By picking Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate Saturday, Mitt Romney signaled that he was trying to put a fresh face on his campaign for his core demographic of conservative voters. But Ryan comes with some positions that many moderate or liberal voters may hate, and even some conservatives too.
1) Wants Tax Cuts for the 1 Percent And Elimination of Medicare
Ryan, now chairman of the House Budget Committee, presented an alternative 2010 federal budget that called for a reduction of the tax rate on the nation's highest earners and the replacement of Medicare with a voucher program for anyone born after 1975.
Moreover, under the so-called Ryan Plan, the Republican's 2012 budget, taxes for the nation's 1 percent would have been cut 50 percent even as taxes would have risen for 95 percent of Americans, according to Nobel laureate economist and columnist Paul Krugman of the New York Times.
2) Wants to Grow the Deficit
Ryan was the primary author of The Path to Prosperity: Restoring America's Promise, the Republican's 2012 federal budget proposal. The Ryan Plan would have cut government revenue by $4 trillion over 10 years, ultimately increasing the federal deficit to $1.3 trillion by 2020, according to Krugman. Needless to say, the plan failed in the Senate.
3) Voted to Allow Hunting Of An Endangered Species
Ryan co-sponsored HR509, a 2011 bill which would have exempted the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act. Removal of the gray wolf from the endangered species list would have made hunting of the highly endangered animals legal throughout the United States. There are at most 16,200 wolves in the U.S. today, according to Defenders of Wildlife.
4) Voted to Prevent Regulation of Mercury Pollution
Mercury is bad for you if you inhale it, and the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that U.S. cement plants release enough of it into the atmosphere to kill as many as 2,500 people each year. But Ryan voted for an amendment to House spending bill HR 1, an amendment that prohibited the EPA from spending any money to implement, administer, or enforce a rule regulating mercury emissions by cement plants.
5) Voted To Block Energy Efficiency Education
Energy efficiency is generally touted as being a good thing. Using less energy saves money, resources and the environment, and simple habits like turning out lights are easy to develop as a child. Yet Ryan voted for House Amendment 683, which would have prohibited the government from creating any websites, ever, to educate children about the efficient use of energy.
That's My Congress provides a detailed list of some of Ryan's votes, which was used in drafting this article.