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Veepstakes: A Look at Paul Ryan

We continue our series examining the potential picks for a Republican vice presidential running-mate with a look at Paul Ryan.  Representative Ryan was first elected in 1998 to represent Wisconsin’s First District in the U.S. House of Representatives, and he currently serves as the Chairman of the House Budget Committee.  Ryan is a well-known policy wonk and is the House Republicans’ point person on the federal budget deficit and government spending.  In this piece, we will focus more on where Representative Ryan stands on the issues that matter most to the tech community.

U.S. Representative Paul RyanRepresentative Ryan echoed the call of the tech community to lower the U.S. corporate tax rate by putting forward a proposal in his 2012 “Path to Prosperity” budget that would reduce the rate to 25 percent.  In a 2010 interview, Ryan stated, “[F]or America to be competitive in the 21st century we need to lower tax rates.  We need a lower corporate rate. We need a territorial tax system which is very important for our competitiveness.”

Ryan is focused on addressing illegal immigration, saying, “We must first secure the border and stem the flow of illegal immigration.  Then we can work to increase legal immigration through an enforceable guest worker program and by developing a more secure employee verification system.”  Last year, he voted for the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, which would repeal the annual per-country limits on employer-sponsored, permanent resident visas – a key priority for the tech community.  On energy, Representative Ryan stated that he supports new energy sources that are reliable, renewable, affordable, and environmentally safe; however, the New York Times noted that the 2012 Ryan Budget “calls for drastic cuts in federal spending on energy research and development.”

Representative Ryan is a supporter of free trade, voting in favor of the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), and the trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, Panama, Bahrain, Peru, and Australia.  Ryan emphasized the importance of free trade to the U.S. in a 2011 speech on the House floor, where he pointed out that “95% of the world’s consumers -- they’re not in this country, they are in other countries.  If you are standing still on trade, you’re falling behind.”

Check out the full Veepstakes series: