending, (3) increase tax revenues, (4) manage medicare costs and (5) modify the social security program to increase payroll taxes and the retirement age.

Carlson is correct that Obama has not tried to implement the Simpson-Bowles commission majority recommendations - in the absence of any partners from across the aisle he is now too weak to make his party face up to the need to reform social security or medicare.

However a President with Ryan as a VP is also unlikely to implement any sensible plans either - Ryan was after all one of the 7 ideologues on the Simpson-Bowles commission who voted against the plan. He is indeed one of the leading intellects in a (distinctly unintellectual) party that has almost made it a requirement of membership to oppose any and all taxes for whatever reasons even if they are destined to support the bloated and expanding military that same party holds as necessary as an article of faith.

Posted Tue, Aug 14, 7:43 p.m. Inappropriate

There is one statement with which I suspect most will agree - "There will be no middle ground come November" - Unfortunately to resolve America's problems we need to occupy the rational middle ground but all we have at the moment is a rush to idealogical grid lock and altered realities.

I'm not so sure. True, we have a bunch of professional b.s.-ers who don't get paid to be reasonable, but they're increasingly seen for what they are: carnival geeks. One of these days, Rachel Maddow and Bill O'Reilly are going to co-host a show where each of them bites the head off a live chicken.

The public is much more in the middle. Myself, I'm planning to vote for Obama and for McKenna. Will vote for gay marriage and against marijuana. The knee-jerkers hate people like me, but we just laugh and call them names. And that drives 'em even crazier, because they take it personally when we don't take them nearly as seriously as they take themselves.

To Mr. Carlson and to the idiots of Publicola, equally: "Independent" is the largest party for a reason. Do any of you actually believe the crap you spout? For your sakes, I do hope it's all an act.

NotFan

Posted Tue, Aug 14, 9:14 p.m. Inappropriate

With a straight face, rightwingers will say, "Now it's about the size and scope of federal government with no middle ground come November. Americans will vote for a future with a larger or smaller role for federal government," as if they've spoken some profound truth, as if their leaders have never produced bigger government after promising to make it smaller.

"Ryan, smarter than Obama, is the leading DC voice for restoring, not replacing the principles of freedom based on limited government." Like I said, rightwingers will say any stupid thing with a straight face. "That $831 billion stimilus plan was supposed to bring unemployment down under 6%" (magically like presto-chango!)
Has Obama been an abject horrible failure or has some progress been made despite obstructionist
hissyfits of the rightwing persuasion.

Wells

Posted Wed, Aug 15, 12:23 a.m. Inappropriate

Dang, Carlson, have you STILL not gotten a real job?!

Posted Wed, Aug 15, 7:15 a.m. Inappropriate

John Carlson continues the propaganda of the Republican party, that consists of either lies or spin to confuse the voters.

As his spin piece states, "current state of the economy (advantage Romney)" is only true if the voters believe the lies of Ryan/Romney.

A clever tactic of Republicans is to say they have a plan but don't actually talk about it. Carlson says, "Paul Ryan, on the other hand, has written plans to slow the growth in spending"

Really John? What IS THE WRITTEN PLAN? Why are you afraid to explain his plan? Because if you say his plan is to give fixed price vouchers to buy private health care insurance on the open market, any sane voter will say, "WTF".

Let's say you have a written plan to give people a $2000 voucher to buy a car, the average voter will think you're trying to screw them because they know a car costs at least $10,000. That's the Ryan plan for health care. Pretty underwhelming.

Posted Wed, Aug 15, 8:48 a.m. Inappropriate

In picking Paul Ryan, it seems that Romney drew a line in the sand and rather than going for a more centrist/moderate stance has embraced the far right. Ryan is Draconian in his fiscal philosophy and believes in the concept of "barefoot and pregnant" in terms of women's rights/issues. He is extreme in his views. To characterize him as "having stepped forward to put forth a serious plan" for this country is way off base...rather he has stepped forward to take us backward in terms of rights and economic policy. His divisive actions will take us back to mid century in many ways. I guess it takes a right leaner like John Carlson to see virtue in Ryan's philosophy/kind of thinking/grand plans. The choice of Ryan for VP should drive more folks to Obama in November, which is the only silver lining in Romney's pick.

buddycats

Posted Wed, Aug 15, 9:55 a.m. Inappropriate

Anyone who, like Mr Carlson, thinks, judges, ascertains - after three and one half years of Obama's reign - that his near entire continuation of Bush's policies [he kept the entire national security staff and poliicies and with the droning and personal assassinations sharpened them.] and ctd. Tarp and kept the same economic advisers and went with Geithner over Stiglitz, that this fellow is a 'liberal" and not a moderate to aggressive Republican administration... I stop reading his nonsense right there and then.

mikerol

Posted Wed, Aug 15, 12:28 p.m. Inappropriate

I guess a Republican House of Representatives that blocked or radically changed nearly every positive measure the president put forth had nothing at all to do with the lack of progress in Washington, D.C. After all, with their pundits actually rooting for the president to fail, and Republican legislators blocking progress at every turn to prevent any positive outcomes on which the president could rely during his re-election campaign, the Republican's definition of success must be gridlock and failure to govern in the best interests of the people. Unless, of course they are rich and major donors to Republican candidates and Super PACs.

