On Saturday, Mitt Romney's VP App announced Paul Ryan as the Republican vice presidential candidate/future Dancing with the Stars contestant, only about seven hours after the news broke on Twitter.
Then, another app told us that Ryan's claim to fame was a budget plan that would restructure Medicare into a voucher program, cut discretionary spending to laughably low levels and turn Medicaid into a "block grant" program, so named because it grants states authority to replace the pricey health insurance program for the poor with a large concrete block that says, "Suck on it, moochers," to be placed in front of shuttered public health clinics. This "app" is also known as Paul Ryan's mouth.
So why did Romney select Ryan? As blue-eyed stimulus for the flash fic writing industry? As a way to excite a conservative base still unenthusiastic about the top of the ticket? No, speaking at the NASCAR Technical Institute — a place that really exists in North Carolina — Romney told an enthusiastic crowd that he picked Ryan because he was a Washington outsider.
"His career ambition was not to go to Washington," Romney said. "That is not what he wanted to do, but he became concerned about what was happening in the country and wanted to get America back on track. And so he put aside the plans he had for his career and said, 'I'm going to go and serve.'"
I just hate when career ambitions are derailed like that. Doesn't it suck when, right after college, you go to work for Jack Kemp's think tank, Empower America, before successfully running for a Wisconsin House seat at 28 years old? What a weird, freakishly accidental way to get into politics.
So perhaps there's something else about Ryan, besides his accident-prone path from the private sector to a lifetime of service in D.C., that makes him an attractive nominee…
Could it be that Ryan's budget proposals would have zeroed out Romney's tax obligations?
Don’t believe it? Romney himself said so, just a few months ago. The Ryan plan…"promotes saving by eliminating taxes on interest, capital gains, and dividends; also eliminates the death tax." Mitt Romney’s income — more than $20 million each of the past two years — comes almost entirely from capital gains on his investments, or from "carried interest"… if the capital gains was eliminated altogether? Well, let’s let Romney explain the result in his own words, as he did at an NBC primary debate in January…
"Under that plan, I'd have paid no taxes in the last two years," Romney said, alluding to the fact that all his income is from investments…
Now if only those rates could be applied retroactively, it wouldn't matter what ugly things Harry Reid's super-secret source says about Romney's tax returns.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Taxes, Veepstakes