Candidates say 'no' to Ryan budget, disagree on reason why
Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan to be his running mate has brought Ryan's federal budget plan back into the spotlight. It's an issue many say could play a big role in upcoming Congressional races. In the North Country, both candidates are actually against the plan, but as our Brian Dwyer reports, it's for very different reasons.
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. -- With more than a week to let it sink in, North Country Congressional hopeful Matt Doheny says Mitt Romney's pick of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate is something the GOP can rally around.
"It's an exciting pick for the Republican party and what it really talks about is the economy and the fiscal challenges we have as a country," Doheny said.
Ryan is one of the few members of Congress, Doheny says, with the courage to step up and offer a plan to fix them. Ryan introduced his budget plan last year, tackling issues like national debt, health care and social security.
Thoughts on the plan could be a big issue for all Congressional candidates this fall. Doheny says he values that courage, even though he would have voted against it, saying it takes far too long to balance the budget.
"These are key social programs and we need to strengthen and save them," Doheny said. "Just by putting our head in the sand is not going to make that difference."
On the flip side, Democrats are doing all they can to point out what they say are major flaws with Ryan's plan. Congressman Bill Owens criticizes the plan, saying it doesn't make sense, especially for the middle class.
"It reduces spending for veterans, for rural water systems, for schools," Rep. Owens said. "It drives everything down and then gives a huge tax break for wealthy people."
Owens also says the plan doesn't reduce costs for Medicare, only shifts them to seniors.
He says cutting costs can be done by allowing Medicare to negotiate its drug purchases and great preventative care.
"Your grandmother and my grandmother are going to be a lot happier if they're not in the hospital and the family is going to be less stressed if they're not in the hospital," he said.
Of course, Doheny is quick to point out that Ryan isn't running for president and the people he's been talking with while touring the district will be much more focused on the plans of those on top of the ticket.