Guest Post: Mitt Romney's Selection Of Paul Ryan Is A Sign Of Desperation

Tyler Durden's picture

Via RightCondition blog

Mitt Romney's Selection Of Paul Ryan Is A Sign Of Desperation

Many folks were surprised last night as rumors began leaking that Romney tapped Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, for the prestigious VP slot.  The surprise came largely because many were expecting a more mundane pick like Tim Pawlenty or Rob Portman.  The reactions from the GOP base is positive overall, although the story is still fresh and drawing conclusions is difficult.  The reactions from the Democrat/Liberal base are predictable and I am guessing that the Obama campaign is licking its lips over the prospect of skewering Ryan like a kabob.   I have a slightly different take, my feeling is that this pick is an indication that the Romney team is struggling and sees the prospect of winning in November diminishing with each passing day. People like Pawlenty and Portman is the equivalent of swinging for a base hit - the selection of Ryan is swinging for the fences.  It is desperation and an attempt to shake things up substantially in the hopes of energizing a splintered and unimpressed Conservative base.

However I prefer to focus on the economics of politics, not the politics of politics - so lets take a look at what exactly makes Ryan such a risk.

Paul Ryan, to be sure, is an impressive politician.  He has a perfect pedigree, is good looking and probably considered to be the premier fiscal wonk of the Republican party.  His budget is considered by many to be the boldest and most courageous attempt at tackling America's most pressing issues, entitlements.  Of course there is always more than the shiny facade pimped by party loyalists and for those that have bothered to investigate Ryan's record the picture becomes a bit murkier.

For starters there is the very pressing and disturbing votes of the Bush legacy.  Specifically Ryan's support of:  TARP, Medicare Part D and No Child Left Behind (NCLB).  All three are wonderful examples of how the Republican party only fights for fiscal sanity when they are a minority party, the second they become the majority they expand Government programs at an alarming rate.  NCLB is a monstrosity that gave the Department of Education teeth, Medicare Part D tacked on hundreds of billions (half a trillion as of today per year) to the debt and was passed in the House in a manner very reminiscent to ObamaCare and TARP is an egregious disregard of the free market system and should make any citizen sick to their stomach.   While Ryan may be able to justify all these votes, there are Republicans in the House who did *not* vote for these programs and quite a handful.

Then of course there is the famous Ryan budget.  A budget that reminds of me the great Oz.  It is daunting and impressive, but if you look behind the curtain there is a tiny little man pulling a whole lot of levers.  This very budget (despite being all bark and no bite) was used to galvanize Obama and the liberal base.  Remember how Ryan's policies inspired the idea that he would throw grandma off the cliff?  Yet despite the proven record of the Left to make a mountain of a molehill team Romney decided to go all-in and select Paul Ryan.  More importantly, for what?

In order to understand that Ryan's budget is nothing more than smoke and mirrors we turn to a detailed analysis of the budget.  This interactive analysis lets  you compare and contrast the Ryan and Obama budgets side by side and examine the projects for spending.   Below is a series of images I selected, but I encourage to explore the interactive tool yourself.

Let us take a look:






First we got Medicaid.  Clearly the difference is notable and appreciable.  In fact based on this image alone it would almost invalidate all my criticism of the Ryan budget.  Medicaid is pure welfare, as opposed to Medicare that is at least partially funded by FICA.  Medicaid was always intended to take care of the downtrodden and unfortunate and has now ballooned into health care for all.   ObamaCare functions and survives primarily on expanding the Medicaid rolls by shoving more people onto the public dime.  Medicaid alone is now responsible for a quarter of many State budgets and continues to financially drain the Federal and State coffers at an alarming rate.  Worst of all, it badly distorts the insurance market driving medical prices up for every single individual.  So it is nice to see Paul Ryan tackle this egregious and disgusting program that does far more harm than good, but the courage and bravery amount to a spending freeze.  By 2021 will be spending more on Medicaid again.  Perhaps Ryan tackles the other entitlement programs better?


Next we have Medicare.  What's this?  Apparently Grandma is not going off a cliff, instead it would appear that she is being pushed up a hill!  Ryan's plan spends MORE on Medicare than Obama.  This is quite the shock considering that Ryan's plan is considered to be the most courageous entitlement reform evah!   It is ironic that Obama and the Left are painting Ryan as the grim reaper chasing your granny, where instead he is slowing down Medicaid to HELP granny.  Oh, you have to love politics - don't you?

Next up is Social Security.  No, it is not a graphical glitch.  Ryan's plan does absolutely nothing for Social Security.  Yet conservative websites and pundits swoon over Ryan like he is the next coming of Barry Goldwater, more on that later.

