Each morning, Bill Scher and Terrance Heath serve up what progressives need to effect change on the kitchen-table issues families face: jobs, health care, green energy, financial reform, affordable education and retirement security.
OurFuture.org's Robert Borosage:  "...Romney is now firmly entangled with Ryan’s “reverse Robin Hood” budget plan, which calls for bigger tax cuts for the rich and corporations, and pays for them by brutal cuts in Medicare and Medicaid, education, college support, food stamps and other programs for the vulnerable. It does little, however, to reduce deficits over the next decade. In contrast, President Barack Obama calls for rolling back the top-end Bush tax cuts and so is better able to protect Medicare and Medicaid and limit cuts to the poor. Yet beneath stark differences in direction are shared assumptions that don’t make much sense. As fierce as the coming debate is likely to be, its terms are still too limited to deal with the challenges we face."
Ryan is close to top right-wing donors. NYT:  "Mr. Ryan is one of a very few elected officials who have attended the Kochs’ biannual conferences, where wealthy donors sit in on seminars on runaway government spending and the myths of climate change. He is on first-name terms with prominent libertarians in the financial world, including hedge fund billionaires like Cliff Asness and Paul Singer ... He has appeared for years at rallies, town hall meetings, and donor briefings for groups like the Club for Growth, which spends millions to defeat Republicans deemed squishy on taxes and spending..."
But is he too radical for Wall Street? NYT:  "Mr. Ryan is also an ardent critic of the Dodd-Frank Act, the postcrisis Wall Street legislation. But, oddly enough, the provision he dislikes the most is the one that has the greatest support of the industry: a tool known as resolution authority, which gives the government the authority to dismantle a failing bank without wreaking havoc on the rest of the system ... While Mr. Ryan may appear to be a friend of business, he doesn’t agree with the industry’s biggest talking point these days, the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan. He was a member of the commission and voted it down, arguing that it did not go far enough in overhauling health care entitlements ... Last year, three months before the debt ceiling debate reached a peak, Mr. Ryan said that he was prepared to let the government default on its debt for at least several days if it would force Democrats to accept deeper cuts."
Ryan's congressional record is lots of Bush-era spending, little compromise. W. Post:  "Tea Party activists say he is an uncompromising budget-cutter. Romney himself says Ryan is a deal-maker, able to find common ground with Democrats ... [But for] more than half his career, Ryan was a dutiful GOP foot soldier, which meant he voted for many of the budget-busting, Bush-era measures that tea partiers have come to hate ... [And d]uring more than 13 years in Congress, Ryan has passed just two of his bills into law."
Politico adds:  "Ryan voted for the $700 billion bank bailout, the biggest Medicare expansion in U.S. history, a massive highway bill that included the “Bridge to Nowhere” and other big-ticket priorities when George W. Bush was president — going to bat for a high-spending GOP agenda that the tea party base now looks on with regret."
President Obama highlights Ryan's opposition to the farm bill while in Iowa. NYT:  "'If you happen to see Congressman Ryan, tell him how important this farm bill is to Iowa and our rural communities.' ... The president addressed the drought that has taken a toll on crops, saying he has directed the Agriculture Department to buy up to $150 million worth of meat and poultry to help relieve farmers and ranchers."
Hate Ryan's Medicare plan? There's more. The Atlantic's Molly Ball:  "In a gleeful memo Monday, Priorities USA Action, the Obama-supporting Super PAC, detailed its public-opinion research on Ryan's budget: 'The Ryan plan's deep cuts to early childhood education are 'extremely concerning' for 62% of voters. Cuts to Pell Grants for college students are extremely concerning to 57% of voters. The plan's shift in the tax burden from the wealthy to the middle class is extremely concerning to 62%. Cuts to job training, nursing home care, scientific research and children's health care all raise similar concerns for voters.'"
His monetary policy views are nutty too. W. Post's Brad Plumer:  "Like many other Republicans, he has repeatedly criticized Ben Bernanke’s efforts to stimulate the economy. But he has also gone further, arguing that the Federal Reserve shouldn’t be focused on reducing unemployment, period. And he has argued repeatedly for a 'sound money' policy that has left some economists scratching their heads. Perhaps Ryan’s most unconventional opinion on monetary policy came in the summer of 2010, when he told Ezra Klein that the Federal Reserve should actually raise interest rates even as the U.S. economy was still struggling..."
Romney won't specify differences between his budget plan and Ryan's. WSJ:  "'I’m sure there are places that my budget is different than his, but we’re on the same page,' Mr. Romney told reporters on an airport tarmac here Monday evening. Pressed further to cite a couple areas where their plans would diverge, Mr. Romney said differences may exist, but he passed on naming any."
Romney spokesperson John Sununu admits Romney would privatize Medicare with vouchers for people currently under 55, on MSNBC's Hardball:  "Why is it a good deal? Because I'd rather have a private insurance policy than a government insurance policy any day."
Bloomberg reminds, Romney-Ryan plan hurts current seniors too:  "Ryan’s proposal to cut Medicaid, the health-care program for the poor, would hit many seniors now. The program provides care to poor children, pregnant women, the disabled -- and some 6 million seniors who rely on it for nursing-home care, home health aides and other services. Ryan’s budget would cut the program beginning next year, with the reductions totaling about $800 billion over the next decade. That’s about one-third of projected spending on the program."
Romney's budget will cut deeper than Ryan's, says ThinkProgress' Pat Garofalo:  "...Ryan’s tax plan involves giving slightly more away to the wealthy than does Romney’s, but Romney more than makes up for it with his budget’s gutting of programs that aid the middle-class and low-income Americans. And he does it in order to preserve a level of defense spending that has nothing to do with defense priorities, but is simply a number that Romney decreed is necessary."
GOP political operatives worried Ryan will prompt losses in congressional races. The Hill:  "'There are a lot races that are close to the line we're not going to win now because they're going to battle out who's going to kill grandma first, ObamaCare or Paul Ryan's budget,' said one Republican strategist who works on congressional races. 'It could put the Senate out of reach. In the House it puts a bunch of races in play that would have otherwise been safe...'"
More from Politico:  "'Whether or not they [the Romney campaign] want to say that they have their own plan on Day One, or whatever they’re doing, it doesn’t change the reality of them having to own the Ryan plan. How is that in the wheelhouse of creating jobs?' added a GOP consultant. Joked another: 'The most popular phrase in Washington right now is: "I love Paul Ryan, but …"'"