Paul Ryan: It is not too late to reclaim the American Idea

Congressman Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan’s Notes

Congressman Paul Ryan joined Vicki McKenna on News/Talk 1130 WISN to discuss GM, Greece, jobs, the budget, and the looming debt crisis here at home.


…I don’t think the Democrats are going to try a budget this year. I keep talking to my counterpart, John Spratt, Chairman of the Budget committee, who keeps kind of pushing us off, He’s not saying “We’re not going to do it” – but maybe next week, maybe next week. It looks clear to me that they’re not going to do a budget. I don’t think they can pass it. The President’s proposed budget doubles the debt in five years, triples it in ten years, and has about a $1.8 trillion tax increase in it. I don’t think they feel they can pass this on the eve of an election cycle. So what they’ll do in light of budgeting is what we call “deeming.” They will deem a number to the Appropriations Committee to pay for funding all the government agency budgets – that’s called discretionary spending. My guess is, they’ll just pass a resolution to allow the spending to occur in government today, for government agencies and then call it a day…

…I think one of the biggest threats to our economy now – not unlike the housing bubble where we had subprime mortgages and all of the credit problems that occurred there – I think the new problem is sovereign debt. We have all of these governments borrowing on a binge – whether it’s state governments in America, the federal government or these European governments, Japan as well. The market is flooded with all of this government debt. There is becoming a crisis of confidence that these governments can actually repay all of this debt. If these debts get restructured, which is inevitable especially in Europe, that will reduce the value of those debts on the banks, and we’ll have another banking crisis…

…It is not too late to turn this around and get this right. It is not too late to get the American idea revived, and get our economy headed in the right direction. We can get this debt and deficit under control if we act soon. That’s the good news, which is we still have a choice. Do we want the American idea, or do we want the welfare state? It is still something we can choose. Now in a handful of years, five or six years, we probably won’t have the luxury of that choice if we make the wrong decisions between now and then.

Political pollsters always tell you: don’t touch these things; don’t go offer these kind of spending reforms; it’s the third rail of politics. My hope, with my effort, is to try and make the third rail of politics failure to tackle this fiscal problem. If we don’t tackle these problems, they are going to tackle us. If people in Southern Wisconsin are going to give me this job, and I’m going to work for them, I think they want you to go fix the problems that are right in front of us. This debt and fiscal problem is the biggest one threatening our future as a country and the standards of living for each of us and our families.

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