In selecting Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney has doubled-down on the one thing he has never flip-flopped on: economic elitism. Romney, born to wealth, has selected Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, who was also born to wealth. As the former University of Oklahoma football coach, Barry Switzer, once said of someone else: both these guys were born on third and thought they hit a triple. There's nothing wrong with inherited wealth. Lord knows great presidents from FDR to JFK came into their fortunes through the luck of birth. But there is something wrong with winners of the lineage lottery who want to hammer those who did not have the foresight to select wealthy sperm and egg. Finally, we have peered into Mitt Romney's core. It is neither pro-choice nor pro-life; neither pro-NRA nor pro-gun control; neither pro-equality nor antigay. But it is pro-wealth and very anti–middle class. Mitt Romney has decided to go nuclear in the class war. Paul Ryan, the darling of the New York–Washington media elite, is almost certainly not the most qualified person Romney could have picked. Unlike governors like Chris Christie or Tim Pawlenty, or a former high-ranking White House official like Rob Portman, Ryan has never run anything larger than his congressional office or the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile. The elite love Ryan because he speaks for more cowardly members of their class; his stridently anti–middle class policies are music to their ears. You will often hear people who ought to know better dress up Ryan's savage economic priorities with euphemisms. Ryan wants to "fix" Medicare. No, he doesn't. He wants to kill it. Saying Paul Ryan wants to "fix" Medicare is like saying the vet wanted to "fix" my dog Major; that which used to work very well no longer works at all—and Major is none too happy with the procedure. Think about that. As my buddy James Carville has said, what would all the Best People say if Nancy Pelosi made her staffers read, say, Margaret Sanger? Or if Barack Obama made interns study Das Kapital? Sure, a few months ago, facing Catholic protestors at Georgetown University, Ryan said he renounced Rand. But as the national Catholic weekly, America, wrote, he did not change the substance of a single policy. Some renunciation. It seems to me Ryan has renounced Rand's politically incorrect atheism, not her morally bankrupt philosophy of Screw Thy Neighbor. Politically, the choice does the one thing Romney needed least of all: it shifts the focus of the 2012 presidential election away from the soft economy and onto the Ryan—now, Romney-Ryan—budget. The most radical governing document in a generation, the Romney-Ryan budget would dramatically alter America's basic social compact. No less an expert than Newt Gingrich called it "right-wing social engineering". Don't be fooled. Ryan is no deficit hawk. He voted for all the policies that created the current ocean of red ink: the Bush tax cuts for the rich; the war in Iraq; the Bush Medicare prescription-drug plan, the first entitlement without a dedicated revenue source. Ryan cloaks his brutal budget in the urgent rhetoric of fiscal responsibility, but that's a Trojan Horse. As the Center for American Progress has noted, under the Romney-Ryan budget, "the national debt, measured as a share of GDP, would never decline, surpassing 80 percent by 2014, and 90 percent by 2022." Ryan's real goal is to destroy the ladder of opportunity for the poor and the middle class. Look at his budget: Medicare would be shattered and replaced with a voucher system wherein seniors would be given a stipend and told to negotiate with the health insurance goliaths. According to the Congressional Budget Office, ten years after the Ryan plan was enacted, seniors would pay $6,400 per year more for the same health care, as the stipend would fail to keep up with projected cost increases. And that's just for starters. One out of every four dollars spent on transportation—which is already underfunded—would be cut. Veterans' benefits would be cut 13 percent from what President Obama says is needed. Young men Paul Ryan voted to send into combat would suffer once more on the home front. Education would be cut, food safety, air traffic control, environmental protection—almost everything that makes us safer, smarter or stronger—would get hammered. How can a budget so brutal not make a dent in the debt? If you have to ask you have not been paying attention. What is the holy grail for princelings like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan? Of course: tax cuts for the rich. The Tax Policy Center crunched the numbers and found that under Romney's proposal, 95 percent of Americans would see their taxes go up by an average of $500, but millionaires would receive an extra $87,000 tax cut. The net result: an $86 billion annual shift in the tax burden away from those making over $200,000 a year and onto those making less. And so Romney Hood has his Friar Tuck. And somewhere in hell, Ayn Rand is cackling with glee. Like The Daily Beast on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates all day long. Paul Begala is a Newsweek/Daily Beast columnist, a CNN contributor, an affiliated professor of public policy at Georgetown, and a senior adviser to Priorities USA Action, a progressive PAC. For inquiries, please contact The Daily Beast at email@example.com. Ryan's budget is the fiscal embodiment of the deeply evil, wholeheartedly selfish so-called philosophy of Ayn Rand. In fact, Ryan has described Rand as "the reason I got involved in public service," and reportedly makes staffers read her works.Ryan has family business connection to earth moving industry. A mini-Dick Cheney II in some senses: In recent years, he has significant investments in Oklahoma mineral industries. Read on in Politico.
