Many Republicans and independents are asking “What does Paul Ryan stand for?” Prior to Romney’s selection of Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate, most Americans had no real opinion of Paul Ryan. Most political activists are familiar with Ryan, but two out three people had no opinion of Ryan until recently. Today, according to Rasmussen polls, Ryan has a 50% favorability rating, and a 32% unfavorable rating. A month ago, his favorable rating was 39%, and his unfavorable rating was 25%.
Ryan is serving his 7th term in the United States House of Representatives, and he is running for an 8th term in November 2012. So what does Paul Ryan stand for?
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Ryan is most well-known for his budget proposals in recent years. In his 2010 budget proposal, he proposed to cut the top tax rate to 25%, which is well below the current top tax rate of 35%. Ryan has consistently proposed sweeping tax rate cuts for Americans in all tax brackets. He also proposed eliminating taxes on dividends, interest, capital gains, estate taxes, and various other taxes. President Obama was quoted as saying that Ryan was someone he could work with to solve the current budget crisis in the United States, but Obama has been much more critical of Ryan in recent times as the 2012 election heats up.
Ryan pushed the Bush administration to pursue privatization of Social Security.
Fiscal Policy and Tax Policy
Paul Ryan has often been portrayed as a model of conservative policies, but this is not entirely correct. Even though he had a record of supporting the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, he also supported TARP and the bailout of 2008. While Ryan typically portrays himself as a fiscal conservative, his voting history shows that he is not closed to the idea of bailouts and government financial rescue programs. Some people have referred to him as a deficit hawk, but the reality is that he does not always oppose increased government spending.
Ryan does not have a strong record on foreign policy, but his votes during the Bush administration indicate he supports a strong military. He voted for the Iraq Resolution of 2002. He also voted for H.R. 4310 in 2012 which increases spending within the military.
Paul Ryan is an advocate for school vouchers. In Ryan’s recent budget proposals, he has proposed to cut spending for education. He also supports changes to the Pell Grant program. He is a strong supporter of for-profit colleges and privatized education, and by requesting these changes, he is trying to create a more competitive environment where private schools can compete with public schools for students. Ryan also voted for the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
Ryan strongly opposes Obamacare, and he would work to have it repealed if he becomes Vice President in 2013. Ryan has proposed sweeping changes to the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Under his budget proposals, the government would stop funding Medicare for anyone born after 1958. Medicare would be privatized for younger Americans. With his Medicaid proposals, the Federal government’s contribution to the program would decrease by $800 billion over the next ten years.
Rep. Paul Ryan was born and raised in the Catholic Church, and he attended a private Catholic school during his grade school years. He is a member of St. John Vianney Catholic Church.
As a result of his strong Catholic upbringing, he is strong on conservative social issues. He has always opposed abortion, and he even opposes abortion in cases of rape and incest. He does support abortion if the woman’s life is at risk, but he always opposes Pro-Choice initiatives.
He is firm in his position on gay marriage. He opposes gay marriage, and he would support a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
Ryan opposed the DREAM act, and recently has opposed any attempts to make illegal immigrants citizens of the United States.
He strongly supports the 2nd amendment rights of gun ownership. He does not support environmental initiatives, and he does not support limiting free speech on the internet.
So what does Paul Ryan stand for? Overall, he appears to be much more conservative than Mitt Romney, and from the view of most conservatives, he makes an excellent choice as the next Vice President of the United States.