I'm a moderate Republican (except on fiscal issues, where I am very conservative and by conservative I mean, its very important to have low debt and very low budget deficits. That means spending cuts when necessary and also tax increases when necessary, I'm not opposed to reasonable tax increases purely on principle. They are often necessary and I support the sunsetting of the Bush tax cuts). I supported Huntsman in the primary (check the search function). I'm not a fan of Romney and I never have been, and its mainly because he's a worthless empty suit with only a rudimentary understanding of issues. He won because he had huge financial advantages over everyone else and drowned them out. But I am slightly leaning towards him primarily because he picked Ryan. I am a fan of Ryan on spending issues, most notably on SS/Medicare and I'm intrigued by Ryan's ideas on these issues, and I'm encouraged that he's flexible as well (he worked with Sen. Wyden and slightly altered his approach). I'm encouraged by the CBO analysis of his premium support proposals which also include increasing the Medicare eligibility range over time and the fact that the supports vary by income levels also helps to soften the effect. I know it is essentially cost shifting in part to seniors and I'm okay with that. While its true that through SS and Medicare taxes they have paid into the program, but that doesnt necessarily mean that they are entitled to the exact same benefit formulas that have been provided to others in the past, just that they are entitled to some significant benefit, not necessarily this particular benefit. The changes in demographics with a greater aging population will put a huge strain on us financially. This is the long term debt driver. There has been discussion of raiding the funds in teh past and its true htats happened, but even without that, it wouldnt come close to fixing hte long term problem (and SS trust fund funds dont address Medicare issues). Even CMS admits this is the biggest problem going forward. I think the long term debt is something like 63T over 75 years, about 1T a year without any changes. That a few hundred billion or even a trillion in total were removed from SS trust fund in the past would not have cured this problem. CBO estimated that, without more, the proposal would sharply reduce the debt to GDP ratio over time. I am providing a link to their analysis for your review: http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/fil...yan_letter.pdf
. With regard to BroncoInferno's point about Romney now saying he won't touch it, I think I read an article awhile back indicating he had put out an actual proposal earlier in the campaign that was not materially dissimilar from Wyden-Ryan, so I'm thinking his current talk is to merely make sure seniors don't abandon him in the election.
I realize that on issues such as taxes, Romney-Ryan are not as responsible as they are on these issues, but I think the tax problem is largely solved due to the fact that if nothing else happens in 2012, we will go back to the 2001 tax code, which will be great for long term debt control. Between that and serious SS/Medicare reform, we will be in good shape. I'm not persuaded that tax increases alone will solve these issues. Tax increases alone doesnt solve a 63T long term problem and I dont think its fair to apportion everything to taxes, anyway. It has to be a balanced solution.
I do support the administration on issues such as cap and trade (I prefer this approach rather than a carbon tax because I like the idea of injecting market based principles into the equation to disincentive businesses from environmentally inefficient conduct, rather than the simple imposition of a tax, make everyone try to run it as efficiently as possible so they can sell their credits elsewhere...there is good precedent for this approach in Europe) and I generally support the administration in foreign affiars with the exception of supporting insurgencies and democracy in the ME. I think thats abysmal. I don't give a **** about "promoting values". I care only about acting to presreve US strategic interests. I'm in the Nixon school of foreign affairs, not the Carter school. I'm more than willing to support brutal, repressive dictatorial regimes, so long as it promotes stability and protects US strategic interests. I'm concerned about AL Qaeda gaining a foothold in the region due to us promoting these popular uprisings. I'm not a fan of this at all. Other than that, I generally approve of the administration in foreign affairs, especially the Vietnamization in Iraq and Afghanistan and continued arms control with Russia.
I could still go either way with my vote and there is a good chance I could ignore the top ballot. I don't like Romney and I never have. If he did not select Ryan, and we didn't have the impending sunsetting of the Bush tax cuts merely by inaction (in a divided congress, which we will likely get, a Romney tax cut couldnt pass), I probably would not vote for him at all.