Game Theory, Individual v. Collective, Liberty, Trust

Paul Ryan is Fiscally Conservative?

So Paul Ryan is Mitt Romney’s choice for the “Guy Who Won’t Actually Do Anything but Will Hopefully Win Me Some Swing Voters In A Close State” known formally as the vice president. This has upset many liberals who believe his budget cut proposals (which mostly just cut previously planned budget increases) were too extreme. Obama’s senior campaign advisor, David Axelrod, went so far as to call him a “right wing idealogue.”

And some free-marketers are at least caustiously optimistic about him. Cato had mostly good things to say and he’s even gotten some very tepid praise on this blog.

But the truth is, Paul Ryan’s record leaves a lot to be desired on a fiscally conservative front. Marcus Tully from the Republican Liberty Caucus combed through his voting record and needless to say, it’s not very fiscally conservative:

Paul Ryan on Bailouts and Government Stimuli
-Voted YES on TARP (2008)
-Voted YES on Economic Stimulus HR 5140 (2008)
-Voted YES on $15B bailout for GM and Chrysler. (Dec 2008)
-Voted YES on $192B additional anti-recession stimulus spending. (Jul 2009)

Paul Ryan on Entitlement Programs
-Voted YES on limited prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients. (Nov 2003)
-Voted YES on providing $70 million for Section 8 Housing vouchers. (Jun 2006)
-Voted YES on extending unemployment benefits from 39 weeks to 59 weeks. (Oct 2008)
-Voted YES on Head Start Act (2007)

Paul Ryan on Education

 -Voted YES on No Child Left Behind Act (2001)

And remember, more than two-thirds of Republicans voted against TARP, so it’s not like he can say he was just going along with the crowd. Furthermore, for those who are libertarian minded like myself, he not surprisingly doesn’t do to well on civil liberties and peace either:

Paul Ryan on Civil Liberties
-Voted YES on federalizing rules for driver licenses to hinder terrorists. (Feb 2005)
-Voted YES on making the PATRIOT Act permanent. (Dec 2005)
-Voted YES on allowing electronic surveillance without a warrant. (Sep 2006)

Paul Ryan on War and Intervention Abroad
-Voted YES on authorizing military force in Iraq. (Oct 2002)
-Voted YES on emergency $78B for war in Iraq & Afghanistan. (Apr 2003)
-Voted YES on declaring Iraq part of War on Terror with no exit date. (Jun 2006)
-Voted NO on redeploying US troops out of Iraq starting in 90 days. (May 2007)

So no, the Paul Ryan pick doesn’t change anything. Mitt Romney still represents the status quo, just like Barack Obama.

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