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Ian Campbell

Ian Campbell

Through his www.BusinessTransitionSimplified.com website and his Business Transition & Valuation Review newsletter Ian R. Campbell shares his perspectives on business transition, business valuation and world…

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U.S. Vice-Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan at Tampa Republican Convention

You may have watched and listened to Paul Ryan speak last evening at the Republican Party Convention. My comments:

  • I am sure Mr. Ryan is well-intentioned;

  • fairly, in my view, he specifically said (early in his speech) that President Obama ought to be measured in his Presidency taking into account the economic chaos (my words) that he inherited;

  • he was, of course, very negative with respect to the 60% increase in the U.S. National Debt under Mr. Obama's watch (U.S.$10 trillion at the end of 2008 versus over U.S.$16 trillion currently);

  • he specifically said there was not a lot of time left to 'right America's economic ship' (my words);

  • he said he and Mr. Romney were up for that task;

  • the only number I heard him quote during his speech was when he said Mr. Romney and he would reduce the cost of American Federal Government to 20% of U.S. GDP. That currently would amount to about U.S.$3 trillion, where U.S. GDP currently is running at about U.S.$15 trillion. As I calculate it, this would be a reduction of about U.S.$750 billion (or coincidentally a 20% reduction) from fiscal 2012 - 2013 forecast Federal spending levels;

  • overall I saw Mr. Ryan as a cheerleader - not a bad thing, as cheerleaders are good to have around when things aren't going particularly well and a 'pickup' and 'enthusiasm' are the orders of the day.

All that said, while Mr. Ryan spoke repeatedly about job creation, he seemed focused on job creation through creation of small business in America. Small businesses tend to be service businesses. I was reminded once again of Thomas Friedman's comment in his book The World Is Flat where Friedman said something to the effect that 'if America became reliant on service businesses to grow the U.S. economy, American's would end up selling hamburgers to each other'.

Last evening I saw Mr. Ryan as an enthusiastic, sincere, well-intentioned, somewhat idealistic, high-energy young man without any real business experience (having spent the past 14 years in politics) -who on balance strikes me as a good running mate for Mr. Romney.

I was not left with warm and fuzzy feelings that Messrs. Romney and Ryan will be able to turn the Queen Mary around any time soon.

Topical References: Ryan accepts VP nod: 'Let's get this done', from NBC News, Michael O'Brien, August 29, 2012 - reading time 4 minutes.

 

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