Dear editor,

The Republican National Convention gets underway this week in Tampa, Florida. By the end of the week, the delegates will have selected Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as their candidates to run for the two highest elected offices in the country. This is an opportune time to see what direction these two candidates want to take our nation. Romney and Ryan have embraced the failed "trickle-down" economic policies that crashed our economy and hurt the middle class. I will list three events that clearly show what path they choose to travel and then you can decide if it is the correct one for our country.

1. Ending Medicare as we know it –
Romney and Ryan are committed to a plan that would end Medicare as we know it. They would create a voucher system that would increase seniors' health costs. Ryan even proposed a plan, which Romney endorsed, that would increase costs for seniors by $6,350 a year. To cover for their own plan, they have been distorting the President's record. They have labeled the $700 billion that Obamacare saved from trimming excessive payments to corporate insurance companies as "Medicare cuts." That's false, as Paul Ryan should know – he includes these savings in his own budget.

2. How Ryan killed President Obama's deficit reduction plan –
The President has been fighting to protect and preserve Medicare as part of an overall plan to reduce the deficit, and pay down our debt in a balanced way that lets us continue to invest in what we need to grow our economy. Last year, he proposed a "grand bargain" that not only would have extended the life of Medicare but would have also resulted in trillions of dollars in deficit reduction. It asked both sides to make tough choices and compromise, including asking the wealthy to pay their fair share. A new report in the New York Times shows that Paul Ryan fought to kill the bipartisan deficit-reduction agreement because it "would pave the way for President Obama's easy re-election."

3. "Blatantly false" welfare attacks –
On August 13, the Romney campaign released an ad that contains false statements about the President's welfare reform efforts. President Obama has given states more flexibility so that they can increase their work placement rate among welfare recipients by at least 20 percent. Yet, Romney's ad says the President has ended the work requirement – which again the New York Times calls "blatantly false." President Clinton, who reformed welfare, said Romney's claims are "not true." Even Newt Gingrich said there's "no proof" that Romney's ad is accurate.

Paul Ryan's extreme plans for America would be a disaster for the middle class – and the Romney campaign is trying to take the focus from themselves by falsely accusing the President's record. We can't let Romney and Ryan put their plans into action and we can't wait to make sure the American voters get the correct facts.


Andy Melendez, a concerned middle-class senior citizen