Unlike Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan’s personal wealth is no mystery Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79611.html#ixzz23KjyOcVT By DAVE LEVINTHAL | 8/11/12 11:46 AM EDT The details of Paul Ryan’s personal wealth are no mystery — unlike those of Mitt Romney. And while Ryan is nowhere close to the nine-figure wealth Romney boasts, he isn’t exactly hurting, either. Latest on POLITICO Hirono, Lingle prevail in Hawaii Meet Janna Ryan Ryan is liked by friends and foes Is Ryan just Mitt squared? 8 Dem slams against the Ryan budget Mitt hugs Ryan, not budget Ryan’s overall net worth falls between $927,100 and $3.20 million, making him the 124th wealthiest member of the House, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics of the new Republican vice presidential candidate’s 2010 personal financial filings. (PHOTOS: Scenes from Romney's running-mate announcement) Additional personal financial disclosures by Ryan, who by law has each year filed such reports since entering Congress in 1999, indicate that the Wisconsin congressman has maintained well-above-average wealth for the duration of his congressional tenure. Ultra-wealthy Romney, in contrast, has largely occluded his recent personal financial history. He’s refused to release his recent tax returns before 2010, and unlike Ryan, is under no obligation to release annual personal financial disclosure reports. While running for president in 2007, Romney did file a federal public financial disclosure report that listed hundreds of assets across numerous financial categories. Ryan, meanwhile, has to date been under no significant pressure or obligation to release his personal Internal Revenue Service filings, although calls to do so will likely begin immediately. “It’ll be very, very interesting to see if Ryan releases his tax returns,” said Kathy Kiely, managing editor for the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation, which tracks political money. Ryan’s latest personal financial disclosure report, which covers calendar year 2011, lists several dozen stocks and mutual funds he or his wife, Janna, own. Ryan’s individual investments are generally modest, ranging in value from $1,001 to $15,000. (Federal law only requires lawmakers to report their assets and liabilities in broad ranges.) These include stock in well-known companies that run the gamut from tobacco and oil interests to fast food and athletic wear. Among them: Amazon.com, Air Products Chemicals, Accenture, Berkshire Hathaway, Estée Lauder, McDonald’s, Kraft Foods, Nike, Praixair, Ralph Lauren, Starbucks, Priceline.com, Mastercard, Google, Wells Fargo, Procter & Gamble, IBM, United Technologies, Visa, General Electric, ExxonMobil, Apple, Bristol Myers Squibb, Citrix Systems and tobacco companies Altria and Phillip Morris. Ryan also reported a holding in the Ryan Limited Partnership worth up to $250,000. He reported no financial liabilities. (PHOTOS: Paul Ryan through the years) Janna Ryan also individually reported a living trust fund worth $1 million to $5 million, that ranks as the largest asset they collectively reported for last year. She also individually reported up to $250,000 in assets tied to gravel rights with Blondie & Brownie LLC, $100,000 in mineral rights holdings, as well as up to $100,000 worth of holdings in the Little Land Co. All are located in Oklahoma. Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79611.html#ixzz23Kk7jtXC