Last weekend the Romney campaign laid their cards on the table. After months of speculation over whom the Romney campaign would pick for the vice presidential nomination, Mitt Romney opted not to make the safe play by picking someone such as Governor Tim Pawlenty or Senator Robert Portman, but instead attempted to energize his base by going all in with Congressman Paul Ryan.
The pick of Ryan was a calculated appeal to voters in the Republican base who have fretted over Romney’s conservative credentials since his nomination. In aiming to shore up his base, Romney has instead unwittingly violated the principle of do no harm by tying his campaign to the principles and plans that Ryan espouses.
What was supposed to be a referendum election with the candidate’s abilities to manage the world’s largest economy at the center of the issues overnight transformed into a debate over ideas. Now, the game comes down to which course of action is better for American voters in insuring the continued prosperity and growth for the country.
On one hand, we have the course established for us in the four years of President Obama’s command. In the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 President Obama took the necessary steps to shore up the industrial base of the United States and to prevent another collapse of the banking and housing industry.
By making sure there are regulations and guidelines, such as the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, aimed at preventing the types of predatory lending and dangerous investing which brought about the recession in the first place, the administration has put safe-guards in place which protect the economy going forward. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have provided all Americans with a healthcare solution for the first time ever.
However, Ryan’s ideas would jeopardize both the recovery and well-being of the average middle-class American. The Ryan plan calls for spending cuts to non-critical programs such as Medicare and SNAP while preserving tax breaks for the largest earners in American society.
Through true supply side economics, Ryan would place the fortunes of the middle class at the whims of the elite whose only incentive is to increase their profits. While supply-side economics are not always a bad idea, this is a huge gamble. By removing the checks and balances present with government regulation, Romney and Ryan would create and environment which favors the people who already life comfortably, and force the middle and lower class to support them in hopes of establishing a trickle-down effect. The poor and elderly would see their healthcare disappear with 700 billion dollars’ worth of Medicare cuts.
This election is now about an ideological difference moving forward in America. While Ryan’s attempts to cut the deficit are commendable for his initiative in promoting discussion, they are simply too extreme. By gutting the core of programs aimed at helping the middle and lower class, while refusing to consider tax breaks for the rich or additional sources of revenue, Romney and Ryan have laid the cards on the table in a desperate all in.
They have given their right-wing base what they desire to the detriment of voters in crucial swing states such as Florida, where many benefit from programs which would be cut. President Obama has given us an alternative to this drastic plan. It now falls to us, the American voters to decide how best to proceed.