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Paul Ryan

‘Our Rights Come From Nature and God, Not Government’: Paul Ryan Channels Philosopher John Locke in Announcement Speech

From TheBlaze:

There was a rare, pure philosophical moment in Rep. Paul Ryan’s running mate announcement speech in Norfolk, Va. Saturday that should not be overlooked. The Wisconsin congressman waxed on the natural contract between government, man and God:

“But America is more than just a place…it’s an idea. It’s the only country founded on an idea. Our rights come from nature and God, not government. We promise equal opportunity, not equal outcomes. This idea is founded on the principles of liberty, freedom, free enterprise, self-determination and government by consent of the governed.

In a 30-second sound bite media world, rich philosophical rhetoric seldom reaches the podium teleprompter. But Ryan’s speech was a conduit to some of the essential founding principles of the nation. In particular, the comments are a direct conceptual channeling of English philosopher John Locke.

Read the rest at TheBlaze.

Paul Ryan: Risk and Opportunity

From RedState:

So, will Romney’s pick of Paul Ryan as VP help or hinder his chances to defeat Obama?  That is the million dollar question Republican pundits and grassroots activists are frantically asking this week.

One serious flaw with much of the post-analysis of any VP selection during a presidential campaign is the singular focus on the pick himself without any regard for the top of the ticket.  All too often, the talking heads lose sight of the fact that the election still hinges upon the top of the ticket, irrespective of how exciting, bold, or banal the VP choice was leading up to the convention.  In this case, it is clear that Paul Ryan is a bold and risky choice (whether he is really as bold of a conservative as the media portrays him or not); however, it will be Romney’s choice as to how he utilizes the pick.  This is still mostly about Mitt Romney, not Paul Ryan.

If Mitt Romney continues to run a flaccid, rudderless campaign that is constantly on defense, the Ryan pick will accentuate his status as a besieged candidate incapable of going on offense.  The Ryan pick will simply supply team Obama with endless fodder to keep Romney in fetal position for the rest of the campaign.

Read the rest at RedState.

A Line-in-the-Sand Moment

From National Review:

Yesterday’s Senate vote on the Ryan budget was a line-in-the-sand moment for Republicans.

Forty Republican senators, including Marco Rubio and Mike Lee, stepped forward to lead the way on saving Medicare and providing the first real alternative to out-of-control Washington spending that our nation has seen in decades.

Every single Democrat, including Florida senator Bill Nelson, voted in lock step with the Obama administration to oppose Ryan’s plan.

There are three Republicans vying to replace Bill Nelson in Florida. Two of them, former U.S. senator George LeMieux and current Florida state senator Mike Haridopolos, refused to say how they would have voted on the Ryan plan. That makes them no better than Bill Nelson.

Only one candidate, Adam Hasner, had the courage to step forward and unequivocally announce his support for the Ryan budget.

“I would vote for the plan without hesitation,” Hasner said, “because I know that the alternatives are rationed care and declining healthcare options, watching Social Security and Medicare slowly go bankrupt, or America faltering under the weight of unsustainable entitlement programs.”

The 2012 election is the most important in our lifetime. If President Obama is reelected, and Democrats retain control of the Senate, the transformation of America into a European welfare state will be a foregone conclusion.

Simply electing more Republicans to Washington is not enough. We need to elect conservatives who will have the courage to take the tough votes, and stand with the conservatives already serving in the Senate.

A good place to start will be to support only those Republicans who had the courage to support the Ryan budget.

Ryan Hits Obama on Medicare: Panel of Bureaucrats Will Lead to ‘Waiting Lists and Denied Care’

From The Weekly Standard:

On a day when many pundits and (allegedly) objective news reporters are declaring the Medicare reform Paul Ryan proposed caused the Republican to lose in New York’s special congressional election, Ryan is out with a new video defending his plan and attacking Obama’s.

Ryan begins the video explaining the reasons why Medicare spending is growing out of control, and then draws a sharp contrast with Obamacare. “The President’s plan is to let a panel of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats decide how much, or how little, Medicare will pay doctors and which services Medicare will, or will not, pay doctors to provide for their patients‬,”Ryan says.

If we go down Obama’s path on Medicare, says Ryan, “many doctors will stop seeing Medicare patients altogether, restricting access to health care for seniors and leading to waiting lists and denied care.”

The ominous background music then turns optimistic  as Ryan explains the House GOP’s proposed reform. “Those in or near retirement should not be forced to reorganize their lives because of government’s mistakes.  That’s why our budget ensures no changes for those 55 years old or older.  But for future generations, we need real reform,” he says, explaining the guaranteed coverage plans that would be offered under his premium support model.

“The urgent need to reform Medicare and the President’s misguided approach have left us with a serious question to ask,” Ryan concludes. “Who should be making health-care decisions for you and your family? A government monopoly and a panel of bureaucrats in Washington DC? Or you?”

