Romney’s Choice: Paul Ryan for Vice President

Mitt Romney ended the suspense with the choice of Paul Ryan for Vice-President. And what did we get? Nothing! The Ryan budget for dealing with our problems is zero – no taxes, no expenses, no government. No regulation, no protection, no help, no investment. We’re in a recession and what do we get to pull out of it – nothing, zero, nada.

Of course they blame the slow recovery on Obama, skipping over the fact that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives vetoed everything Obama tried to do for the economy. They argue that Obama’s policies should have been vetoed. But they can’t have it both ways – except as misleading political rhetoric. We would have had Obama’s policies if they hadn’t defeated them all, but we do have Republican policies because they vetoed everything else.

Once upon a time the national Republican leadership was more straightforward about this – Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell told the National Journal two years ago that “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Led by the Tea Party, House Republicans believed their best strategy was to defeat anything and everything he tried to do from judicial appointments to economic policy. The more something might be a source of pride and credit to Obama for doing a good job, the more vociferously they would oppose it.

And now Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan shows that they want to continue the Tea Party House Republican policies that are drawing out this depression from the Bush years. Romney-Ryan dramatically offer the American people: nothing for the economy; nothing for the men and women out of work; nothing to deal with the housing crisis or the victims of bank fraud; nothing to deal with the environmental crisis; nothing to deal with global warming and all the threats and damage it is causing; nothing for you; nothing for me; and nothing for America.

How very patriotic. Tea Party Republicans have the nerve to say it’s the liberals who hate America – in fact, with Romney and Ryan now in their camp, the Tea Party Republicans are fighting everything America has stood for over the course of the twentieth century, everything America has fought for around the globe and everything America has done at home. Obviously Tea Party Republicans are very unhappy: they hate what America has become so much that they wish our president to fail, with all the horrible consequences for America that entails.

Our problems will not be solved by doing nothing. They will not be solved by turning more of this country’s wealth over to the very people who already own most of the country. Tax cuts did not build productive investment in the Bush years:

  • Big business had and still has much more cash than it knows what to do with.
  • Financial reports repeatedly tell us that corporations have built very large financial balances and are holding on to them.
  • Banks prefer to use their cash for the riskiest of transactions instead of useful investment.

There was no lack of capital, only a lack of rules in the financial casino. What the Bush tax cuts accomplished were mansions for the wealthy, not jobs for the people and certainly not infrastructure – except the long drives to their front doors.

“Nothing” is an empty promise.

— This commentary was broadcast on WAMC Northeast Report, August 14, 2012.

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