Mitt Romney once said that "it's important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases." Paul Ryan once accused climate scientists of trying to "intentionally mislead the public." Those sound like very different views. But when it comes to energy and climate policy, Ryan and Romney don't disagree much at all.
Ryan's pro-bailout votes have raised the hackles of some conservatives, and he breaks from Romney on the auto bailout, which the former Massachusetts governor opposes. Over the past few years, however, Ryan has soured on the same bailouts that he voted for, arguing that they've been diverted from their original purposes and manipulated by administration officials for political purposes.
Ryan's biggest changes to Medicare don't start until 2023. But his overhaul of another entitlement program starts much sooner: Between 2013 and 2022, it would make nearly $1.4 trillion in cuts to Medicaid that "would almost inevitably result in dramatic reductions in coverage" as well as enrollment, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Most Americans don't know much about Paul Ryan. Even some of Ryan's most ardent fans don't know much about his policies. So today, in Wonkbook, we've got the primer on Paul Ryan, his policies, and what he may or may not mean to the election. Read on for everything you need to know about the wonk from Wisconsin.
Both campaigns seem to agree that Mitt Romney's pick of Paul Ryan for the veep spot sets up a big, clear policy choice for the election. President Obama's vision for the federal budget is very different from Paul Ryan's. But what do these differences mean in concrete terms? Here's an analysis we did back in March, when Ryan released his 2013 budget, that tried to flesh the differences.
If you know about Paul Ryan at all, you probably know him as a deficit hawk. But Ryan has voted to increase deficits and expand government spending too many times for that to be his north star. Rather, the common thread throughout his career is his desire to remake the basic architecture of the the federal government.
If you've heard of Paul Ryan, you've heard of Paul Ryan's budget. But Ryan has been in the House of Representatives for fourteen years, and has proposed many, many others bills. Looking through the Library of Congress' records, by my count Ryan has sponsored 71 bills or amendments, and cosponsored 971 bills. That's a lot of legislation, and some of it is pretty interesting.