Run, Paul Ryan, Run

From National Review:

Indiana governor Mitch Daniels’s announcement that he can’t play in the presidential primaries because his wife and daughters say he’s not allowed to is terrible news for the GOP and the country.

It’s terrible not because Daniels was obviously the best candidate or had the best chance to beat President Obama. It’s terrible because Daniels would have elevated the debate on entitlement reform and the budget in a way that no one else currently in the race seems able to.

Oh, the “Tea Parties” will have plenty of candidates. Minnesota representative Michele Bachmann, the founder and head of the House Tea Party Caucus, will almost surely run and do quite well. Herman Cain, the black former business executive, remains a Tea Party rock star. On the more libertarian side, there’s Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson. If those two have their way, the dollar will not only be backed by gold, it will be printed on paper made from hemp.

Nearly every stripe of conservative will have at least one standard-bearer, or perhaps several (including gay Republicans, who can rally around the Fred Karger juggernaut). Except right now, no one appears equipped to defend the House GOP budget, written by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, which will likely define both the presidential and the congressional elections in 2012.

The Democrat-run Senate hasn’t passed a budget in more than 750 days, and Democratic leader Harry Reid says it would be “foolish” to try. That’s because the Democrats don’t want to muddy their attacks on Ryan’s idea of “premium support,” whereby the poor get more generous vouchers than the middle class or the wealthy to pay for Medicare coverage. By the way, the “radical” concept of premium support is not so radical. It has deep bipartisan roots, with endorsements from such Democrats as former senator John Breaux of Louisiana and former representative Dick Gephardt of Missouri.

The president’s counterproposal, splashed out in a rambling partisan attack in April, essentially reintroduces the whole “death panels” debate, albeit at a macroeconomic level, by empowering 15 presidentially appointed members of the Independent Payment Advisory Board to take the blame for throwing Grandma off a cliff.

Regardless, by rights, the 2012 presidential contest should be a choice between those two approaches, plus the parties’ wildly divergent views on spending and taxes. But no wonk on a white horse seems to be riding to the rescue.

Mitt Romney can crunch the numbers. But as his attempts to square his Massachusetts “Romneycare” with his opposition to “Obamacare” have shown, his salesmanship needs work.

Newt Gingrich should have picked up the mantle, but he opted to triangulate against Ryan. Almost immediately, triangulation morphed into self-immolation.

Obviously, Gingrich’s spontaneous human combustion had a lot to do with his own problems. If he had merely offered a modest dissent from the plan, he wouldn’t have spent the last week walking back his statements with all the grace of the barnyard dog stepping on a field of garden rakes in the Foghorn Leghorn cartoons.

Still, the Gingrich spectacle confirms one of Ryan’s original strategic aims: to “box in” the various presidential candidates on the issue of entitlement reform. But it also shows why they came up with all of those “third rail” metaphors in the first place.

So the question many are asking is, should Ryan ride to the rescue? If the election is going to be a referendum on his plan, maybe the one guy who can sell it should do just that. On Monday, House majority leader Eric Cantor called for Ryan to get in the race, saying, “Paul’s about real leadership.” Charles Krauthammer on Fox News’s Special Report said he wouldn’t just urge Ryan to run, he’d form a “posse.”

If Ryan ran, he would probably drive the other candidates farther away from his own plan while forcing them to come up with serious alternatives of their own. Many think that if he got the nomination, he would clean Obama’s clock in the debates.

It’s a lot to ask. He has three young kids and would have to get organized and funded from a cold start for a long-shot run. But politics is about moments, and this one is calling him. Unless someone suddenly rises to the challenge, the cries of “Help us, Paul Ryan, you’re our only hope!” will only get louder.

Team Ryan Responds to Newt

From National Review:

Conor Sweeney, Rep. Paul Ryan’s spokesman, tells National Review Online that he is not worried about Newt Gingrich’s comments on Meet the Press. Ryan’s budget, he says, “remains the only serious proposal put forward on either end on Pennsylvania Avenue that saves Medicare.”

“The solutions offered by Chairman Ryan and advanced by House Republicans make no changes to Medicare for those in and near retirement, while offering a strengthened, personalized program that future generations can count on when they retire,” Sweeney says. “Far from claims of radicalism, the gradual, common-sense Medicare reforms ensure that no senior will be forced to reorganize their lives because of government’s mistakes. The most ‘radical’ course of action on Medicare is continue to cling to the unsustainable status quo.”

“Serious leaders,” he adds, without naming names, “owe seniors specific solutions to avert Medicare’s looming collapse.”