Mr. V

Posted Wed, Aug 15, 1:18 p.m. Inappropriate

To quote John Carlson:

"There will be no middle ground come November."

That about sums up everything that is wrong with this totally dysfunctional government of ours.

Posted Wed, Aug 15, 3:09 p.m. Inappropriate

EVERYONE agrees that the Republican Party has gone off the deep end of extremism, even real Republicans. After years of anti-government rhetoric by right wing radio, that mantra has infected the Republican party itself. People on the right who used to rally against the Democratic party as being too Big Government have turned that into a purity test for their own Republican candidates. Romney fails that test by supporting Romneycare as governor. Paul Ryan fails that test by voting for the TARP bailouts of the big banks.

They both fail the purity test on religion from the religious wing of the Republican party. Romney is a Mormon and Ryan embraces the teachings of Atheist Ayn Rand.

Carlson is right in a way that Ryan is the perfect choice for VP. Romney represents the voice of the multinational Wall Street corporations that are stripping our communities of their jobs and people of their dignity by wiping out their private pensions, private healthcare and jobs. Too appease the libertarian/Tea Party element of the party, Ryan is the far right Tea Party choice who believes in wiping out public pensions (Social Security), public healthcare, medicare and public jobs.

Between the 2 of them, they offer nothing useful to struggling workers, families and students. They do however, offer ALOT to the aristocrat class. They are after all, both multi-millionaires.

Posted Thu, Aug 16, 9:34 a.m. Inappropriate

There is a section in "1984" where Winston and his fellow citizens are invited to express hatred of a Trotskylike character who speaks in (as I remember) a repetitive loop that represents maximum heresy. The large (presumably polycarbonate) screen is pelted with shoes and other objects. I think Crosscut uses Mr. Carlson (nice article, John) in a non-cynical version of this trope; here is he is guys; an actual card-carrying Republican AND HE'S ALLOWED TO SPEAK HERE. Whadaya gonna do about that? let it all out!!

kieth

Posted Fri, Aug 17, 8:01 a.m. Inappropriate

I love Kieth's comment, because the intellectual content of several posts, namely those from Richard Borkowski, Wells and Douglas Tooley is just that: the equivalent of throwing shoes at a screen. Borkowski thinks the Ryan plan throws everyone off Medicare and gives them $2,000 vouchers for a $10,000 policy. No Einstein. Anyone who wants to stay on Medicare stays on Medicare, period. Those willing to augment the amount Medicare spends on them by purchasing private insurance can do so. The idea was first publicized by Bill Clinton's panel on cost containment in '99.

Wells snidely asks whether the $831 billion Stimulus was supposed to somehow "magically" bring down unemployment below 6% like "presto-chango" No Wells, this is what the Obama Administration TOLD US the uneployment rate would be by August 2012 if we passed the Stimulus. They said it was necessary to keep uneployment from rising above 8%. Uneployment has now been above that for three and a half straight years.

And Douglas Tooley states that the Republican Party is just a "big criminal scheme conspiracy".

Did you write that with or without your tin-foil hat, Douglas?

Posted Fri, Aug 17, 10:47 p.m. Inappropriate

At face value Paul Ryan seems to be a terrible pick. Not a scary choice as Sarah Palin or Dan Quayle, but a terrible pick in so far as what does he add to the ticket?

On paper he doesn't do much. Maybe Romney/Ryan can win Wisconsin, but it is still polling Obama and Marco Rubio clearly would have been better for Romney in the swing state of Florida. Paul Ryan helps shore up some Tea Partiers, but not alot and he scares moderates with his praises of Ayn Rand. He is on record for severely curtailing Medicare and making draconian cuts to the rest of the federal budget save defense. He is young and brash and appears to overshadow old fuddy duddy Mitt Romney.

All these things make Paul Ryan seem to be horrible choice, but then an odd thing happened on the campaign trail. Paul Ryan gave Mitt Romney energy I have never seen Mitt have on the entire election slog. Mitt seemed to be revitalized and now looks to have a purpose on the campaign trail. For whatever reason Mitt and Paul seem to have a chemistry and that well may be the road to the White House

2cents

Posted Sat, Aug 18, 6:52 p.m. Inappropriate

I started laughing when I saw the title of the article and who wrote it...and I'm still chuckling. I'm guessing that way back in 2000 Mr. Carlson was equally sure that he was the "perfect pick" as the GOP candidate for Governor of our state...how did that work out, John?

