Thursday, August 30, 2012

Germany: Ryan more dangerous than Sarah Palin

Der Spiegel

Romney Running Mate Ryan More Dangerous than Sarah Palin

With Palin now largely an object of ridicule, it is easy to forget just how engaging she was four years ago when she made her opening speech as John McCain's vice presidential candidate. Immediately, she transfixed both the convention and millions watching on television. And her speech culminated in the now famous sentence that the only difference between a "hockey mom" and a pitbull was lipstick.

The world listened with fascination because they sensed the fighting spirit of a woman who was once nicknamed "Barracuda" on the basketball court. And they also listened in fear. Within half and hour, Palin had, in the view of many Europeans, ousted George W. Bush as the defining symbol of a hard and sometimes ruthless America.
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Ryan's own philosophy calls for making cuts that will affect the weak. Ryan would like to see the introduction of a voucher system to replace Medicare and supports the repeal of President Barack Obama's healthcare plan, which would affect the 30 million Americans who would receive health insurance under his reform. But cuts would also reach further, to government protection against epidemics, for example, or even to fire fighters. In Ryan's stripped-down state, there would be little money available for such luxuries.

But wouldn't such a slash-and-burn approach actually reduce America's massive debt? Many experts believe it is very unlikely. After all, Ryan also wants to give more to the rich. He would reduce their taxes, so that Mitt Romney, say, who has an estimated personal fortune of around $250 million, would only face a tax rate of 0.82 percent.

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Palin was not able to prove herself as a leader of the angry conservatives, for want of expertise and ideas. Ryan, on the other hand, knows exactly what he wants to achieve in the White House -- better, in fact, that his boss Romney does. It is strange that the number two has a plan ready, but the number one does not, wrote The Economist.

Mitt Romney, 65, will be quickly forgotten among Republicans, should he lose the election. Paul Ryan, 42, however, is likely to win, even if he loses now at Romney's side. He still has many years to influence the American right.

Read it at Der Spiegel:

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