Paul Ryan proves I’m poorly versed in the dark arts of selecting prospective vice presidents. My simple mind predicted Mitt Romney would never choose a running mate whose chief policy proposal focuses a laser light on the would-be president’s chief liability: questions about how he made a fortune and taxes he paid on the money. The much-debated Ryan budget plan, according to one analysis, “would likely produce the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern U.S. history. . .” In other words, the fabulously wealthy Romneys of the world would get more wealthy. More specifically, under the plan Romney would have paid 0.82 percent in federal taxes on the $24 million in income reported in his 2010 returns. Yes, you read that right, less than 1%. That’s quite a savings compared to the embarrassingly low 13.9% he actually paid. We don’t know about other years because Romney refuses to release more tax returns despite calls to do so from prominent Republicans.
More unfathomable is Romney’s choice of a vice-presidential candidate who co-sponsored legislation that would outlaw in vitro fertilization. The procedure, involving developing embryos outside the womb, enables infertile parents to have 60,000 babies a year. Without it Romney would have three or even fewer of his eighteen grandchildren. Imagine the awkwardness when Ryan attends his first Romney family gathering and meets the fruits of what he considers crime.