Paul Ryan’s extreme views will assist left
Published: Sunday, August 26, 2012
Updated: Sunday, August 26, 2012 13:08
Anti-seniors, anti-poor, anti-worker, anti-equality and anti-women: That pretty much sums up Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s official vice-presidential pick.
I use the term “official” because political pundits have been tossing around the names of potential VP picks for weeks now, and though I was initially surprised by Romney’s choice of who would be his partner in crime, I totally get it now.
You see, adding Ryan to the ticket is a game changer. It brings in the ultra-right conservatives who weren’t satisfied with Romney’s flip-flopper attitude and shifts the narrative to not just being about how much everyone hates President Barack Obama. Instead, Ryan and his economic policies provide a tangible — yet irrational — plan that has allowed Republicans to reshape and refocus the campaign.
The Romney-Ryan ticket has re-energized the right — but the left has seen a boost too. Ryan with Romney only further exemplifies how dangerous Republicans in the White House would be, and here’s why:
First of all, we have the infamous Ryan budget. It passed the U.S. House of Representatives last spring, but has gained no mileage within the Senate. That’s because it’s an extreme budget proposal, one that would dismantle entitlement programs like Medicare and slash social support systems like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. To be more specific, Medicare under Ryan would turn into a voucher system, one that would take away the guaranteed benefits seniors earned over a lifetime of hard work and give them a voucher that would only cover so much of their health-care expenses, leaving them on their own to cover the rest of the cost. A Congressional Budget Office analysis has speculated that a plan like this could cost seniors as much as $6,000 per year. SNAP is another essential social program. Commonly referred to as food stamps, SNAP has kept 3.9 million Americans, including 1.7 million children, out of poverty and away from hunger. Ryan wishes to cut this program by 18 percent.
With all of that said, we can conclude that Ryan doesn’t care much about our seniors or the poor. But he doesn’t stop there, and though he may come off as a politician primarily focused on the nation’s debt, his voting history showcases an extreme stance on social issues too. In regards to LGBTQ rights, Ryan voted in 2004 and in 2006 in support of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. He also voted against the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and against hate-crime legislation. Shifting over to women’s issues, Ryan has repeatedly voted against bills to ensure women equal pay for equal work, even voting against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which was the first bill that Obama signed into law.
In the world of health-care legislation, Ryan was an advent supporter of HR 358 — also known as the “Let Women Die Bill” — which would have essentially banned abortion coverage by insurers that received federal or taxpayer funding. This bill would have allowed anyone to refuse to perform an abortion for any reason, even if the life of the woman needing the abortion was in danger. To add even more fuel to the anti-women flame, Ryan voted for the Protect Life Act, which actually did the complete opposite because it granted hospitals far-reaching powers to deny women abortion care, without any exception for emergency situations. This bill was not about protecting lives, it was about letting women die on a hospital bed. Of course, we can’t forget Ryan’s ideological attacks toward Planned Parenthood. One in five American women have chosen Planned Parenthood for health care at least once in their life. Ryan’s efforts to defund Planned Parenthood would only result in more women losing access to necessary and basic health-care needs.
His anti-women stances tie well into his desire to repeal the Affordable Care Act. A historic and constitutional piece of legislation, the ACA holds insurance companies accountable, prohibits gender-based insurance pricing and makes health care more accessible for all. The ACA has allowed more than 3.1 million young adults to be insured under their parent’s plan until they’re 26 years old and provides preventive services to women with no co-pay. Ryan couldn’t care less, and I suppose that means he’s anti-young adults, too.
Overall, Ryan hopping onto the Romney train is going to do more good for the left than for the right. Ryan may unite the ultra-conservatives, but the rest of rational folks see through his facade and are ready to keep moving this nation forward with an Obama-Biden ticket.