Ryan pick may help the Republicans

By Arthur I. Cyr

“We want to make sure that we preserve and protect Medicare,” Mitt Romney declared on Aug. 13 in Florida, a crucial state where the senior citizens population is disproportionately large.

This follows the Aug. 11 announcement by the Republican presidential nominee that Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin will be his running mate. This immediately generated headlines and intense debates.

Republicans applaud Ryan as a committed conservative who has a wide appeal, able to mobilize the party base, and perhaps even make Wisconsin a possible target for a Republican victory in the up and coming election. President Barack Obama took Wisconsin by a wide margin in 2008. Ryan’s district, where this writer works, was previously represented by Democrats. Democrats applaud the choice as an opportunity to highlight Republican emphasis on cutting spending, especially in health care, a topic of special concern to older voters.

Republicans argue the plan is essential to avoid national bankruptcy, rendering the U.S. to a fiscal state where in a few short decades it’ll be unable to help the poor, the sick or anyone else. The doorway to disaster is yawning open thanks to out-of-control Obama spending, never mind those big-deficits during George W. Bush’s tenure. Ultimately the voters in November will determine which presidential ticket is more persuasive. Meanwhile, the selection of Ryan should be applauded by anyone interested in a serious discussion abut public policy. Ryan is a likeable leader in part because of his personable style, but also because he avoids smear tactics. His detailed federal budget plan was denounced by Democrats, but they have yet to provide a comparable alternative.