Sunday, August 12, 2012

Romney-Ryan Ticket: the illusion of looking on to extremism to win an election in the absence of a tax filing disclosure?

Keywords: Vice Presidential Candidate; Paul Ryan; Mitt Romney; Budget and Budgeting; Statements from Paul Ryan; Illusion and Games; Controversies; Attack Dog

Romney’s touted visionary failed him as he went about choosing a running mate for the 2012 general elections. No one should be surprised that Governor Romney chose Congressman Paul Ryan, this week. The presumptive Republican Nominee had been going through some rough waters regarding his failure to release more than one year’s tax filing. Under the horror of loosing grounds in the voter support barometer, no one must understate the essence of the presumptive Republican Nominee rushing to name Congressman Paul Ryan as the Vice Presidential candidate of the Republican ticket.

When it comes to politics, perception is everything. A political strategy and campaign that is loosing grounds under a recalcitrance not to be transparent, a candidacy that is bemoaned by failure to project astute foreign policy vision and a dogged conviction of my way or the highway on issues of importance to all Americans, are recipe for a disaster come the November, 2012. Regardless of Mr. Romney’s action to nominate Congressman Paul Ryan as a running mate, the issues of his tax filings are never going to go away. The failure to appreciate that general elections are unlike party primaries, where issues are seen from a narrow prism of ideology or party politics, is fraught with problems and hardly appeasing. In general elections, all issues are fair game including public statements and voting records, especially, where the other candidate on the ticket is a seventh term congressman. That means the record of voting of Congressman Ryan in the past fourteen years is fair game; and, readily going to be scrutinized by many, including the controversial Ryan’s’ budget that Mr. Romney is about to grandfather into his campaign, if he hasn’t already.

According to prior congressional debates, Congressman Paul Ryan, House Budget Committee Chairman from Wisconsin, advanced the revolutionary idea on the future of Social Security and Medicare Programs that even one of the former Republican aspirants for the White House oval office, Newt Gingrich, lambasted as social engineering that will amount to not much. The notion that the only safety net remaining for most of our retirees could be turned to a voucher program is not only disheartening for many in this group, it has kept them wondering if the proposal is not meant to kick the elderly to the curb in their golden years. Congressman Paul Ryan will deny this and counter, the social program is no more sustainable at the rate it is being managed, never mind that congress dips its hands in the trust fund to manage unwanted and unneeded foreign wars. To Congressman Paul Ryan: “keeping tax rates low, cutting spending, and advancing fundamental reforms to our government's structural budget challenges are the keys to get America back on track.” Never mind if these initiatives pauperize our senior citizens, disadvantages orphans and children in poor homes.

The war against the elderly, women, the poor and handicapped is on; and, with Mitt Romney selecting Paul Ryan as his running mate, all we can expect is a seamless effort to derail our retirees who have worked so hard in their youth to pay into the system; marginalize the healthcare of women through potential repeal of Patients Protection and Affordable Care Act; and, cut down on food and education assistance to the poor and handicapped. Our elderly retirees, who are now being asked to do more than can be expected, because devious hands would not stop raiding the Social Security Trust Fund for worthless ambitions, are about to learn of their faith under a Romney-Ryan Administration. As far as the light weight foreign policy Republican Vice-Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan is concerned, Medicare and Social Security, as we all know them, must be eviscerated; and, replaced by a voucher-like program and an opportunity for potential American workers to opt out of the program. In the eyes of Paul Ryan, social welfare programs are a drain on the economy and no one can know that better than Mr. Ryan, since he had to draw from his father’s social security to be able to even survive, not to talk about get an education. The seventieth term congressman lost his father very early, and if there was no social security benefit, if the program was ‘voucherized’ as proposed by him, he probably would be somewhere in the peck order of the Totem pole of the America Economy. You see, what goes around comes around!

As Mr. Ryan status expands with his nomination as half the ticket of the Republican Party for the 2012 general election, elements of his comments on August 2, 2012 begins to resonate even more importantly, regarding wealthy Americans taking advantage of the loop holes in the tax code to raid Uncle Sam’s Kitty Bank. To quote Mr. Ryan: “Our tax code has become an antiquated and complex maze that stifles economic growth and job creation. The tax code is littered with special-interest loopholes that prioritize the politically connected at the expense of hardworking American taxpayers. These special interest carve outs not only disproportionately benefit the well off, but they also narrow the tax base and lead to higher marginal tax rates to make up the lost revenue.” I cannot but agree more! Mr. Paul Ryan’s potential future boss is in this category, he has raided Uncle Sam’s kitty by taking advantage of the loop holes in our tax code to benefit financially.

