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What I know of Paul Ryan is this: Born in 1970, he was old enough to see and understand the amazing reversal of fortune that happened in the 1980s and 1990s when free enterprise and earned success was again valued and respected in America. He is a true and faithful son of the Reagan Revolution.
But Ryan is not an ideologue holding out for perfect solutions and proposing fantasy plans. He understands that it will be impossible to move forward without tradeoffs and compromise. Indeed, his Medicare reform plan is based on a centrist approach that Democrats used to support – some still do – but now use as evidence that the Ryan GOP is guilty of “Social Darwinism.”
With Mitt Romney’s selection of the Wisconsin Republican as his running mate, the GOP has assembled a “Fix-It” presidential ticket where the solutions sync with America’s founding principles.
So this is the binary choice now facing American voters (at least those for whom the Long Recession hasn’t already been decisive):
Choice #1: President Obama thinks the United States made a calamitous move three decades ago when it decided to reject statism and re-embrace market capitalism: lower taxes, less regulation, smaller government.
That’s the unmistakable message of Obama’s left-populist Osawatomie and Roanoke speeches. Reversing that shift — started by Ronald Reagan and extended by Bill Clinton and the Gingrich Republicans — and obliterating any evidence it ever happened is the Obama mission.
The goal of Obamanomics is to restart the nation’s long march to a European style social welfare state — even though that model is imploding before our eyes — begun by FDR and continued by LBJ. This is a future where government is 50% bigger and taxes 50% higher than current levels – and economic growth 50% slower. The Long Goodbye to American Exceptionalism. Hello to Stagnation Nation. The New Normal.
2. Choice #2: Romney-Ryan are firmly offering to complete the Reagan Revolution by a) modernizing the social safety net so that it is fiscally sustainable and increases economic mobility and true economic security, and b) reforming the tax code so that it boosts economic growth and reduces crony capitalism. The 21st century would be the American Century, led by a growing, prosperous, confident nation whose government enables the private sector to innovate rather than crowding it out. The American Experiment would be revitalized, fueled by the spirit of democratic capitalism.
As Ryan said earlier today when announced as Romney’s pick, ”We can turn this thing around. We can.”