Donald Lambro

No domestic issue, other than jobs and the economy, fuels more worry from America's voters than the $5 trillion plus debt President Obama has run up over the past four years.

No president has spent as much as Obama has, or has had higher budget deficits, or has wasted more of our tax dollars. He's put America on a perilous fiscal course that threatens to impoverish our economy and engulf all of us in ruinous debt for generations to come.

That's why Mitt Romney, in deciding who would be the best vice presidential running mate, chose Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the penny-pinching chairman of the House Budget Committee, who has made America's economic health the central cause of his political career.

With that one singular decision, Romney has placed Obama's irresponsible and out-of-control spending binge at the center of the coming campaign debate.

In a government that hungers for leadership, Ryan has for past four years been decrying the unsustainable fiscal course we are on -- now teetering on the edge of a black hole of annual trillion dollar budget deficits and crushing debts that are now larger than our entire economy.

Impressed with Ryan's leadership abilities, Republicans bypassed more senior members and put him in charge of the powerful budget panel that is responsible for shaping the nation's chief financial document.

Romney could have named safer running mates from a list of governors, but in picking Ryan, he chose a man who knows how to work across the aisle without abandoning his party's principles or his country's.

Obama thinks he will be able to demonize Ryan because of his plan to reform Medicare by making its cost structure sustainable for generations to come.

"His plan... would end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher system, shifting thousands of dollars in healthcare costs to seniors," Obama said in a statement Saturday.

Like a lot of attacks Obama has leveled at Romney, this one is untrue, but you can expect the attacks to get even more vicious in the weeks to come. The Washington Post cites one Democratic ad that depicts Ryan "as physically pushing a senior citizen in a wheelchair off a cliff."

In fact, Ryan has been collaborating on his plan with a lifelong liberal Democrat from Oregon, Sen. Ron Wyden. Their plan would turn Medicare into a premium-support system for financing Medicare. You won't hear Obama mentioning Wyden's role in the GOP plan.

Nor does Obama mention he will pay for Obamacare by looting the Medicare budget of hundreds of billions of dollars, leaving it more insolvent than ever.


Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.