Romney-Ryan’s con game

It’s Robin Hood in reverse

Here’s what you should know about the Romney-Ryan budget plan: It doesn’t do what it claims to do, which is reduce the deficit.

In fact, it won’t even produce a balanced budget until 2040, if then. In the meantime it will devastate the services the poor and the elderly depend on, like Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps, and increase taxes on the middle class while boosting spending on the military and cutting taxes on the wealthy.

You think Mitt Romney’s 13.9-percent tax payment is too low? Under the Romney-Ryan plan, it would be less than 1 percent. That’s because the plan eliminates taxes on capital gains, including the so-called “carried interest” on investment profits, the source of most of Romney’s vast wealth.

In other words, the plan is Robin Hood in reverse, a con game that, in the name of prosperity, takes from the poor and gives to the rich, who already have the greatest share of wealth since the Gilded Age.

The Romney-Ryan plan would end Medicare as we know it, substituting a voucher system that is guaranteed to shift costs onto seniors, as much as $6,400 annually, according to the Congressional Budget Office. By contrast, the Affordable Care Act saves money by reducing payments to hospitals and other providers, money they will make up by having more insured patients.

The Romney-Ryan plan is indefensible, so instead the candidates are attacking President Obama, charging he’s “cutting Medicare” and taking money from seniors’ pockets. That’s false and they know it, just as they know their charges about the president’s welfare-to-work proposals are false.

Paul Ryan talks a good game, but his numbers don’t add up. He’s got lots of ideas, but as a whole they don’t work. And Mitt Romney has no ideas of his own. This is a dangerous combination, and it’s why these men seeking the highest offices in the land are telling what they know are falsehoods.

Our guess is that President Obama is looking forward to his debates with Mitt Romney. It’s harder to lie about your opponent when he’s standing on the same stage.