It's been a political love fest today as Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney announced that Rep. Paul Ryan is his running mate.
Quick pairing clarification: Calm down jubilant conservatives. Ryan will be the vice president, VP, veep, not the Oval Office occupant, if the Romney-Ryan ticket wins the coming election. Today's "next president" misspeak by Romney was no more significant than the similar gaffe committed by Barack Obama when he revealed Joe Biden as the next president vice president back in 2008.
Romney's verbal misstep aside, spirits are high among the Grand Old Party. Ryan is young, articulate, has shown a willingness to go head-to-head with opponents and, as noted, more politically acceptable to the Republican party's right wing base.
But there's also a significant amount of love of the Ryan choice on the Democratic side, primarily because the Wisconsin Republican has long argued for changes that would essentially eliminate Medicaid and Medicare and substantially change Social Security.
Those programs are core to the Democratic platform. And Ryan's proposed changes weren't as popular as he or his party had hoped.
You can, however, count on them soon being resurrected, just not legislatively. The Ryan plans will appear prominently in Obama campaign ads.
Tax ideas, too: Ryan also has some ideas about taxes, refined in his capacity as chairman of the House Budget Committee and member of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee.
In fact, many of the Ryan proposals were included in the tax bill that the House approved before heading out for the August recess district work session.
And the new presumptive GOP veep's revenue proposals differ not only from the Democrats' positions, but also a bit from Romney's proposed tax law tweaks.
The table below highlights the Romney vs. Ryan tax plans.
|Individual income tax rates||Reduce all current tax rates by 20 percent, creating six rates of 8 percent, 12 percent, 20 percent, 22.4 percent, 26.4 percent and 28 percent
||10 percent rate on income up to $50,000 for single filers and $100,000 for joint filers; 25 percent on taxable income above these amounts. Eliminate most tax deductions, credits and exclusions but increase the standard deduction and personal exemption amounts. Taxpayers also would have the option to use existing tax laws if that provided a better filing result.|
|Corporate taxes||25 percent U.S. tax rate and for multinational corporations a territorial system where taxes basically would be collected only by the countries in which the money was made||Replace corporate income tax with a border-adjustable business consumption tax of 8.5 percent|
|Investment taxes||No tax on any investment income for individuals with adjusted gross income of less than $200,000; 15 percent tax on interest, dividends and capital gains for individuals making $200,000 or more||No taxes on any investment earnings regardless of taxpayer's income
|Alternative minimum tax (AMT)||Repeal||Repeal|
Initial word from the Romney camp is that presidential wannabe is not planning to embrace either Ryan's Medicare or tax plans in the push for the White House.
But things could change as we near the Nov. 6 election day, so stay tuned.
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