August 15 2012
Paul Ryan: Why He's Good for Women
Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York is the latest Democrat to take up the refrain that Paul Ryan's policies are bad for women.
Writing in the Huffington Post, Maloney opines:
With the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's running mate, the Republican Party has clearly signaled that it wants to go full steam ahead and double down on their War on Women.
Mr. Ryan's views fall so far outside the mainstream of American thought, practice and tradition, that what he proposes is no less than a radical reshaping of the social compact that has made our country the envy of the world. His proposed policies would march us backward and would impact millions of American women at every stage of life.
Their futures would be endangered, their opportunities diminished, their choices constrained and the implicit guarantee that women and men in their senior years may look forward to a modicum of dignity and security, would be torn to pieces.
Well, I certainly don’t want to have my future endangered, my opportunities diminished, or my senior years torn to pieces. But isn’t Ms. Maloney being a bit hyperbolic? This piece sounds like it was written by somebody who needs a valium or a nice warm glass of milk.
It is difficult to tell whether particular claims Maloney makes are misunderstandings or willful misrepresentations. Maloney says Ryan would harm middle class families by “shifting more of the total tax burden onto the shoulders of those who can least afford it, while reducing the tax rate of wealthy individuals like Mr. Romney to virtually zero.”
This isn't true. The wealthy will continue to pay the lion's share of taxes, but it is true that their taxes would not be so burdensome as to prevent them from investing in new ventures and buying things that cause others to have jobs. Instead of soaking the middle class, Ryan proposed reducing the federal budget. Both his budget plans passed in the House and died in the Senate. He is now Mitt Romney's running mate and it is the Romney plan that matters (though, unlike Maloney, I would be delighted if Ryan were to become the point man on the budget, as he undoubtedly will if Romney is elected).
Here is how CNBC’s Larry Kudlow explained the Romney proposals:
The [Romney] plan would lower the spending share of GDP to 20 percent from 24 percent by 2016, which is probably the largest proposed spending cut ever. The cumulative net savings of that cut could be a whopping $1.8 trillion, which not only would finance huge deficit reduction, but also would help pay for Romney's pro-growth tax reform: a supply-side, across-the-board 20 percent personal-tax-rate reduction, a limit or end to various tax deductions for upper-income payers, and a dramatically reduced corporate tax rate, from 35 percent to 25 percent -- perhaps the most powerful growth stimulant of all. Rounding out the economic program is a regulatory rollback, entitlement, trade, education and energy reform, and a sound monetary policy -- replacing Ben Bernanke at the Federal Reserve.
The liberal Brookings Institute seized on the tax portion of this plan, arguing that revenue neutrality would force Romney to end deductions and raise taxes on the middle class. Nonsense. That analysis completely misses the massive spending reduction in the overall package, along with growth incentives for everyone and base-broadeners only for the upper brackets.
Ms. Maloney says (and I haven’t checked the figures) that Ryan’s budget “would cut education, training, employment, and social services spending by 33 percent.” To this I can only say: “Bravo.”
Job training programs, duplicated again and again throughout the federal system, rarely help anybody do more than mark time and the problems with education aren’t there because we aren’t throwing enough money at the teacher’s union. These cuts should put some money in middle-class pockets.
Maloney writes that 100,000 children could lose access to Head Start if Ryan’s plan is enacted. As my colleague Carrie Lukas noted in a Forbes magazine piece, Head Start has not been as effective as was hoped:
In January 2010, after four years of “analysis,” the HHS Department finally released the results on Head Start’s impact on first graders. The study found that, compared to their control group peers, Head Start failed to boost students’ cognitive abilities across 41 measures. Moreover, first grade teachers reported that former Head Start students were actually less prepared in math than the non-Head Start students.
Spending on Head Start over the program’s lifetime exceeds $180 billion. It has become little more a high-dollar babysitting program.
Maloney is quite right that Ryan does want to repeal Obamacare. I hope he does this. If he doesn’t, hale and hardy older women will find themselves being told by bureaucrats they’ve never met that a hip replacement is out of the question. Indeed, Ryan offers the best chance Medicare has to survive—he would allow present beneficiaries and those 55 and older to opt for the present system. But he would introduce an option for a voucher system that would make individuals more responsible for their medical decisions.
Maloney is also correct that Ryan is pro-life. But Maloney twists his views into caricatures, implying that he would deny women contraception. Ryan is against the HHS contraception mandate that would force Catholic and other religiously-based employers to pay for contraception coverage.
Saying that Father O'Reilly shouldn't be forced to pay for your contraception is not the same as preventing women from paying for their own contraception (though I realized that asking somebody to buy something without Uncle Sam’s help is fast becoming an obsolete concept).
IWF has applauded the selection of Ryan because we believe that liberty and prosperity are best for women and men alike.
We’d rather see the money government wastes left with middle class Americans.