To conservatives and liberals alike, the great virtue of Ryan's selection is the license it gives to have a debate on the merits of the sort of truly contentious issue politicians usually prefer to obfuscate. The supporters I talked to thrilled to his steadfastness, bravery, and ideological core. If Romney starts running away from his politically difficult ideas, that appeal disappears.
There's also the question of how far Ryan will allow Romney to stray from his plan. Before he gave Romney his late endorsement in the spring, Ryan met at length with Romney and briefed him on the budget plan, only agreeing to give his support when he was satisfied the front-runner was on his wavelength. "I have spoken to him repeatedly. I'm convinced he'll do the right thing when it comes to the budget and averting a debt crisis," Ryan told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel at the time.
But if even Ryan won't keep Romney on board with the Ryan plan, there's one entity that definitely will: the Obama campaign. Obama has been campaigning against the Ryan plan, and tying Romney to it, since April. If Romney disowns it, the left will take almost as much pleasure at calling him out as a flip-flopper as they're currently taking in calling him an extremist. ...Molly Ball, The Atlantic
Under Paul Ryan's plan, Mitt Romney wouldn't pay any taxes for the next ten years -- or any of the years after that. Now, do I know that that's true. Yes, I'm certain.
Well, maybe not quite nothing. In 2010 -- the only year we have seen a full return from him -- Romney would have paid an effective tax rate of around 0.82 percent under the Ryan plan, rather than the 13.9 percent he actually did. ...
...Ryan would actually raise taxes on the bottom 30 percent of earners, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, but that hardly fills the revenue hole he would create. The solution? All but eliminate all government outside of Social Security and defense -- a point my colleague Derek Thompson has made in incredible chart form.
Maybe Harry Reid's mysterious source that Romney didn't pay taxes for a decade was really a time-traveler from the future. If Romney wins, it could very well be true. ...Matthew O'Brien, The Atlantic
Naw! Romney won't abandon the Ryan plan. Not if it guarantees him a 1% tax rate and throws useless critics with low earnings into the drink.