President Barack Obama’s lackluster debate performance against Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney brings increased urgency for Vice President Joe Biden to expose Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s radical proposals.
In the vice presidential debate on Thursday Oct. 11, Biden can’t afford to repeat the same mistake that the president made in not challenging his opponents extremist positions.
Biden and Ryan will square off at Centre College, Danville, Ky.
Biden’s job is to expose the House Budget Committee chairman’s far-right record.
Despite his calm, genial demeanor, Paul Ryan is no moderate politician.
The Wisconsin congressman is a radical right-winger. He is an admirer of the novelist and libertarian philosopher Ayn Rand who advocated selfishness and unfettered capitalism. Ryan was such an admirer of Rand he used to give her books out to his staff.
Ryan’s Path to Prosperity budget proposal is a fiscal blueprint that would radically reshape federal spending and taxing policies in favor of the rich.
The measure, which the Republican-controlled House passed this year, called for major changes to Medicare, deep cuts in safety-net programs such as food stamps and Medicaid, repeal of the new health-care law, and lower taxes for the wealthy and corporations. Fortunately, the Democratic-controlled Senate rejected the measure.
The Ryan plan, endorsed by Romney, would change Medicare, the federal health care program for retirees, from a “defined benefit” into a voucher program to buy insurance.
Under the plan those under 55 would face a dramatically different Medicare system. They would get a voucher that independent analysts say would likely increase future out-of-pocket expenses because it can’t keep pace with healthcare expenses.
During the Republican primary Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House in the 1990s, called the Ryan plan to drastically overhaul Medicare “too radical,” and referred to Ryan’s proposals as “right-wing social engineering.”
Medicare is not the only social net program Ryan wants to radically overhaul.
In 2004, Ryan advocated a plan to privatize Social Security. The next year, President George W. Bush pushed a similar idea. Republicans lost control of the House in 2006.
In 2010, Ryan proposed a “Roadmap for America’s Future,” a plan to cut the deficit with deep cuts to social programs while lowering taxes for the rich and corporations.
Ryan calls for making the Bush-era tax cuts permanent while slashing spending on education, the environment, housing, transportation and other domestic programs, as well as most regulatory functions.
Romney says he is in agreement with most of Ryan’s plans.
In the upcoming debate Thursday night, Biden should not allow Ryan to soften or sidestep from his far-right record.