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Paul Ryan (and Mitt Romney) Versus the Nuns

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This article cross-posted from The Nation

Paul Ryan has made it clear enough that he's interested in joining Mitt Romney's 2012 Republican ticket.

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Of course, Ryan says only that he would "consider" the vice presidency.

But those who are schooled in the language of career politicians know that "I'd consider it" translates as "I'd like you to consider me."

And the consideration will be fully in play on Monday, when Romney rolls his battleground-state bus tour into Ryan's hometown of Janesville.

Ryan has become something of a defining figure for the bus tour, using media appearances to scope out its theme. In a bombastic statement circulated not by Ryan himself but by the Romney campaign, Ryan says, "On Day One, because we need a new president, Mitt Romney will fix this."

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Among other things, Ryan says Romney will "announce a 5 percent spending cut on government agency budgets to begin the process of deficit reduction."

If evidence from the rest of the world is to be believed -- especially European countries, which have experimented with these sorts of austerity schemes -- that "Day One" move will stall out whatever economic recovery is in play. And if Romney and Ryan implement Ryan's proposed assault on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the prospects for a full-on recession will spike.

None of this will be a problem for Romney and Ryan, who enjoy the privileges of the 1 percent. But it will spell even harder times for working Americans and our nation's poor.

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

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