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  • Rep. Paul Ryan Walks the Walk on Fiscal Reform

    Lawmakers in Washington are quick to talk the talk of fiscal reform these days. Solutions to the nation’s abysmal financial outlook are at the tip of everyone’s tongue, and even Democrats have conceded that maybe conservatives were right when pointing out that the United States doesn’t have a tax problem but rather a major spending problem.

    But amidst all this talk, who in Washington is actually willing to walk the walk of actual fiscal reform? Not just hand-wringing. Not just a few symbolic cuts here and raising taxes there, but a complete overhaul that leaves the government on solid financial footing. Real reform, as Niall Ferguson, a Harvard historian and professor, puts it, may sound “pretty radical … but it is an option that we should be discussing much more seriously.”

    Bloomberg Businessweek points out that “at least one congressman is doing just that—and learning how lonely it can be crusading for real change.” That congressman is Paul Ryan (R–WI), who released the second version of his Roadmap for America earlier this year, which includes health care reform, entitlement reform, and tax reform.

    Bloomberg reports that, “compared with the current fiscal crash-and-burn trajectory, the plan reduces deficits and debt, putting the federal budget on a sustainable path; results in stronger per-capita economic growth; puts Medicare and Social Security on a sound footing; and lowers health-care expenses while reducing the number of uninsured. And that’s not Congressman Ryan talking. That’s the assessment of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, which gave the Roadmap a test drive and found that it performed well.”

    How does the Roadmap achieve all this? Medicare and Medicaid are transformed into voucher programs, giving beneficiaries the ability to choose their own health insurance and allowing market forces to lower costs. Health care reform would eliminate the current tax exemption for health insurance. This would be replaced with a universal tax credit for families and individuals to apply to the health plan they, not their employer, choose.

    The Roadmap targets seniors’ benefits to those who need them most: those with lower incomes and greater health needs. In addition, individuals could choose to invest part of their payroll taxes in savings accounts.

    The Roadmap would substantially simplify the current tax code, reducing tax rates and improving incentives for saving and investing to spur economic growth and increase the U.S.’s ability to compete globally.

    In an exchange during the health care debate, Representative Louise Slaughter (D–NY) told Ryan that his “plan is to phase out Medicare.” Slaughter had it totally backwards—Medicare, and the other entitlements, are on the road to collapse without reform. The federal government simply cannot fulfill its unfunded promises without going bankrupt and causing an economic meltdown.

    The Roadmap offers a solution to this and the other realities of out-of-control government spending. Ferguson says of the Roadmap, “It seems to me actually our best hope.”

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    15 Responses to Rep. Paul Ryan Walks the Walk on Fiscal Reform

    1. West Texan says:

      Although Congressman Ryan's efforts are very much appreciated, he's proposing a bandaid covering over large invasive wounds of federal overreach. Rather a major house cleaning is in order. Let me be the first to suggest that repealing many past wrongs from the 16th amendment up through latter politizied misteps. The U.S. Supreme Court must play a leading role in same. Why? To ensure our union remains secure and prosperous. Not being a lawyer, I've always wanted to say "I rest my case!", So be it.

    2. Sean, DC says:

      I really wish Ryan would run for Pres. in 2012.

    3. Liz, United States says:

      When can we start this?!

    4. Rob says:

      Hopefully sooner than later, Liz!

      I haven't looked into Paul Ryan too much honestly, but what I've seen of him in the media and from reading that speech of his (in Imprimus, where he mentions the original meaning of progressive), I like him! If I remember correctly, he was also a great voice of reason at the failed health care summit where Obama did his best to look bored.

    5. Sandy Olnhausen says:

      Start with Ryan's Plan and then clean house in November!

    6. Bill, Dallas says:

      Ryan would have more influence to enact his agenda if he did a couple of terms as Speaker of the House first, then President.

    7. Bette Overk, Bridgew says:

      I think Paul Ryan is great ! I have been following him for quite some time now. He is a ray of hope in a very dark world.

    8. Pamela, VA says:

      Paul Ryan is one of my conservative heroes! We need more representatives like him. I sent Paul Ryan's Roadmap to all of our primary candidates asking them to review it and what their position was on the plan. I think we need to push our Candidates to state and support solutions and if we can put a group into Congress that will support Mr. Ryan maybe we can get some constructive work accomplished. I especially was impressed that he has had his plan reviewed and verified by the CBO stating that it will do what he claims (unlike anything that the Obama/Pelosi Train Wrecks have accomplished). My God it couldn't make things worse!

    9. Randall Holland, Ari says:

      Cut the size of government by 5% each year for 10 years. Eliminate the Dept of Education. Cut the Military by 5% for 5 years. Reform federal employees retirement along the lines of private industry. Phase out Social Security to a mandatory IRA or 401K. Contract out the operation of our national parks to some organization like Sierra Club. Seal our borders. Provide emergency health services to everyone. Establish healthcare accounts for poor. Limit health services to those who can't afford it. Reduce foreign aid by 5% each year for 10 years. Pull most of our troops back home.

    10. Jeff says:

      Ryan talks a good game but when questioned recently by John Stossel as to why he voted for TARP and the bailouts he waffled. We already have a Pres who talks a good game but his record is vastly different. I think we should be weary of Politicians on both sides who make a bunch of promises then vote the other way when the time comes.

      The plan Ryan proposes certainly sounds good but before we consider him as a potential presidential candidate we need to analyze his voting record.

    11. Norm Klevens says:

      Slaughter has the nerve to say that someone else will destroy Medicare. Did she vote for Obamacare with its $500 billion cut ? Paul Ryan for President.

    12. Fox Hunter, Californ says:

      While, in hindsight, TARP was a complete con job, it was presented to congress as an immediate and necessary action to save the US from imminent economic collapse. Congress was not given time to truly access the situation. Now, that is all in the past and while we wish ro condem those who voted in favor, remember that they were lied to and coerced.

      My suggestion to help stop the hemmoraging is a government five year moritorium on hiring gov. employees including temp. and contract. May have to downsize and re-organize some departments (yea!). I'll bet few to none have the backbone to even suggest it.

    13. Lynn Bryant DeSpain says:

      The very first thing Congress must do is to remove the word "Entitlement" from their vocabulary. The word is not in our Constitution, not in our Bill of Rights nor in our Declaration of Independence.

      It was a creation of the Progressive Movement begun by Woodrow Wilson, to keep Minorities, and the under educated, down and have them stay down. That is totally against what America and the American Dream stands for.

      We help, but entitle no one. America gives no person 'Title'. We are not the rest of the World. We never wished to be the rest of the World, then or now.

      This is still a free Republic and for those who feel the need for 'entitlement' fell free to move to places where it exist!

    14. WHICH WAY says:


    15. Pingback: Domenici-Rivlin: Another Vote for Reduced Federal Spending | The Conservative Papers

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