Column: Paul Ryan is essential to voter choice

Jeff Hoayun

Paul Ryan by United States Congress (http://i.imgur.com/aIyv2.jpg) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Mitt Romney has finally revealed his pick for vice president to be Paul Ryan, Chairman of the House Budget Committee.

The fact that Romney chose Ryan for VP over other such notable contenders in the Republican Party such as Rob Portman and Marco Rubio, speaks volumes for what Romney’s campaign strategy will be in the final months leading up to the election.

Before he selected Ryan, Romney campaigned on big ideas like his “59 bullet points” job plan that were relatively light on certain details compared to the 400+ page detail of Obama’s American Jobs Act. Specifics for how he would cut income tax rates for all tax brackets, limit income tax deductions and exemptions for the wealthy, cut corporate taxes, and suffer no tax revenue loss while balancing the budget, have been vague.

Where there were previously question marks, Ryan gives us a much better picture with the budgetary plan he presented to congress earlier this year.

The budget plan, also known as “The Path to Prosperity,” aimed to overhaul Medicare, Medicaid, and the tax code among other things with the ultimate goal of balancing the budget and ultimately drawing down the national debt. The plan passed in the house by a vote of 235 to 193, but died in the senate 57 to 40.

While I disagree with Ryan’s policies, I cannot deny that Ryan is a man of ideas and action, especially since congress has not passed a yearly budget since 2009. The fact that there is even an alternative plan at all to Obama’s American Jobs Act excites me.

Conservative and Independent voters should be excited too, after all, Ryan is not just a bona fide conservative figure in the Republican Party. He is also lauded among conservatives as a man on the cutting edge of conservative thinking in being head of the House Budget Committee. During his tenure, he provided an ambitious and highly contentious budget plan that congress voted on in early 2012.

With this single pick, Romney has drawn the definitive line between his previous moderate progressive incarnations from earlier in the 2000s and his new deeply conservative campaign. Compared to then and now, Mitt Romney is almost a different person, having flipped on numerous issues like the auto industry bailout, gay marriage, abortion, and Romney care.

But if there was any lingering doubt that Romney was conservative enough in his intent for the Republican Party and America, the addition of Ryan should eradicate it, since he too stands strong in opposition to all these things.
In other words, voters like me will finally have a legitimate, clear cut, reason to consider voting for or against Romney other than him not being a Democrat like Obama. This sort of clear political identity is something Romney needs sorely if he wants any shot at winning in November.

When I vote against Romney in the November, it won’t be because I think he is disingenuous or too murky on his stances with various issues, but instead it will likely be because I fundamentally disagree with policies he would work to put into place while in office. And for me, the notion that I will have a choice between two candidates with compelling, detailed, contrasting plans for America is what matters most.

It’s about time we had an honest choice between two very different solutions towards growing jobs, and fixing the government budget. I think the choice of Ryan as his VP adds some much needed conservative heft and credibility to Romney’s campaign to do just that.

After all, this isn’t just a choice between presidents so much as it is deciding the future shape and scope of our government. The stakes are high, and having a compelling choice as to how this occurs is important.