TaylorB1

Posted Sun, Aug 19, 9:30 p.m. Inappropriate

Actually Taylor, you guess wrong. I was not the "perfect pick" 12 years ago, because the perfect pick already held the job: Gary Locke was the incumbent during the strongest economy in state history, a $ 1 billion surplus in the bank and only 27% of the people indicating to pollsters that Washington was on the "wrong track". Not exactly a propitious time to launch a Springtime campaign promising "change". With that now established,Taylor, let me recommend that you read beyond "the title of the article and who wrote it". Or would that break a longstanding habit?

Posted Tue, Aug 21, 6:02 p.m. Inappropriate

John -

Your comments above represent everything that is wrong with politics today. When people like me ask questions such as 'What is Mitt Romney's economic plan?', your response is to retort with 'Einstein', 'snidely' and 'tin-foil hat'. This country's problems will never be solved by angry partisans like you who can't answer a simple question.

Read this for Ryanomics and how he expects the disabled to pay more so he can give his wealthy millionaire friends a tax cut.

The disabled hurt most by Paul Ryan's Medicare plan

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-lazarus-20120821,0,2408532.column

Posted Tue, Aug 21, 8:21 p.m. Inappropriate

1. "Ryan, younger and smarter than Obama..." John provided zero evidence of the latter. Obama beat the Clinton dynasty with a slimmer resume than then-Senator Clinton.

2. Many long-time politicians "routinely win with more than 65 percent of the vote." For the record, Rep. Ryan won with 57, 67, 67, 65, 63, 64, and 68 percent. That's more like routinely more than 63 percent of the vote. We don't know about the quality of his opponents, but elections 2 through 5 were against the same man!

3. True, the President appointed a commission to tackle the issue of spending control and tax reform (the Simpson-Bowles commission), but has pointedly ignored its recommendations. However, what John conveniently leaves out is that his Republican cohorts in Congress blocked the formation of a Congressional committee to tackle the issue of spending control and tax reform, forcing the President to do so. Why? Because the recommendations from a Congressional committee would have been binding, and Republicans feared that tax increases and loophole-closing would be in the offing, and they were right. Both parties have ignored Simpson-Bowles, the Gang of Six, Domenici-Rivlin, The Third Way, and other proposals.

4. Congressional Republicans have sat on the President's job proposals. They are content to wait for the election, the posture that they have successfully maintained since they got a filibuster-proof minority.

5. The stimulus spending program had a bunch of tax cuts in it to appease Republicans. He not only outsourced spending details to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, but also tax policy to the Republicans.

6. President GW Bush added four trillion dollars in new debt has been added, and the indirect costs from the pair of wars, both off-budget, will never fully be known. The national credit card was whipped out for the prescription drug benefit program and a pair of tax cuts and preferences - picking "winners" in the vernacular of the Republicans -

7. No action on tax and entitlement reform can be blamed on both parties.

8. I've seen reports from independent analysis, which Ryan doesn't qualify as, where the Affordable Health Care Act would actually decrease health spending and the deficit.

9. Paul Ryan's plan won't balance the budget for another 30 years or so, as it cuts taxes to benefit rich folks again and shovels money to a bloated defense industry that spends 41% of the world's total and more than the next 16 countries combined. I don't think that retirees should be burdened with having to finagle with insurance companies whose primary aim is to deny, deny, deny. Wasteful spending is also seen in the defense and health care industries, they're not sacrosanct.

In short, a partisan piece that's missing a lot of key details.

bricsa

Posted Wed, Aug 22, 7:54 a.m. Inappropriate

So after I patiently point out how Richard Borkowski patently distorted the Romney-Ryan Medicare program, he writes back complaining that my remarks are "everything that is wrong with politics today". They are certainly lethal to inane claims that can't be backed up with facts.

And bricsa appears to have missed the point of the historic 2010 election: Stop Obama from continuing to do what he was doing. Of course there is gridlock; unlike Bill Clinton who genuinely did move toward the middle after the '94 mid-terms, Obama, far more ideological, has stuck to his guns. His economic plan today is to do what Washington voters rejected at the polls two years ago by 30 points: raise income taxes on the wealthy.

As for bricsa's claim that Ryan's plan doesn't bring the budget into balance for 30 years, how about doing a side-by-side comparing how much money the Ryan Plan spends compared to Obama's plan? It would make bricsa's piece look less partisan and more detailed.

