Tom Allen: Ryan Pick Commentary on Dysfunctional Politics

I served with Paul Ryan for 10 of my 12 years in Congress, and 4 years together on the House Budget Committee.

Paul is bright, pleasant, hard-working—a real gentleman.

But he is also an ideologue, inspired by Ayn Rand, fiercely opposed to federal spending and a passionate believer in the power of tax cuts to stimulate economic growth in all circumstances.

The budget proposals he has presented the last three years reduce taxes for the wealthy, and services (and tax breaks) for the middle class.

Ryan is a small government conservative; not a deficit hawk.

Ryan is also a high risk choice for Romney; his campaign must be gambling that Ryan’s ideas will not be well enough understood to hurt Romney’s chances.  Since ideas get trivialized and trampled by media coverage anyway, they may be right.

It is a sad commentary on our dysfunctional politics that the Republican nominee felt he had to choose someone on the right wing of the party rather than reach out to the middle of the electorate.

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