Lastly, the national debt.  This is probably not surprising, but after all the hoopla and all the bravado the end result is that the speed at which our fiscal apocalypse arrives is merely slowed down by a teeny weeny bit.  Yet one would think that as grandma flies off the cliff with her belongings and rusty wheelchair bouncing off the jagged rocks that America is about to embark on the greatest age of austerity ever devised.

Not really.  We have a budget from an individual who thought there was nothing wrong in forking over a blank check to Wall St, nothing wrong with expanding Medicare by half a trillion and nothing wrong with growing a department that Reagan's campaign promised to eliminate.  We sure have come a long way, have we not?


So this of course begs the question, why did Romney do this?  Why select a VP that will provide such easy ammunition for the Left with virtually no reward?  The answer is quite simple.  Romney and Ryan represent exactly the same problem even if one appears to be a moderate and the other appears to be an epic fiscal warrior.  The Republican party fights for and pushes through the status-quo.  The images you see up above and the Ryan record is the status-quo.  No doubt about it.

Yet Romney is counting on the ignorance of Republican base to run with the facade of Ryan's conservatism.  If that illusion holds then Ryan's image will invariably boost Romney's own image as many will view Romney's decision as courageous and bold despite Obama's willingness to distort Ryan's budget.  In other words, you are witnessing a most fantastic and glamorous circus.  A bad Hollywood movie, except that ending will be quite real and not something you can pause or turn off.

However we all know what happens when politicians threaten the sacred cows of entitlement spending.  They get destroyed.  Barry Goldwater was America's last libertarian-Republican candidate and he was obliterated because he dared to speak up against Social Security.  Barry's loss paved the way for the great society and the invention of Medicare and Medicaid.  How ironic.  Poll after poll shows that Americans refuse to accept changes to entitlement programs, despite their clamoring for someone to fix our debt.

Romney and Ryan will lose in November and the image of the heartless Conservative killing granny will resonate with America, the tragedy of course is that neither Ryan or Romney are willing to actually cut anything!  The tragedy will become even more amusing as we will witness a nasty and partisan fight further dividing Americans as they fight and defend differing policies with the exact same results.

Romney's campaign is ignoring the lessons of Barry Goldwater and going all-in on an individual that has consistently voted for awful legislation and whose budget is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.  A move that can be summarized in one word:  desperation.

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Missing_Link's picture

This article is a sign of desperation.  Romney and Ryan will win, period, and they have to if America is to have any hope of solvency ever again. 

Nick the Greek's picture

Give it a rest, and go back to playing Zelda.

Peter Pan's picture

I have said it before and I will say it again.....The only choice Americans have is between a blue condom and a red condom because the nation will be screwed by the same dick regardless of who wins.

Politics is a waste of time in America and has only served to bankrupt a great nation with a proud heritage.

IndicaTive's picture

Peter Pan: If that is an original, you sir, are good. +1

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

The only good thing about the Paul Ryan selection is, it is driving the Obamatards crazy.

But besides that, we're pretty much fucked. Romney is still the White Obama, with or without Ryan.

Chief KnocAHoma's picture

This all sounds a bit dramatic, mainly because it is. With this pick Romney is signaling two things - 1 - He understands math and picked a VP that understands it  even more. 2 - Lieing to win will only insure the country sinks faster. If R&R tell the truth and lose, then so be it... we had our chance to try a hail mary pass and save this thing. If they tell the truth and win... they actually get to attempt the hail mary pass.

Spastica Rex's picture

Hope springs eternal. Go team.

AldousHuxley's picture

Democrats: raise taxes

Republicans: cut social spending


Buffett: raise taxes AND cut spending


Congress: cut taxes AND increase spending



poor hungry africans: eat the rich




LMAOLORI's picture




AldousHuxley "Buffett: raise taxes AND cut spending"


You bought into that Buffet Bullshit the Bailed Out Buffoon hides his money in tax exempt foundations hahaha that bill of obama's wouldn't affect his generous donor AT ALL!

 How Buffett Saves Billions On His Tax Return

Buffett’s Betrayal

Saint Warren’s dark side

Ugliness the media overlook

Then there was his rating agency Moody's not only did he get bailed out but his agency was part of the problem to begin with

Buffett Defends Moody's 


Buffett Defends Credit Ratings Agencies, Concedes System’s Flaws

Better Ways to Lower Warren Buffett's After-Tax Income


Hobbleknee's picture

When was the last time Republicans cut social spending?  When was the last time anyone cut spending of any sort?

Lost My Shorts's picture

Please can we have another trillion-dollar war?  You guys are forgetting what is really important.

Gringo Viejo's picture

Astonishing the number of progressive, socialist, anti-capitalists that have started posting on ZH in the last few months. To those of you that fit the definition of same, I wish to pose a question. If America was founded upon a guiding set of principles, such a those set forth in The Constitution and Bill of Rights, the concepts of individual liberty and responsibility........and.......if you disagree with such ideas.....why would you not simply emmigrate to nations more in sympathy with your world view. Why would you not leave those of us that believe in the exceptional nature of the American experiment to our contentment?

I think it fair to say, one can only poke a stick at a lion for so long before the lion turns on them.

Spastica Rex's picture

There is no country that would allow me to immigrate in which I would wish to live.

Although I am neither progressive, nor socialist, nor anti(small scale)-capitalist.

The system is global, buddy.

AldousHuxley's picture


let's have capitalism and CUT DEFENSE BUDGETS...


republicans never talk about THEIR ENTITLEMENTS....."defense" and energy entitlements.


half of your money goes to war buddy.

gatorengineer's picture

Name a single welfare program that in real dollars has ever been cut, I am not talking against baseline budgeting, I am talking in real dollars....


Why pray tell are we still in Afganistan with the Chocolate Fonz at the helm.... I thought we would have been back by easter of 2009.....?

dugorama's picture

clinton capped "welfare" at 3 years lifetime benefit.  there's one.

I thought we would have closed Gitmo (and simply transferred the inhabitants to Leavenworth) on day two of the Obama admin.  Sure, then we'd have to give them a trial.  But since I believe in the rule of law, that's fine by me.

I would have thought we'd be completely out of Iraq (as promised during the campaign) sometime in the first year of the Obama admin. 

But I'm still not voting for anyone as clueless and as big a tool as Romney.


There IS a difference, if you don't think the shift from 8 years of Clinton's peace and prosperity to Bush's purposeful collapsing of the pax Americana was real, you just haven't been paying attention.


FMR Bankster's picture

True, but then they all became "disabled" and moved over to Social Security. Better deal really, once you are on it you are on it for life. And of course that medicare kicks in after 18 months.

Kobe Beef's picture

Cloward-Piven Strategy.

The authors stated they would need cadres of aggressive community organizers to farm the tapeworms, ahem, organize the poor to demand greater welfare benefits, and thus collapse the capitalist system.

Why, hello there, Mr. Soetero. And how goes the organizing today? 

gatorengineer's picture

The spending for that program has never increased by 0 or been cut with either Progressive Repuklican or Democrat in.......  In a worse of two evils, I would rather shovel it to the banksters than the welfare queens.....  Both bad, both inexcusable, and its a hold your nose and vote..... I vote Romney.


Answer me this if Barry committs US forces to Syria or Bombs Iran will you still vote for him?  He is ahead over Bush on using US military force by the way..... Paki, Afghan, Somalia, Libya, Central Afrikka, and I am sure I am missing a few.....  Barry hasnt hesistate to use the military.....

caconhma's picture

Paul Ryan  is just another Sara Pailin. Being associated with a loser does not make one a winner.

t0mmyBerg's picture

And if you were paying attention you would realize that though Bush was a tool and an idiot, the forces that have shaped the world over the course of time you mention are far greater than the men you also mention and larger than the government of the united states.  Clinton successfully surfed a wave that came in that had nothing to do with him.  Bush and Obama are also subject to the waves that come in.  All you can do is surf it well or poorly.

I will say this.  I have bet a few of my acquaintences that Obummer will win no more than 10 states.  Now these will be big states so he will make the electoral vote close, but the popular will be a "landslide" with perhaps a 5-8% spread.  If i am wrong and the POS lying scumbag is re-elected, my faith in America will be gone completely, not because i think Romney or Ryan are awesome - I don't - but because to vote for Maobama given what you know or should know is an act of craven malfeasance. 

Oldballplayer's picture

I still don't get giving prisoners of war trials.

I know several old guys that did not get trials, yet they enjoyed the hospitality of prison camps in Japan, Germany, and the US.

We've turned into pussies who deserve what we get.

I am not suggesting we go all Atilla the Hun...but let's act.

Kobe Beef's picture

I still don't get going to war without a Declaration of War.

I'm not suggesting we go all Constitutional...but this Executive Emperor stuff has to go.

