→ Does Having Paul Ryan on the Ticket Matter?

Dan Mitchell points out that the vice presidential selection rarely matters in elections. He also gives some of the positives and negatives of Paul Ryan from a libertarian perspective:

Here are the reasons why I’m happy.

I think Ryan genuinely believes in small government, low tax rates, and free markets. Heck, he’s even read Ayn Rand, and is willing to admit that he likes her writings.

He understands that not all entitlement reform is created equal. Instead of supporting means-testing (which produces implicit higher marginal tax rates) and unsustainable price controls, Ryan got his colleagues to support Medicaid block grants and premium support (or vouchers) for Medicare.

Here are … reasons why I’m worried.

Both Romney and Ryan are somewhat sympathetic to a value-added tax. My worst-case scenario is they win the election, but then can’t get a good budget approved because of some squishy Republican senators who put self interest above national interest. Romney and Ryan then decide that this European-style national sales tax is the only way – on paper – of making the budget balance. In reality, of course, we’ll suffer the same fate as Europe since the VAT revenues will be used to finance ever-larger government.

That is just a sampling, but I think Congressman Ryan’s positives far outweigh his negatives.