Republicans seem super-excited about Mitt Romney's pick of Paul Ryan to be his VP. They seem to think he's a tough-talking, fiscally-responsible conservative who can (and, indeed, seems to be) charging up the base. Democrats seem to either think that he's an even worse choice than Mitt, or a great choice because he's vulnerable to lots of attacks.
Let's look at his record, courtesy of Michael Johnson (via comments on Judge Napolitano's Facebook wall):
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
Rep. Ryan went along with the Bush Administration in supporting more federal involvement in education. This is contrary to the traditional Republican position, which included support for abolition of the Department of Education and decreasing federal involvement in education.
-Voted YES on No Child Left Behind Act (2001)
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)
It's pretty hard for me to get excited about a voting record like this. In fact, where's the difference between this and what Obama's been pushing? The only difference I can see is that Ryan proposes to kick the Medicare can further down the road. Ryan definitely has a better record than anyone else on Second Amendment issues, but Vice Presidents don't set policy, so even there I don't see a meaningful improvement.
I'm not going to be voting for Romney-Ryan this Fall. They have failed to significantly differentiate themselves from Obama-Biden in the financial areas that matter most. Not that it matters much here in California—folks here will keep voting for "moochers and looters" (to use Ayn Rand's terms) until we're completely bankrupt. I just hope the reset won't cost too many lives.