Posted Wed, Aug 22, 8:07 p.m. Inappropriate

Only in Republican land are facts inane. That's why Romney/Ryan don't use facts. So here's what John Carlson says,

"Anyone who wants to stay on Medicare stays on Medicare, period."

Not true since Ryan's plan would give vouchers that wouldn't cover the cost of medicare from day 1. In essence, his plan kicks people off Medicare by making it more expensive.

Here's what the analysis in the LA Times says:
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-lazarus-20120821,0,2408532.column

"People under 55 would receive a federal voucher to buy health insurance once they reach the eligibility age, which Ryan would raise to 67. That voucher would be used to buy either conventional Medicare coverage or a similar plan from, say, one of half a dozen private insurers. The amount of the voucher would be determined by the cost of the second cheapest plan available, which experts say would likely be private coverage that would not be as comprehensive as Medicare."

So the voucher would be enough to buy the Yugo of health care, the 2nd cheapest on the market. In essence, elderly people with $0 income, WOULD be forced off Medicare, which is exactly what I said in the 1st place. Meanwhile, Congress, will continue to have their Cadillac Health Care that they have today.

Posted Wed, Aug 22, 8:14 p.m. Inappropriate

John -

Your point that "Washington voters rejected at the polls two years ago by 30 points: raise income taxes on the wealthy."

It may be a surprise that there are 49 other states that determine public opinion in this country. It always surprises me how Washington politics is so locally focused as if the rest of the country barely exists.

There's a little business called, GALLUP, that does polling. You may have heard of them, even though they're not in WA State.

Here's what they say about what the American people think about taxing the rich. In short, it's quite popular. Give it a listen.

http://www.gallup.com/video/149561/Election-Matters-091911.aspx

"Obama's idea of taxing the rich plays well with the average American."

"We know from our polling that is a very popular idea, increasing the tax burden on people who make more than 250,000 dollars per year."

"It's almost like a verity - like does the sun rise in the East. Poll after poll after poll says, YES, tax the wealthy, that's fine."

Frank Newport
Gallup Editor-In-Chief

Posted Thu, Aug 23, 7:58 a.m. Inappropriate

The polls also showed the state income tax passing here when it qualified for the ballot two years ago. Then debate happened and the idea sunk.

Polls currently show the Ryan Medicare plan unpopular, as you would expect with a new idea people aren't familiar with. But debate will happen, and people will listen and likely respond the way they have in Ryan's swing Congressional district. Is it a risk? Yes, but a healthy debate over entitlement reform is inevitable.

By the way, Richard Borkowski, please re-read your second-to-last post. As the LA Times points out, you can use your voucher to shop around or to remain on "conventional Medicare". The reason for regional pricing is simple: health care costs less in Kansas than Manhattan. Using a national average of Medicare costs would mean shortchanging people in metropolitan areas. That is how you allow people to stay on Medicare and still hold down costs. But I'm guessing most people will find private plans a more attractive alternative.

Posted Thu, Aug 23, 8:23 a.m. Inappropriate

John -

You're apparently interpreting what the article says differently than I do.

Here's the quote from the article:
"The amount of the voucher would be determined by the cost of the second cheapest plan available, which experts say would likely be private coverage that would not be as comprehensive as Medicare."

I guess when you say 'attractive', you mean cheaper. So yes, the private plans will be cheaper. But the quote also says experts agree that the private plans "would not be as comprehensive as Medicare."

So in essence, yes, I agree, people will 'choose' the private plans, not because the coverage is better but because it's all they can afford.

In the end, you get what you pay for. Cheaper private medical care that is less comprehensive than what Seniors have now.

I don't believe anything most elected officials tell me, especially the new Paul Ryan who has renounced the old Paul Ryan who worshipped Ayan Rand and advocated for federal stimulus money in 2002 under George Bush. If the plan was better, then Congress would be putting themselves on it. But that's not going to happen.

Posted Thu, Aug 23, 11:27 a.m. Inappropriate

"Ryan, younger and smarter than Obama" Well, yes, but Obama is wiser and loves America more, so there.

Posted Mon, Aug 27, 9:14 p.m. Inappropriate

Here's more polling to refute the misinformation from John Carlson saying that taxes on the rich aren't popular. That's wrong. They are.

Americans Say Rich Are Greedy, Dishonest, Don't Pay Enough In Taxes: Pew Report
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/27/americans-taxes-rich_n_1833537.html

The poll found that many Americans believe rich people to be intelligent and hardworking but also greedy and less honest than the average American. Nearly six in 10, or 58 percent, say the rich don't pay enough in taxes, while 26 percent believe the rich pay their fair share and 8 percent say they pay too much.

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