Paul Ryan's budget proposal has been popular with most Republicans. Now that Mitt Romney plans to select the Wisconsin congressman as his vice presidential nominee, the proposal is sure to become a hot campaign issue.
As the chairman of the House Budget Committee and a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee, Ryan is the Republican Party's leader on fiscal and budgetary issues. Although his experience in the private sector is limited, Ryan's conservative ideas and political savvy have allowed him to gain favor with GOP lawmakers and voters.
"It's about turning our system that has become a dependent culture into an upward mobile society, getting people back onto lives of self-sufficiency," Ryan said.
But Ryan's budget proposal also called for more tax cuts and a drastic reduction in food stamp programs. The fiscal hawk also wants to transform Medicare by allowing those 55 and younger to opt out in order to purchase private insurance with a federal subsidy, and turn Medicaid over to the states.
Democrats have loudly criticized the budget plan, saying it will actually increase the deficit, replace Medicare with a voucher system and harm the poor and working class. Obama described it as "nothing but thinly veiled social Darwinism."
Conservatives say a Romney-Ryan ticket will bring the issues of deficit reduction, fiscal responsibility and overbloated entitlement programs to the forefront of the campaign.
"If Ryan’s budget is going to be a central part of the debate over the next three months, who better to explain and defend it than Paul Ryan?" Stephen F. Hayes and William Kristol wrote in the conservative Weekly Standard.