Other Congressmen Paul Ryan’s comments will be perused very soon by others; but let me begin or add to the debate here. Upon President Obama’s signing of the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012, Paul Ryan in his capacity as House Budget Committee Chairman issued the following statement: "The President's signing of the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 is a welcome step toward providing Congress and American taxpayers with the transparency necessary to understand how sequestration will affect our national defense and key domestic priorities. With the President's signature, the administration is required under the law to submit this report to Congress within 30 days.” What is good for the goose is also good for the ganders. Maybe, it is time for Mr. Ryan to tell the world, in the spirit of transparency which he has called the Obama Administration to accede, what are the implications of his proposed budget plan, as it is going to affect our domestic priority, namely, the care of our youths, elderly and the disadvantaged. When designing a budget, it is often essential to contemplate and document the implication of the line items. It is essential to inform the public what the broadening implication of expanding national security budget on the back of social welfare programs, when a huge tax cut for the rich is being proposed by his future boss.

In a budget environment, where the middle class and the poor are being called to do more without much, Mr. Paul Ryan must understand the full trade-off of taking a write-off of $77, 000 for a fancy horse by Mitt Romney and wife, while Americans are eating out of garbage on skid row in Los Angeles, California. Aligning your strategy with a man, who is thumbing his nose at taxpayers who have called to see his tax papers for close to six months, while claiming to be proposing a tax plan under a future Republican administration that is fairer, is hardly not too difficult to decipher, as the Tax Policy group have independently verified that Romney’s tax plan, not only disproportionately punishes the middle class and the poor, but also, is a likely source of nemesis and despair for many more Americans than we can ever imagine. Further more, since charity begins at home; is it out of place for Mr. Ryan to ask his future boss to release his tax filings for more than one year?

Mr. ‘Vice-President-to-be’ Paul Ryan, the issue is not that Democrats are doubling down on massive tax increase to hurt small businesses; but rather, that Republicans are refusing to accede to any bill that will create jobs and ameliorate the housing problem. The bane of the current confusion is Congressional Republicans turning the job of lawmaking into a game of dissonance, where leading Republicans in congress are vowing to make Barack Obama, a one term President. The issue is playing politics at the expense of peoples’ jobs, homes and livelihood while shifting the blame to the White House, under the pretext that President Obama is anti-small businesses. Compoundable, the issue is the recalcitrance in congress that has made it the most dysfunctional body in American body politic, since the era of white only congressional body. As Bob Schaeffer of CBS Face-the-Nation program sarcastically puts it, on one of Scot Paley’s Evening Newscast, with the current congress, if fire had broken out on Capitol hill, lawmakers will still go into a discord regarding whether to call the fire department to show up to save the Capitol. This is how lawmaking in America’s Congress has degenerated. We now have a congress whose popularity is lower than Paris Hilton among Americans; and, congressional job rating, more like in the gutters!

There are numerous issues of concern in the past two months that will make a keen political observer shake his head and wonder what is going on in America’s Congress. Here are few of these: 1) S.3412, Middle Class Tax Cut Act failing in the House, after Senate passed it on a spread of (51-48) Vote; 2) H.R. 6168, President Obama’s proposed 2012-2017 Offshore Drilling Lease Sale Plan Act, failing in the House on a (164-261) Vote spread;. 3) The passing of HR 6079, Repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 by the House with a (244-185) vote spread.; 4) the Extension of the Bush Era tax cut, HR 8, in the house on a (256-171) vote spread; and, Passing on a (270-146) vote spread, repeal of Excise Tax on Medical Devices; and much more. I could have listed more but for the lack of space; however, I would like to highlight the implications of these five listed bills and how their repeals or passing impacts the current job situation and America’s economy.

S3412, Middle Class Tax Cut bill, if passed, would have put more money in the hands of the largest group of consumers in America; the middle income earners, who could have turned around and spent; which in turn would stimulate the economy, since America’s economy depends largely on household spending, which has lately been in the doldrums. When the House failed to pass this bill, under the pretext that it treats those Americans with income above $250, 000, disparately, despite the fact that polls show that, more than 66% of likely voters, say that the rich should pay more of their fair share in taxation, is nothing but beleaguering. When on August 1, 2012, Paul Ryan, in his capacity as House Budget Committee Chairman, issued the statement that a bipartisan vote to prevent a massive tax increase has triumphed, after S3412 failed in the house, one must wonder if he was not being disingenuous. Mr. Ryan, the presumptive Republican vice-presidential candidate for the 2012 general elections and his congressional Republican lawmakers, may have been bidding the work of the few rich Americans who are already paying less in effective tax rate than their own secretaries. Paul Ryan catapulted into deception and delusion when he said President Obama wants to increase taxes on more hardworking Americans to fuel ever-higher Washington spending. Where was Congressman Paul Ryan during the years when Republicans held the White House and devised a tax cut plan that withered down all the reserves during the Clinton Era? Where was he when Republican White House got into two foreign wars that were not paid for? Was he not part of the lawmaking body; Mr. 14-years in Congress?

