12 Things You Should Know About Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan | ThinkProgress

Below are 12 things you should know about Ryan and his policies:

1. Embraces extreme individualism. Ryanheaped praise on Ayn Rand, a 20th-century libertarian novelist best known for her philosophy that centered on the idea that selfishness is “virtue.” Rand described altruism as “evil,” condemned Christianity for advocating compassion for the poor, viewed the feminist movement as “phony,” and called Arabs “almost totally primitive savages. Though he publicly rejected “her philosophy” in 2012, Ryan had professed himself a strong devotee. “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand,” he said at a D.C. gathering honoring the author of “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead.” “I give out ‘Atlas Shrugged’ as Christmas presents, and I make all my interns read it. Well… I try to make my interns read it.” 

2. Raises taxes on the middle class, cuts them for millionaires. Paul Ryan’s infamous budget — which Romney embraced — replaces “the current tax structure with two brackets — 25 percent and 10 percent — and cut the top rate from 35 percent.” Federal tax collections would fall “by about $4.5 trillion over the next decade” as a result and to avoid increasing the national debt, the budget proposes massive cuts in social programs and “special-interest loopholes and tax shelters that litter the code.” But 62 percent of the savings would come from programs that benefit the lower- and middle-classes, who would also experience a tax increase. That’s because while Ryan “would extend the Bush tax cuts, which are due to expire at the end of this year, he would not extend President Obama’s tax cuts for those with the lowest incomes, which will expire at the same time.” Households “earning more than $1 million a year, meanwhile, could see a net tax cut of about $300,000 annually.”

3. Dramatically increases Medicare costs for seniors, increases eligibility age. Ryan’s latest budget transforms the existing version of Medicare, in which government provides seniors with a guaranteed benefit, into a “premium support” system. All future retirees would receive a government contribution to purchase insurance from an exchange of private plans or traditional fee-for-service Medicare. But since the premium support voucher does not keep up with increasing health care costs, the Congressional Budget Offices estimates that new beneficiaries could pay up to $1,200 more by 2030 and more than $5,900 more by 2050. A recent study also found that had the plan been implemented in 2009, 24 million beneficiares enrolled in the program would have paid higher premiums to maintain their choice of plan and doctors. Ryan would also raise Medicare’s age of eligibility to 67.

4. Leaves Social Security to the whims of Wall Street. In September of 2011, Ryan agreed with Rick Perry’s characterization of Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme” and since 2005 has advocated for privatizing the retirement benefit and investing it in stocks and bonds. Conservatives claim that this would “outperform the current formula based on wages earned and overall wage appreciation,” but the economic crisis of 2008 should serve as a wake-up call for policymakers who seek to hinge Americans’ retirement on the stock market. In fact, “a person with a private Social Security account similar to what President George W. Bush proposed in 2005″ would have lost much of their retirement savings.

9. Claimed Romneycare has led to “rationing and benefit cuts.” “I’m not a fan of [Romney’s health care reform] system,” Ryan told C-SPAN in 2010. He argued that government is rationing care in the state and claimed that people are “seeing the system bursting by the seams, they’re seeing premium increases, rationing and benefit cuts.” He called the system “a fatal conceit” and “unsustainable.” 

12. Co-sponsored a personhood amendment. Ryan joined 62 other Republicans in co-sponsoring the Sanctity of Human Life Act, which declares that a fertilized egg “shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.” This would outlaw abortion, some forms of contraception and invitro fertilization.

h/t: Igor Volsky at Think Progress
Marco Rubio: "Society Shouldn’t ‘Tolerate’ Same-Sex Marriage"

Mitt Romney’s campaign may or may not be vetting Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) for vice presidential consideration, but in the meantime, he continues to maintain space in the media spotlight. In an interview with Christianity Today published yesterday, he reiterated his opposition to same-sex marriage, pointing out that the Bible opposes it, as do all of the faiths (Catholic, Mormon, evangelical Christian) he’s experienced. Though he qualified his answer in some ways, he also suggested that society shouldn’t “tolerate” less-than-”ideal” family structures:

RUBIO: In terms of the Bible’s interpretation of marriage, what our faith teaches is pretty straightforward. There’s not much debate about that. The debate is about what society should tolerate, and what society should allow our laws to be. I believe marriage is a unique and specific institution that is the result of thousands of years of wisdom, which concluded that the ideal — not the only way but certainly the ideal — situation to raise children to become productive and healthy humans is in a home with a father and mother married to each other. 

H/T: Zack Ford at Think Progress LGBT

“Some Republicans are getting nervous about what will happen if Romney goes with a safe pick — a buttoned-down, cautious, boring white guy… sort of like himself.” —Jack Cafferty, CNN

Republican soothsayers are predicting that Mitt Romney is about to end the long guessing game over his pick for running mate, and the safe bets are still on Sen. Rob Portman or former Gov. Tim Pawlenty. However, some political pundits argue Romney should go big or go home if he hopes to make it to the White House.

Romney’s VP pick: 4 reasons a ‘boring white guy’ would hurt the GOP ticket

Media First Spin On a Paul Ryan Veep Pick: Too Inexperienced to Be President?

The Drudge Report singled out political writer Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker as having the unintentionally hilarious first spin on the reported pick of Paul Ryan to be Romney’s running mate. Lizza immediately started to “tally the risks.”

