August 12, 2012

Paul Ryan: Just Stop Subsiziding Wealthy People

Lordy, the experts are having a blast now that Mitt Romney has finally chosen a running mate, and particularly that it's Wisconsin's Paul Ryan, he of the Republican budget road map.  

I've seen stories ranging from the clandestine process of getting Ryan nailed down as the choice and having him mysteriously appear in Virginia yesterday, to the importance of their respective attire at the announcement (Mitt: tie, no jacket; Paul: jacket, no tie); there are even some discussions on the policies that may come out of the ticket, if you have the patience to wade through everything.

I appreciate that NBC's Meet the Press offered transcripts of their conversations with Paul Ryan in one easy link - very generous of them, and fun.   I went through a few of them and found an interesting Ryan theme that I hope gets some traction with his new BFF.

In October of last year, when we were still in the thick of the GOP's primary season, Pizza Magnate Herman Cain made this comment regarding the Occupy Wall Street movement:
Don't blame Wall Street.  Don't blame the big banks.  If you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself.
When pressed by MTP moderator David Gregory if that was the Republican message, Ryan responded with the expected rhetoric about eliminating barriers to success, offering economic opportunity, and the like. Pretty standard stuff, but he added this gem:
...I have a better idea.  Instead of job-killing tax increases, why don't we just stop subsidizing wealthy people?  I mean, let's go after the crony capitalism, the corporate welfare in the tax code, in spending.  And why don't we income adjust our spending programs so that we don't subsidize wealthy people as much. 
He said the same thing on MTP in February:
It's just not good economic growth policy and we've already sort of proven that these temporary, sugar-high economics, these stimulus effects just don't work to grow the economy and they're a very poor substitute for lowering tax rates, for having predictable regulations, for getting rid of crony capitalism
And a second time: 
 --we already proposed closing loopholes so, for economic growth. There's a bipartisan consensus that the best way on tax policy for growth is to lower tax rates by closing loopholes and doing our entitlement reforms in a gradual way...
And, he said the same thing again on MTP in May:
And what we're saying about taxes is take the tax shelters and the loopholes away from, from the well connected and the well off so we can lower tax rates for everybody.
I gotta tell you, I sure hope Paul Ryan still believes that this is what we really need to do.

And I hope that Mitt, the man with the overseas accounts, and the undisclosed tax returns, and the IRA worth between $20 and $100 million, the man who knows that his private-sector donors are doing just fine, listens.

And guys, let's try this -- do the crony capitalism elimination first, to prove you can accomplish something, then go and tackle entitelement reform.

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