Georgia – Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate illustrates the profound and stark differences between the presidential nominees in the upcoming November election.
“The Ryan choice highlights future attacks on seniors, students, the middle class and veterans. Romney and Ryan have both advocated the privatization of Social Security,” said DPG Chairman Mike Berlon. “They are also fanatical about changing Medicare to a voucher-style program, with the value of each voucher decreasing over time. This would leave a bigger and bigger gap for our seniors to pay out of their own pocket.”
Privatizing Social Security and changing Medicare to a voucher system are positions that the Democratic Party strongly opposes. “Protecting our seniors is a priority, not a mere option – which is what Ryan and Romney’s plans suggest,” said Berlon.
Another stark difference between the presidential candidates is tax policy, where Ryan’s 2010 budget plan raised taxes on the middle class while cutting taxes for the wealthy. Tax deductions like the mortgage interest deduction and health premiums are cut or eliminated under the Ryan plan.
Under Romney’s plan, more than a million middle class Georgia families would face a tax increase. The average tax increase for families with children would be $2,000. Yet while the middle class pays more, the richest Americans would get another $250,000 tax break each.
“Democrats don’t believe that millionaires should get additional tax breaks while middle class taxes go up,” said Berlon. “Why are we asking teachers and factory workers to pay more in taxes? They’re the ones that have been hurt the most by the Bush recession, especially here in Georgia.”
Other critical differences include:
- Ryan’s budget would slash income security programs for the poor by 16%.
- Transportation would be cut by 25%.
- Investment in education, training and other social services would be cut by 33%.
- Substantially cut Pell grants that would affect more than 250,000 students.
Ryan’s tax plan is similar to Mitt Romney’s in that middle-class families could pay thousands of dollars more a year in taxes to fund tax cuts for millionaires, all while losing the security of Medicare and Social Security. In addition, funding for students through Pell grants would be cut dramatically. “At a time when education is so critical to our national fabric, why would we cut funding for education for those who need it most?” questioned Berlon.
“We need sensible solutions,” concluded Berlon. “Democrats know that Ryan and Romney’s plan would reverse America’s recovery. We can’t balance the federal budget on the backs of our middle-class. Romney’s choice here shows how out of touch he is with real working families. ”