Carolina Journal News Reports
RALEIGH — Hammering forcefully at what he called President Obama’s “raid” on Medicare, divisive re-election tactics and economic policies that have put America on the edge of a fiscal cliff, GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan told a Raleigh crowd Wednesday it is imperative to elect Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
“If we win this race, we’re going to repeal Obamacare,” Ryan said to sustained applause as he went on to rip the president on his tax and energy policies, lack of a plan to successfully create jobs, and a fourth trillion-dollar deficit.
Appearing before an estimated 1,500 people at a public rally at SMT Inc., a woman-owned-and-operated metal fabrication and painting factory just north of RDU with a work force of 80 employees, the seven-term Republican congressman from Wisconsin set the tone of the day by telling owner Susan Rothecker:
“This is your hard work, your sweat, your toil, your sacrifice, your risk taking. This is your business. You did this,” Ryan said.
With a fired-up crowd in front of him and a large blue banner declaring “We Did Build It” as a backdrop, Ryan’s comment was met with lusty cheers. Everyone knew the reference: Obama’s much-maligned statement in Roanoke, Va., last month in which he said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that,” but got a helping hand from government.
Ryan contrasted Obama’s message with Romney’s track record.
“He’s started businesses, he grew businesses, he turned around struggling businesses with an astounding degree of success,” Ryan said of Romney. “It’s OK to be successful in your business.”
Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, received a minute-long ovation when he was introduced. Roars of approval that thundered across the jam-packed plant floor repeatedly drowned his comments out. Among his best received comments were:
• Romney is “a man who’s been successful in business, and guess what? It’s OK to be successful in business.”
• “Our rights come from nature and God, not from government. ... These principles are precious and timeless, liberty, freedom, free enterprise, self-determination.”
• “We don’t work for government, government works for us” in a system of government by the consent of the governed. “Our founders risked everything to create this” and our veterans fought to preserve it.
• “We’re not going to scapegoat, we’re not going to blame, we’re going to take responsibility. And most of all we are not going to try to transform this country into something it was never intended to be. This means that we will not replace our founding principles, we will reapply our founding principles.”
• “We have got to stop spending money we just don’t have.”
• “President Obama and the words fiscal responsibility do not belong in the same sentence.”
“It’s accurate to say the president inherited a difficult situation when he came into office. Here’s the problem. He made things much worse,” Ryan said.
“He’s run out of ideas,” Ryan said, and that is why Obama is “running a campaign based on anger,” hoping “that he divides us so he gets 50 plus 1 and wins by default.”
He said the mood in Washington, under Obama’s lead, “is the most bitter, acrimonious and partisan time I have ever seen” serving in Congress under three presidents.
Ryan said unlike the budget and Medicare plan he and Romney champion, Obama’s Affordable Care Act would decimate Medicare.
“He took $716 billion from Medicare to pay for the ObamaCare program,” while creating an unelected, unaccountable, 15-member board to oversee Obamacare and cut Medicare payments, Ryan said. Payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security will be “siphoned off” to help pay for ObamaCare, he said.
“We will end this,” Ryan said. Medicare is “a promise that was made, is a promise that needs to be kept” and they plan to save the program, which Medicare Trustees say will become insolvent in 12 years.
Under Obama, there are 23 million Americans out of work, and there has been a string of 42 consecutive months with national unemployment above 8 percent, Ryan said. Household family income has dropped $4,000 in the past four years, and one of six Americans is living in poverty, the highest rate in a generation.
The national credit rating was downgraded for the first time in history and there has been not only a failure to produce a balanced budget, but a national budget at all. In January, Obama plans to raise taxes 40 percent on small businesses making more than $250,000, and “just this one tax increase that the president is promising is going to cost us 700,000 jobs,” Ryan said.
A U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey of its members showed 75 percent of small businesses would not hire more workers “simply because of ObamaCare,” Ryan said.
In North Carolina, a state known for its universities, its research parks and a dynamic economy, the jobless rate is 9.6 percent, he said.
“This is an Obama imaginary recovery,” Ryan said.
By contrast, he said, when Romney was governor of Massachusetts, the state’s credit rating was upgraded, household family income rose $5,000 in four years, and budgets were balanced as the Republican governor worked with a legislature that was 87 percent Democratic to pass balanced budgets without raising taxes.
“Our plan is designed to get people back to work and increase take-home pay,” Ryan said, with 355,000 new jobs projected in North Carolina alone. Opening up America’s domestic gas and oil supplies will create energy sector jobs, reduce gasoline prices, and cut home heating costs.
In introducing Ryan, Rothecker said small, family businesses like hers “need certainty to plan, innovate and invest in our work force. Let’s empower the private sector, not hamper it.”
Romney and Ryan “care about America’s job creators,” and desire to heal the economy, Rothecker said. “I believe America truly does need a comeback team.”
After the rally, Ryan attended a private fundraiser in Raleigh. He is scheduled to be at a defense industry roundtable Thursday at the Partner for Defense Innovation in Fayetteville.
Dan E. Way is an associate editor of Carolina Journal.