Rep. Ryan on ‘Grave Danger’: Spending Crisis Still Looms

From The Blaze:

Hello. I’m Congressman Paul Ryan from Janesville, Wisconsin – and Chairman here at the House Budget Committee. It’s no secret our government has a spending problem –- and the problem has gotten so bad it’s threatening our future and hurting our nation’s ability to create jobs.

Republicans made a pledge that we would work to change this if given the opportunity to lead. Since January, we’ve been urging President Obama to listen to the people and work with us to reduce spending. The president started this year by proposing a freeze that would make no cuts at all.

But now bipartisan legislation is in sight to enact the largest spending cut in American history.

Full transcript here.

Nine Points About the Republican Budget

From National Review:

There’s been an avalanche of commentary on Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity,” and rightly so. Ryan’s proposal, which would reform entitlement spending, balance the budget, and begin paying off the debt, is the most important legislative proposal of my lifetime. It may not pass in its current form. But there is a much better chance than you’d think that it will pass in modified form, perhaps under another president. Either way, it will change the way we talk about the deficit and the debt for a very long time.

The plan is quite comprehensive, encompassing discretionary spending, defense spending, financial regulation, Fannie and Freddie, tax reform, welfare programs, and Medicare and Medicaid. (As David Brooks puts it, PTP “dodges Social Security,” which is acceptable, given Social Security’s lesser impact on our long-term fiscal problems.)

As for getting debt under control, here’s what the Congressional Budget Office had to say about the “Path to Prosperity”:

The resulting budget deficits under the proposal would be around 2 percent of GDP in the 2020s [down from 9 percent in 2010] and would decline during the 2030s. The budget would be in surplus by 2040 and show growing surpluses in the following decade. Federal debt would equal about 48 percent of GDP by 2040 and 10 percent by 2050.

And Yuval Levin has put together some nice charts, based on the CBO numbers, that show how dramatically PTP changes our country’s fiscal trajectory, relative to both current law and the Obama budget.

Much of the criticism — some of which came even before anyone knew the proposal’s details — has been plainly dishonest. Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo described the “Path to Prosperity” as “getting rid of Medicare.” Incoming DNC chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz called it a “death trap for seniors.”

That’s not to say that Representative Ryan’s plan is perfect. No proposal of its scope and ambition could ever be, and Ezra Klein has a good bullet-pointed summary of the “Path to Prosperity” from the liberal perspective. So let’s sift through the most controversial aspects of the plan: those related to health-care entitlements. It’s going to be a rather wonky exercise, though I’ve done my best to make it readable by breaking it up into bite-sized chunks.

But first, I have three words for those who disapprove of Ryan’s approach: Where’s your plan? If you think that slowing the growth of Medicare and Medicaid spending is a bad thing, which taxes would you raise instead? If you actually favor Medicare and Medicaid cuts, but using government-dictated rationing instead of individual choice, could you please explain why? And this is, at heart, why Ryan’s bold stroke just may work: by forcing his critics to produce an honest alternative.

To see the nine points, go to the National Review.

Daniels on Ryan Budget: ‘First Serious Proposal Produced by Either Party’

From National Review:

Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, who referred to the growing national debt as our generation’s “red threat” during his February CPAC speech, has issued this statement in response to Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget:

The House budget resolution is the first serious proposal produced by either party to deal with the overriding issue of our time. The national debt we are amassing threatens the livelihood and the liberty of every single American, and in particular the life prospects of our young people.

Anyone criticizing this plan without offering a specific and equally bold program of his own has failed in the public duty to be honest and clear with Americans about the gravest danger we are facing together.


The Left’s Reactions to the Paul Ryan Budget

From Ricochet:

Best I can tell, there are two reactions to the Paul Ryan budget proposal emerging from the Left.

The first is a smug overconfidence that the proposal is dead on arrival and an underlying assumption that Ryan’s plan will fail to resonate with the American people.  This response is typified here by politico J.B. Poersch:

“It was a good day for Democrats,” said J.B. Poersch, former executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee who is heading an independent expenditure effort for Democrats in 2012. “It’s going to sting [Republicans]. This is a news flash for seniors. It’s probably an overreach, and they are likely to pay politically.”

And the second reaction is an acknowledgment of the seriousness of the Ryan plan and of the dramatic contrast that the president’s lack of seriousness provides.  Says Andrew Sullivan:

Here’s why [referring to J.B. Poersch] I can’t stand the Democrats…This is the kind of politics Obama swore to avoid in the campaign. We have a serious and flawed plan to get the debt under control – and the Democrats’ immediate response is to go into total opposition. The president has been more muted in his response. But the onus is on him now to provide a plan that matches the impact on the budget that Ryans’ does, with different emphases.

So where is that plan? Or does the president have none?

Sullivan’s right.  President Obama will need to produce his own plan that matches the spending cuts and deficit reductions of the Ryan plan if he wants to maintain any semblance of credibility.  Not that credibility seems to be all that important to him these days…

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