by Etan Thomas
By now, most Americans have certainly heard that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has selected U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate in this year’s presidential race. Ryan is considered one of the GOP’s gurus on fiscal and budgetary issues, and enjoys immense popularity among fiscal conservatives.
In Ryan, Romney has selected a tea party darling, the chief architect of the Republican Party’s plan for tax and spending cuts and an advocate of reshaping the country’s Medicare program. The austere budget proposal that bears Ryan’s name would cut $770 billion from Medicaid and other health programs for the poor over 10 years as compared with President Obama’s recent budget. He also takes an additional $205 billion from Medicare and an additional $1.6 trillion from food stamps, welfare, federal employee pensions and support for farmers.
In addition, his plans include changing Medicare into a program that would rely largely on vouchers.To add insult to injury, Ryan’s budget would offset these $5.3 trillion in spending cuts by offering a $4.2 trillion dollar tax cut to the wealthiest in this country, according to Citizens for Tax Justice.
Whew. Looks like it will be a long winter for the 99 percent if the Wisconsin congressman gets his way. Indeed, if this plan were to be put in place, those who criticize Obama for not doing enough for the poor and middle class would have to start a new poverty tour.