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Mitt Romney has chosen Paul Ryan as a running mate, and I think it is an excellent choice. I say this not because I ever want either of them to lead the country, but because it provides a clear distinction between the parties.
Ryan is to be commended for proposing his alternative budget. He believes that you should not just oppose things you think are wrong, but instead, you should provide alternatives. His budget is an alternative, and a stark one. I hope that his candidacy will bring his budget to the fore, because I think it is a great demonstration of what the Republican party wants.
Ryan's budget was written to address the problem of the deficit, a problem I believe is a real one. My issue with Ryan's budget is how he proposes to solve the deficit problem, and I wish people better understood his solution.
Ryan's answer to the deficit is to ask more of those with the least, when we could be asking more of those with the most.
To be clear: you can solve a deficit in one of two ways, and the deficit doesn't care which you choose: you can cut spending, or you can raise revenue. Those that blare, "it's the spending that's the problem!" are being disingenuous. The deficit is the difference between two numbers, and any way you bring those numbers closer together will help.
Only if you also have a second (or actually, first) agenda of reducing the size of government do you think it matters which way you reduce the deficit.
The only way to ask more of those with the most is to increase taxes. Conservatives claim that those with the most create jobs, but mostly what they do is invest, and investing is not what really creates jobs: spending creates jobs. The way to get more spending is to help those with the least have enough money to spend. Letting those with the most have more will not get them to spend, they already have enough to spend.
So let's welcome Paul Ryan to the presidential campaign, and let's hope that his ideas get a wider airing. I think they are bad ideas, and I hope more than half the voters in November think so too.
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