Political Hay

One More Time

What makes Ryan an inspired and inspiring choice.

By 8.15.12

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Picking Paul Ryan to be his running mate proves Romney is serious. It shows Republicans he is serious about winning. More importantly, it shows the country he is serious about addressing its problems, because America is in need of serious help.

Evidence of the seriousness of America's needs are manifest. The economy continues to wallow about in the worst recovery since WWII ended the Great Depression. Unemployment is 8.3% and the economy grew just 1.5% in its latest quarter. And its prospects don't look much better.

If anything is going worse than America's economy, it's Washington's budget. In just over a month, the government will record its fourth consecutive $1 trillion-plus deficit -- never before these four had the government recorded even one. The government's debt (held by the public) has doubled over the last four years.

Worst going of all is Washington's spending. The government spends almost a quarter of everything that America produces. Over the last four years, Washington has spent greater portions of America's production than any time since WWII -- establishing a new peacetime record.

America's economy needs restoring, its government's spending and debt need cutting, and its tax code needs reforming. And those are just for starters.

For most Americans, the problems do not need retelling, they need addressing. Romney's pick of Ryan proves he agrees.

Ryan is an inspired and inspiring choice. No one in Washington better understands the problems America faces and what needs to be done than Paul Ryan.

Ryan is also a challenging choice. Not challenging to Romney or his campaign -- though you better bring your A-game everyday, because Paul Ryan does not have a B-Game -- but to us. His pick asks us: Do we really admit America has serious problems and we are willing to fix them?

Sure, in poll after poll Americans say by lop-sided margins that the nation is on the wrong track, that federal spending is too high, that the deficit and debt are too big. But by picking Ryan, Romney asks us: Do you really mean it?

Because if we do -- and we decidedly should -- then Rep. Paul Ryan is the solution.

He is what we should want if we are serious, because Ryan is serious. And thoughtful, and right, and dedicated to addressing the problems we claim we recognize. There is a little "put up or shut up" in Romney's pick.

There is also a lot of courage in the Ryan pick. Romney certainly knows what he is getting in Ryan -- an articulate, smart, charismatic person that is the more than a match for most in Washington, or anywhere else for that matter. Quite simply, it takes guts and no little confidence to choose someone who many would be afraid would overshadow them. In Washington, a town built on egos, there are not many who would feel so bold.

Romney is running for President, but really he is interviewing with America to be its CEO. That is who Romney is -- a man who can make things run well. He has done it all his life. You can fault him for some things -- as we can anyone -- but failure is not one of them.

America has had PR teams, what it needs now is a CEO. Before a CEO starts a job, he is judged by the team he puts together to tackle it. As a "first hire," Ryan is a great initial indicator of Romney's acumen. Ryan is just the sort of first hire a confident and competent CEO would pick.

Now it is time for America to let Romney and Ryan get to work. Because if America is serious that it needs fixing, Romney and Ryan are serious about fixing it.

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About the Author

J.T. Young served in the Department of Treasury and the Office of Management and Budget from 2001 to 2004 and as a Congressional staff member from 1987 to 2000.