"An Extreme Choice" -- What Two of Wisconsin's Leading Progressive Journalists Think About Mitt Romney's Pick of Paul Ryan
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MATTHEW ROTHSCHILD: Yeah. He wants to do two things. He wants to partially privatize Social Security, so people can, instead of investing in the Social Security system, which you do now automatically, could take a sum of those funds, invest in Wall Street. Again, this would be a huge gift to Wall Street. And secondly, he would lift the retirement age from 65 to 67. And so, you know, we’d be working longer and longer, and we’d have more of our savings at risk. The problem with investing in the stock market, if the market goes down, then you’re going to be out of luck. And so, what happened, you know, back in the New Deal, we had one out of three elderly people who were in poverty. And after the New Deal and the Great Society programs, that got under 10 percent. And so, do we really want to go back to where we had one out of three, one out of two elderly people who are in poverty? I don’t think that’s the system we want to get to. But that’s the system that Paul Ryan may drive us to.
AMY GOODMAN: Interestingly, President Bush would not adopt Paul Ryan’s budget plan, his recommendations.
MATTHEW ROTHSCHILD: Yeah, I mean, that gives you an indication of just how far right Paul Ryan is here. He’s to the right of both President Bushes. I think he’s to the right of Dick Cheney on some of these issues. And so, we have a guy who is just so far over to the edge that he is actually—he may hurt Romney’s chances, in some ways, because of that, but on the other hand, I think he’s going to help the Republican agenda, the Wall Street agenda, the primitive free market capitalist agenda, because he’s going to be out there every day now peddling this stuff. And unless Obama and unless Biden can really hammer that into the ground, we’re going to have to live with the consequences of that, whether Romney-Ryan win or not.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you, Matt Rothschild, for being with us, editor and publisher of The Progressive magazine, John Nichols, political writer for The Nation, author of Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street.