We all learned the three R's in elementary school — reading, writing, and arithmetic.
Today, I want to discuss three R’s that form the basis of political extremism: Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and Rodney Frelinghuysen. All three politicians found their way into the news this weekend, setting up what most of us agree is the most important election in American history.
Mitt Romney announced Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his vice-presidential running mate. Romney’s choice of Ryan made it clear that there will be no middle ground in this election.
Romney, using a familiar game term, went "all in," committing himself to an agenda embraced by the extreme right wing of the Republican party. Standing in the wings, waiting to embrace them both was Rodney Frelinghuysen who made the following statement: " I am pleased that Governor Romney has chosen one of our House leaders to be his running mate. My colleague, Paul Ryan, is young, very intelligent and will be an excellent Vice President. "
Mr. Frelinghuysen’s endorsement came as no surprise to anyone who has followed his voting record. Frelinghuysen voted twice (in April 2011 and again in April 2012) in favor of Paul Ryan’s extreme budget, commonly referred to as the Ryan Plan.
What’s so nefarious about the Ryan plan is that it offers an additional $250,000 tax cut for millionaires while placing greater burdens on the poor, the middle class, and on seniors. Ryan’s tax proposal helps the people who don’t need it and hangs out to dry those who need it the most. But it gets much worse.
Paul Ryan intends to eliminate Medicare as we know it, replacing it with a voucher system that will not keep up with increasing health care costs. Where does that leave our senior citizens? It leaves them with a complicated system where the vouchers would not cover the cost of healthcare, which would ultimately translate to crippling financial hardship.
In addition, the Ryan budget makes deep cuts in education from Head Start to college aid. The plan eliminates Pell grants for one million students, doubles the interest rate for student loans, and cuts SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) grants for 1.7 million children who live below the poverty line.
The Romney/Ryan plan for our collective futures is radical, reckless, and rubber stamped by Rodney Frelinghuysen. There you have it — the R’s of political extremism.