While Romney just tied himself lock, stock and barrel to austeroeroticist economics by picking Paul Ryan as his vice president, David Dayen points out that the country as a whole just lost the opportunity to talk about job creation and wages (boldface mine):
First of all, I completely agree that this selection means that jobs and the economy will actually get shunted to the side of the political debate for the next three months, an almost incredible scenario at a time of mass unemployment. Ryan’s position as author of the Republican budget means that the Obama campaign gets to tie the top of the ticket to that document, something they have wanted to do. They certainly don’t want to talk about the state of the economy over the past four years. Ryan and Romney made reference to poverty statistics in their VP announcement in Norfolk, Virginia today, and the poor economy. But Ryan’s association to the budget, and the way in which they see improving the economy in supply-side terms, through tax policy and constraining public spending and entitlements, means that the deficit and debt conversation will take on an outsized importance. The Obama campaign will attack on the budget, on Medicare, on Social Security, and with Ryan as a true believer, the Romney campaign will defend it. And the fact that we’re wasting human capital by maintaining a low aggregate demand, tolerating slow growth, keeping millions of Americans out of work and on the sidelines, will not get more than a passing inference. It’s really amazing.
At the same time, it’s worth remembering that the possibility of Erskine Bowles as Treasury Secretary in a future Obama administration means that the election, in economic terms, is actually about how much the social safety will be weakened, not if.
Worse, we will have to witness the surreal spectacle of political reporters being ‘exciting’ about having their future health insurance hacked to bits.