TURBO's picture

Concur. And where is "Code Pink" when you need the bitch? (oh that's right, Libs only hiked their skirts in a bunch when it came to Bush. )

LooseLee's picture

Welfare to CORPORATIONS or welfare to INDIVIDUALS? Be specific, please

Gringo Viejo's picture

Ah yes, the system is "global". That's why! Some can find an excuse for just about anything. Transparently disingenuous....a product of your time.

Spastica Rex's picture

Jingoism is common. And boring.

Monedas's picture

"I wouldn't join any club that would have me as a member !" .... Groucho Marx ?

Harbanger's picture

The concepts of individual liberty and responsibility stand in the way of the NWO.

These trolls are paid for, have multiple accounts and most are not even posting from the US.

"I think it fair to say, one can only poke a stick at a lion for so long before the lion turns on them."

The hyenas have never met Eetwidomayloh (He who greets with fire),

pods's picture

They are not trolls, sure as hell not being paid, and probably do live in Amerika.

BTW, you cannot use the term "individual liberty" commenting on anything about amerikan politics.

As for speaking of this "capitalism," exactly when in any of our lifetimes was this practiced?

After we lost free market money in 1913, there sure as hell wasn't any.


Harbanger's picture

"we"?  In the end, you my friend, will be discarded like a Piece Of Dog Sht.

pods's picture

Well thankfully I do not give a shit.


Harbanger's picture

You do care pods, and I understand why.

Spastica Rex's picture

What a weird exchange today, huh?

Tangibly odd.

Monedas's picture

Liberals are panicking that Paul Ryan will help Romney .... at least Ryan won't turn the other cheek like Bush .... he's a fighter !

DaveyJones's picture

and he goes around quoting Rand verse for verse - then votes completely hypocritical to any ideology but serving the global masters. He's a whore like the rest of them - only this whore goes to the gym. American politics is a more expensive version of dancing with the stars

pods's picture

I don't think I have seen this many junks across the whole comment section in a while.  


TimmyB's picture

Please point me to the sections of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that allow corporations the right to control our government and rule us all.  Also, please reread the First Amendment, which gives all of us, especially those who we disagree with, the right to have different thoughts and ideas, and allows everyone the right to try to convince others and our government that their ideas should be adopted by the majority.

If YOU don't like living in a country that follows the First Amendment in that Bill of Rights you wrote of, why don't YOU pack a fucking bag and leave.  You obviously want to live in some sort of dictatorship where people can be told to shut the fuck up when they disagree with how the country is being run. 

Oldballplayer's picture

It is the amendment that allowed the direct election of Senators. Previously they has to be beholden to their corrupt state legislatures. Now they are just beholden to anyone that could corrupt them.

BooMushroom's picture

If I agreed with this any more, I'd have to make some sock puppets to give you more greenies.

Uncle Keith's picture

Stay on topic, Princess... But, since you're fishing - I'll bite...


I'm a Progressive/Pragmatic/Democrat. Our Global Economic Woes have been brought about by one cause: Wealth Consolidation. Ditto for our decline from Meritocracy into Kleptocracy and Nepotism. Ditto for our failure to embrace Rule of Law. Ditto for Lack of Access to Opportunity. Ditto for the Lack of Access to Influence Public Policy In A Way That Benefits The Majority. 


The confidence job the American Cultural Right - abetted by the Owners of MSM - has duped certain among us to believe that a return to The Days of The Founding Fathers will Cure All Ills. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight...


Old Barry and The Dingbat by 5% (under) - 7% (over). That's my prediction. The Electoral College is going to be a Landslide.

Kobe Beef's picture

Ok, so how does Affirmative Action square with Meritocracy?

Absalon's picture

If Romney and Ryan want to "tell the truth" they should start by telling us what tax expenditures they want to eliminate in their plan to "broaden the base."  So far they have both refused to do so.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Chief KnocAHoma, displaying a degree of faith in "democracy" that can only be called remarkable, said:

With this pick Romney is signaling two things [...] 2 - Lieing to win will only insure the country sinks faster.

Well, yeah, and the sun rises in the east. Too bad for the country that the only way to win is to lie your fucking ass off. You also have to be such a sociopathic cutthroat that you're willing, without hesitation or thinking, to stab in the back anyone that it takes to win.

This is the failure of democracy. The scum floats to the top. The only thing you know for certain about any candidate making an acceptance speech at the D or R convention is that he'd waterboard his mother to win.

If R&R tell the truth and lose,

If R&R tell the truth, they will lose. Voters want to be told things that make them feel good. The last thing they want to hear is the truth.

If they tell the truth and win

That is an impossibility at this level of American party politics.