Remember "trickle down economics" from the Reagan era? This was a term used by Republicans to refer to the idea that tax breaks or other economic benefits provided by government to businesses and the wealthy will benefit poorer members of society by improving the economy as a whole. That didn't quite work out too well, as I remember.
“[I]n 2001 and 2003, Congress passed two of the most expensive tax cuts for the wealthy in history,” Obama said. “And what did it get us? … Remember that in those same years, thanks to some of the same folks who are now running Congress, we had weak regulation; we had little oversight; and what did it get us?” (Anyone remember the economic meltdown of 2008 which was caused by lack of oversight and just plain greed.)
So being a former Wisconsinite I'm very familar with Paul Ryan. In Ryan, Romney has selected a running mate best known for designing the extreme GOP budget that would end Medicare as we know it, and -- just like Romney's plan -- actually raise taxes on middle-class Americans to pay for an additional $250,000 tax break for millionaires and billionaires. As a leader of the House Republicans and a Tea Party favorite, Congressman Ryan has led the relentless, intensely ideological battle for these kinds of budget-busting policies that punish seniors and the middle class.
-- As an architect of the extreme GOP budget, Ryan will be Romney's biggest advocate for his plan to give more tax breaks to millionaires, paid for by $2,000 in higher taxes on middle-class families with kids.
-- The Ryan plan, which Romney said is "an excellent piece of work, and very much needed," calls for deep cuts in education -- from college scholarships to Head Start -- critical scientific research, and clean energy investments, all to help pay for those tax cuts.
-- Ryan authored the original plan to convert Medicare into a voucher program, costing seniors an additional $6,000 or more each year.
-- Ryan talks tough on balancing the budget, but his own plan would fail to do that for a generation. The burden of balancing any Ryan budget falls squarely on the backs of seniors and middle-class families -- while no one at the top is asked to pay even a dollar more.
-- Both Romney and Ryan are severely conservative, threatening to take us backward on women's issues and civil rights. Ryan cosponsored a bill that would ban common forms of birth control, in vitro fertilization, and abortions even in cases of rape or incest. He voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, voted against the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and sponsored a constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality.
On so many issues, Paul Ryan, like Mitt Romney, has taken extreme positions that are out of touch with the values most Americans share. Scary stuff.
Andrea Nicole Baker