Modern Healthcare - - OPINIONS EDITORIALS -

“With a choice bold rather than safe, Mitt Rom­ney is chid­ing his fel­low Amer­i­cans—politi­cians in­cluded—to get se­ri­ous. Hav­ing writ­ten that no­body re­quired can­di­dates for pres­i­dent in 2008 to face run­away en­ti­tle­ment costs, Rom­ney is forc­ing that cri­sis to promi­nence: His run­ning mate is the U.S. politi­cian who, at grave risk to his own ca­reer, has ar­gued most com­pellingly for en­ti­tle­ment re­form. We don’t know whether adding Paul Ryan to the ticket costs Rom­ney the pres­i­dency or wins it for him. We do, though, know what the Wis­con­sin Repub­li­can de­liv­ers to the 2012 cam­paign: With his pas­sion to re­vive this na­tion’s trea­sury and econ­omy, Ryan in­jects stark sub­stance to an unin­spir­ing, cheap-shot con­test we’ve called a race to the bot­tom. Our author­ity on Ryan-as-force-vec­tor is none other than Demo­cratic strate­gist … James Carville. Asked re­cently … if Ryan was the veep prospect the Obama cam­paign would most like to run against, Carville an­swered, ‘I don’t think he’d be their first choice, but he’d be a clar­i­fy­ing choice. The race wouldn’t be about per­son­al­i­ties, it’d be about big is­sues.’ “

—Chicago Tri­bune “In pick­ing Paul Ryan … Mitt Rom­ney has ob­vi­ously at­tempted to re­set the tone and scope of the pres­i­den­tial de­bate. Yet the quandary that poses … is un­de­ni­able. Ryan’s House-ap­proved bud­gets the past two years aim to: gut Medi­care and turn it into to a de­clin­ing voucher pro­gram; di­min­ish and pri­va­tize So­cial Se­cu­rity; cut Med­i­caid for the poor and its nurs­ing home cov­er­age for for­merly mid­dle-class Amer­i­cans; slash safety spend­ing by 60%; re­duce stu­dent aid; give more tax breaks to cor­po­ra­tions and the ul­tra-wealthy; and raise taxes on the na­tion’s broad mid­dle class, mainly by elim­i­nat­ing their tax breaks … But it still doesn’t project a bal­anced bud­get un­til 2040, largely be­cause it calls for huge tax cuts for cor­po­ra­tions and the rich, and a prom­ise to keep rais­ing the Pen­tagon’s bud­get with in­fla­tion. Rom­ney can hardly ad­vance that … fis­cal ap­proach as his own agenda and win the pres­i­dency. So it’s no co­in­ci­dence that … Rom­ney qui­etly be­gan spread­ing the word that Ryan’s bud­get views would not rule his poli­cies. Which raises the ques­tions, why Ryan, and what, specif­i­cally, are Rom­ney’s own fis­cal goals?”

—Chat­tanooga (Tenn.) Times Free Press

‘Ryan in­jects stark sub­stance to an unin­spir­ing, cheap-shot con­test…’

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