Further, When America’s unemployment rate is close to 9 % and those of minority Americans is between 14-16%, what exactly was going on in the minds of congressional lawmakers when they killed H.R. 6168, President Obama’s proposed 2012-2017 Offshore Drilling Lease Sale Plan Act. The failure of a bill that has a better potential of creating more jobs than those giving away money to the rich, failing in the House on a (164-261) vote, is not only catastrophic, it is frankly, ludicrous!. Here are Republicans insisting that the coming general elections are all about jobs, jobs and jobs. The same group has worked tirelessly in congress to kill bills that would have brought jobs to Americans. An example of this is the killing of H.R. 6168. To turn around and say President Obama is hurting small business; or that his policies are chasing unsustainable spending increases, is once more, ludicrous! Mr. Ryan, Republicans in Congress have not taken any action to protect families and workers from massive tax cut as you want to believe; rather, they have bided the work of their campaign donors, rich men and women that bankroll their campaigns, by passing HR 8, Extension of Bush-Era Tax Cut for the rich through 2013.

How on earth can one imagine that the Republicans in the house are re-conciliatory, when they proceed to pass HR 6079, Repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 on a (244-185) vote spread on July 11, 2012? This is a law that congress debated, voted on, passed and signed into law two years ago by President Obama. This is a bill, HR 6079, that attempts to turn around a law that was tested for its constitutionality before the United States Supreme Court and effectively voted as constitutional and good-to-go! What exactly is going on here: are our lawmakers being retrogressive? Is there anything wrong in proceeding to do the people’s work or letting bygone be bygones? Doing the same thing the same way with the same negative outcome; and repeating it once more, again and again, is the beginning of malady! You cannot expect good results, when your inputs or assumptions are faulty or your presupposition, completely fallacious.

Wait a minute, did we not just heard from Mitt Romney and several Republicans that China was playing unfairly on the trade agreements and currency-valuation negotiations with the United States? China was effectively lambasted by Romany as an unfair trade partner which he vowed to punish once he wins the White House, as if he could really do that? Governor Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan need a crash course and probably a comprehensive spoon-feeding on international trade and foreign policy, or else, the nation will be ridiculed on the world stage, if they both ever win the White House come November. US House of Representative just passed HR 436, repealing Excise Tax on Medical Devices. This is like throwing sand in your own eyes. What will now prevent China from dumping million freights of medical devices into America’s market? After all, the United State House of Representatives says it is okay; who cares about manufacturers and workers in the Medical Devices industry. By pressing and passing the repeal of excise tax on medical device on June 7, 2012, one must expect that there is an aversion to that type of disadvantage competition that killed companies like Solyndra, the solar panel company that was in a fight for its life before filing for bankruptcy because of tough competition from solar panels from China.

This is the legislative environment that the presumptive Republican Vice-Presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, is coming from. The animosity of the past three and half years that has effectively grounded the relevance of congress as an effective lawmaking body and promoted foreign policy neophytes into flag bearer and demy-Gods in the Republican Party, which facilitated the coronation of extremism in budget management and planning, is what America will be looking forward to, come January 2013 if the Romney-Ryan ticket wins the White House. I understand that a few political pundits have written that Paul Ryan will be an effective attack dog for the presumptive Republican Nominee Mitt Romney? Based on his recent record in Congress, there are more questions for Mitt Romney’s Vice-presidential choice come the debate time with Vice-President Biden. It will be an interesting debate to watch on issue of foreign policy. Frankly, the budget proposed by Paul Ryan, will more likely do the Republican Party ticket in than his or potential future boss’s ignorance of foreign policy!

I do not believe that the Obama-Biden campaign strategists should be loosing any sleep on the choice of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate. By his choice, Mitt Romney has effectively sold his soul to the Tea Party group and lost his bearing to a forty-two year old man, who all he can see is crashing the same safety net that once held him from falling completely into abyss or irrelevance. Mitt Romney’s perception that Paul Ryan is a favorite of the tea party or a laudable budget guru differentiates him from the rest of us who can read within the line. To Presumptive Republican Party Presdiential Nominee, Mitt Romney, this election is about winning at all cost, even if it takes flip-flopping on many issues, refusing to release tax filing papers for more than one year, and denying his obvious catastrophic foreign trip that hasn’t bolster his foreign policy credentials. Like the Mayor of London, England, puts it: "that Mitt Romney wants to know if we are ready!" Well, with his choice of Paul Ryan, many Americans, especially our Senior Citizens are saying: I hope these men are ready for our questions regarding their plan for our Social Security Benefits, our Medicare, Our Savings and Our homes?

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