Now that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has picked U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate, any doubts anyone had about the intentions of the right-wing political machine regarding who it represents should be gone. Republicans clearly intend a full-court press against the 99 percent who are not part of the plutocracy. The so-called Ryan budget is nothing less than a draconian attack on the middle and lower classes and rubs the noses of working-class people, the elderly, the young and those who aspire to the American dream in their arrogance.
In case you forgot, the Ryan plan intends to “end Medicare as we know it." What he means by that is taxpayer money will be used for vouchers to pay some portion of health care determined by private, for-profit insurers and leave the patient holding the bag for the rest of the bill. The plan also intends to end or severely cut the federal food stamps program. For my compassionate friends, that’s the program that has somewhat helped recipients while they struggle to feed themselves and their children. Ryan’s plan talks about cutting Social Security benefits and even, perhaps, using Wall Street as an investment vehicle for those paying into the most successful government-sponsored social service in the history of mankind. Does anyone remember 1929, 1986 or 2008?
What Romney did was pick some guy who will satisfy the base instincts of the Republican faithful: the billionaires and millionaires of the top 1 percent. These are the people who are taking trillions of dollars of our capital and putting it in foreign banks for a “rainy day” — no doubt one they fully intend to create — and making sure the election game is rigged so they will retain control of the government and the Supreme Court. This contingent cares not a whit for the future of the American worker or his or her children. They only care about money, power and how much of it they can accumulate for purposes yet unknown.
I say that because there is no upside to the Ryan plan. It’s all about cutting so-called “discretionary spending." There is no new revenue being generated in the plan, because the higher tax brackets will be reduced again while the lower tax brackets will be increased. The Congressional Budget Office determined the Ryan plan will increase deficits while putting more working people at risk for their financial well-being. Homes will be confiscated. Schools will be closed. People will get sicker. The country will decline — except for our military-industrial complex, of course. After all, it’s still part of the Republican agenda to go to war as a first rather than a last option, as long as their sons and daughters don’t have to fight, I suppose.
So, as we move toward Election Day, listen for the term, “class warfare” in the campaigns. Pay attention to who is saying it and who is conducting it.
Turner is a retired teacher and industrial engineer who lives near Marble Falls. He is an independent columnist, not a staff member, and his views do not necessarily reflect those of The Tribune or its parent company. "The Voter’s Guide to National Salvation" is a newly published e-book from Turner. You can find it at www.barnesandnoble.com/ebooks. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.