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Transcript: Republican VP Nominee Paul Ryan

The GOP VP nominee’s remarks to AARP members

In a state where 87 percent of the state legislature was Democratic, Governor Romney got real results by reaching across the aisle, bringing people together, crafting solutions that got widespread support. That’s how he was able to turn a $3 billion budget shortfall into a $2 billion rainy-day fund. That’s how he was able to cut taxes 19 times and balance the budget in all four years. And that’s the kind of leadership we’re going to need if we’re going to save and strengthen Medicare and Social Security.

Protecting Social Security is personal to me. My dad died when I was 16. Social Security survivor benefits helped my family. They helped me go to school. They helped my mom start a new career. When dad died, my mom had recently entered her fifties — just like many of you. She got on a bus every weekday for years, and rode 40 miles each morning to Madison to go to school. She learned new skills to start her small business. It wasn’t just a new livelihood. It was a new life. And it transformed my mom from a widow in grief to a successful small-business woman. Her work gave her hope. It made our family proud. And to this day, my mom is my role model.

For people over 50, retirement security is part of a larger goal. Economic security is what we seek for all Americans. The last four years have been especially hard on Americans who are out of work, but not yet ready to retire. I’ve met men and women who are close to giving up hope that they’ll ever be employed again. Mitt has called long-term unemployment an economic emergency, and he’s right. We haven’t seen a recovery this bad in decades. For many Americans, there’s been no recovery at all.

For people who find themselves without a job before they’re ready to retire, starting or joining a small business offers a promising way to bridge the gap, just like my mom did. But President Obama’s policies have made it harder for small businesses to thrive.

The president likes to talk about how he is a champion for small business on the basis of a few temporary tax measures. But the truth is, if reelected, he has actually promised to raise the tax rates that many successful small businesses pay to over 40 percent — permanently.

Mitt and I just think that’s the wrong approach. We believe that it’s the dreamers and the entrepreneurs, the workers and the families, not the government, who built this economy. And they are the ones who are going to get it growing again, and get Americans working again.

In a Romney-Ryan administration, we’re going to champion small businesses and the workers they employ, and not stand in their way. We’ve got a plan that will reform the tax code, get rid of special-interest loopholes and limit deductions so that we can lower everybody’s tax rates. Simple. Fair. Competitive. That’s the tax code families and small businesses deserve. That’s how you get people back to work. And that’s the tax code that we will deliver.

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