“For one thing, Ryan has no significant private-sector experience,” he wrote. He wrote this with zero ackowledgment of Obama’s private-sector experience scooping mint-chip at Baskin-Robbins. If the rest of the media follows this line, this is going to be shamelessly biased

Read the rest of the article at NewsBusters
Mitt Romney Set To Pick Paul Ryan As Running Mate

NORFOLK, Va. -– Mitt Romney will announce Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his running mate on Saturday, according to two sources with knowledge of the decision.

Ryan is a bold pick who will energize the Republican Party, but putting him on the ticket is fraught with risk and instantly puts Ryan’s budget plan front and center in the 2012 campaign.

Romney will announce his choice in Norfolk on Saturday morning at the beginning of a four-day bus tour through key battleground states, the campaign said Friday night. The Weekly Standard reported earlier Friday that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has been asked to be ready to make the case for Ryan beginning Saturday.

Romney’s alliance with the 42-year old Ryan has become the most dramatic development of the 2012 presidential campaign. Romney had been presumed for much of the last few months to be set on a safe pick, such as Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), or former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

But now, Romney, who is 23 years older than Ryan, will signal that he is willing to roll the dice. President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign and Democratic political groups have been eager for Romney to pick Ryan, the architect of plans to slash government spending and overhaul entitlement programs that Democrats believe are political losers.

Both liberals and conservatives will be thrilled with Romney’s choice.

Conservatives believe Ryan is one of the brightest, best young faces and minds who can cheerfully articulate a case for limited government while simultaneously arguing that a less expansive bureaucracy and a revamped entitlement system is the best way to preserve government aid and benefits for the poor, indigent and elderly.

H/T: Jon Ward at HuffPo

BuzzFeed Veepstakes: Hitting The Road

View this picture “ Thanks for visiting BuzzFeed Veepstakes, your everyday help guide to Mitt Romney’s look for a running mate. Mitt Romney is within New You are able to today before heading as much as Boston. Tim Pawlenty is passing through Boston tomorrow before heading as much as Nh for four scheduled occasions for Romney. Not sure on if he’s ending up in anybody in the campaign. WSJ Siren: Why Don’t You Paul Ryan. Editorial board joins conservative caucus for that budget chairman to become Romney’s veep. Reality check: It’s Find out more at
The Veepstakes circus

Blogbook editor Jonathan Bradley takes a look at the inevitable fuss and carry-on in the press as Mitt Romney starts his hunt for a running mate:

The fun thing about the Veepstakes is that it gives the media something to talk about in the interminable months between the end of the primary season and the conventions that mark the beginning of the fall campaign. That this period coincides with the summer is particularly serendipitous. As I've mentioned before, America gets slightly silly during the summer months, and nothing is conducive to silliness like the speculation surrounding a candidate’s choice of running mate. [Read more]
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) Supports Florida Voter Purge

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) announced support for his state’s controversial voter purge effort on Wednesday, saying it was hard to disagree with the push to clear supposed non-citizens from the electoral rolls.

“How can you argue against a state identifying people who are not rightfully on the voter rolls?” he said at a Bloomberg event, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Rubio’s comments put him in line with Florida Gov. Rick Scott ® who on Tuesday declared the debate on the merits of the purge “over,” because the probe had supposedly turned up more than 50 non-citizen voters who had cast ballots.

The Department of Justice didn’t agree. Later Tuesday, it announced it was launching a federal lawsuit against Florida over complaints that the purge was taking place within 90 days of its August 14 primary election, as well as over its alleged violation of a voting rights law meant to prevent states from suppressing voters.

Concerns over the purge have largely been spurred by reports showing that the effort disproportionately targets minority and Democratic-leaning voters. According to aMiami Herald study, Hispanic voters accounted for nearly 60 percent of the names on the list, while they make up only 13 percent of the overall 11.3 million active registered voters.

All of these complaints have led almost every county elections supervisor in the state, including 30 Republicans, to announce that they’ll halt the purge.

While the controversy rages, Scott continues to maintain that the move is a “no-brainer,” necessary to maintain fair elections in the state.

h/t: Huffington Post

Watch on

From Morning Joe:

NBC’s Chuck Todd on the veepstakes, “I think the Ryan stuff is real.”

More on using Wikipedia to predict who Romney’s VP nominee will be:

The only way that could work is to monitor all of the likely picks on an hourly basis to track their updates against one another. It’s likely that the Romney campaign will attempt to scrub Wikipedia of distasteful information on the nominee right before the announcement’s made, and we don’t know when that will be.

Still, that data is only an indicator; the best that it gets media outlets is baseless speculation that isn’t of any use to actual reporting. This is why no right-minded editor will dedicate any resources at all to the refresh-Wikipedia-all-day-and-keep-a-running-Google-Docs-spreadsheet-of-the-number-of-edits-and-who-made-them beat.

A neat alternative for an enterprising media outlet would be to have a programmer build something akin to a real-time index that automates figures about edits to profiles. Alternatively, outlets could just slap a question-mark after a speculative headline or the wretched “UNCONFIRMED” disclaimer before it, but I doubt this will happen. Maybe I’m naive.

On the flipside, if I had the privilege of working for or with Wikipedia, I’d recommend they develop a real-time index of edits made to the profiles of those thought to be up for the GOP VP nomination, since they can probably automate those updates quicker than a lot of folks and, unlike media outlets, aren’t encumbered by all the other parts of the news cycle that need attention.

Media outlets that follow this Tumblr: Is any of this inaccurate/unfair? Programmers who follow this Tumblr: Is such automation possible/easy?