Archive for the ‘Representative Paul Ryan (R)’ Category


Sunday, August 12th, 2012



Saturday, August 11th, 2012



Thursday, August 9th, 2012



Published on The Weekly Standard (

Go for the Gold, Mitt!

Stephen F. Hayes and William Kristol

August 13, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 44

Mitt Romney will have many opportunities over the next three months to demonstrate to voters that they should choose him over Barack Obama: his acceptance speech at the Republican convention, the three presidential debates, major policy addresses, and more. But it may be that nothing will speak louder than his selection of a running mate.

Voters seem to care. In a recent CBS News/New York Times poll, 74 percent of registered voters said the selection of a running mate will matter—48 percent saying it matters “somewhat” and 26 percent saying it matters “a lot.” In a close election, as this one seems likely to be, Romney’s pick could help determine the outcome.

It’s not the first time we’ve said it, but it could well be the last: Go bold, Mitt! Pick Paul Ryan, the Republican party’s intellectual leader, the man who’s laid out the core of the post-Obama policy agenda and gotten his colleagues in Congress to sign on to it. Or pick Marco Rubio, the GOP’s most gifted young politician, the man who embodies what is best about the Tea Party and a vision of a broad-based Republican governing majority of the future. Barack Obama was right about this (if only this): Modern democratic politics is about hope and change. Ryan and Rubio, more than anyone else, embody Republican hopes and conservative change. (more…)



Friday, August 3rd, 2012




Monday, July 30th, 2012




Published on The Weekly Standard (

Man with a Plan

How Paul Ryan became the intellectual leader of the Republican party

Stephen F. Hayes

July 23, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 42

Kenosha, Wisc.

Paul Ryan has come to Kenosha to deliver bad news. It’s May 3, 2012, and the United States faces an imminent debt crisis. The federal government is spending too much. Entitlements are out of control. Social Security is going insolvent. Medicare is sucking up an ever-increasing chunk of our tax dollars. There are too many retirees and too few workers to support them. And both political parties are responsible for the unholy mess.

Ryan, the seven-term representative from Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District, speaks quickly, as if the coming collapse might happen in the middle of his remarks if he takes too much time. It’s a bracing message. He is saying, in effect, that the American experiment, our 236 extraordinary years of self-government, is on the verge of failure.

And yet Ryan is smiling. It’s not the phony grin of a politician seeking votes, or the half-smirk of a charlatan putting one over on a group of rubes. It’s a real smile—the eager smile of someone excited to share important news. Paul Ryan believes he has the solution to these problems. And after a long and often lonely fight to convince his fellow Republicans that they should be talking about these issues, Ryan is succeeding.

The town hall in Kenosha is Ryan’s third public meeting of the day. He begins his comments by urging those in the crowd to treat each other with respect in order to facilitate a good conversation based on an exchange of ideas. As he says this, supporters of Rob Zerban, the Democrat who will lose to Ryan in November, hold up bumper stickers in front of their faces and begin talking loudly amongst themselves. When a security guard asks them to stop, several of them, led by a woman who looked to be in her 50s, affix the bumper stickers to their foreheads, an act of defiance that they evidently find quite hilarious.

Members of the group—perhaps 20 people out of an audience of some 250 constituents—loudly snicker and sneer throughout Ryan’s meeting in what appears to be an effort to unnerve him. So there is much harrumphing when Ryan touts his entitlement reforms, heavy sighing when he laments the refusal of Senate Democrats to offer a budget of their own, and later shouting as he tries to answer questions.

Ryan’s opening remarks take 19 minutes. As if to confirm his well-deserved reputation as a budget wonk, his PowerPoint presentation—yes, a PowerPoint—includes a dizzying array of charts and graphs with debt-to-GDP ratios, revenue estimates, spending analyses, CBO projections, and a fair number of acronyms.

For years, this was the rap on Ryan. He talks in wonkspeak, the peculiar Washington dialect of budget mavens and Capitol Hillians who focus on fiscal policy, and his attempts to communicate the seriousness of our situation were compromised by his affinity for budget jargon.

This is no longer true. Ryan’s presentation is compelling and easy to understand. He begins with a description of the coming debt crisis, briefly describes Barack Obama’s failure to address it, and then moves quickly to the five principles of his budget proposal. He’s given this talk hundreds of times before—to town halls, business groups, small gatherings of congressional Republicans. The practice shows. At one point, Ryan pauses for effect before he clicks to a slide depicting the “current path” projection over a graph tracing the history of U.S. debt. When he finally unveils the red Everest-like mountain of coming debt the audience responds with a collective gasp. (more…)



Thursday, April 5th, 2012
Published on The Weekly Standard (

A Tale of Two Budgets

Paul Ryan draws the contrast Republicans will need this fall.

Yuval Levin

April 2, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 28
EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:  On one hand are Obama’s 15 numinous know-it-alls, charged with setting prices, rationing care, and finding just the right balance between quality and access from Washington, and without the power to change Medicare’s payment system. And on the other hand is a system that seeks efficiency by having 50 million consumers in search of the quality they want at the lowest price they can find pressuring 15 million insurance and health care providers to find innovative ways to meet their demands and make a good living. One involves sheer faith in expert managers, and the other involves using real economics to lift the burden of the oppressive fee-for-service system and enable a new era of innovation, efficiency, and quality in American health care. It is hard to imagine a clearer contrast for voters than that between the two visions of government, and of American life, at the heart of these two proposals​—​and indeed, at the heart of these two budgets

Last spring, when House Republicans passed Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan’s ambitious fiscal agenda, it would have been easy to make two basic guesses about the proposal’s lasting impact: On the one hand, it seemed that the budget’s focus on the immense scope of the fiscal calamity heading our way would put the deficit and debt at the center of our politics for the rest of Barack Obama’s term. But on the other hand, it looked like the Medicare proposal in the budget would be highly controversial and politically risky.

For a time, both predictions seemed to be confirmed by events. The Ryan budget forced President Obama essentially to retract the budget he had proposed two months earlier and replace it with a vague series of promises to address the deficit and debt. There followed several months of budget showdowns, with Republicans setting the agenda, even if they got only a small portion of the spending cuts they sought. Meanwhile, the Democrats were in full attack mode on Medicare, accusing Republicans of pushing old ladies off cliffs and asserting that the defense of “Medicare as we know it” would be the centerpiece of their own election platform.

As the year went on, however, both predictions turned out to be wrong. The case for saving Medicare (and with it the federal budget) from bankruptcy through consumer choice and competition quickly gained the status of Republican orthodoxy​—​with most of the party’s presidential candidates backing it, just about every congressional Republican voting for it, and almost no conservative commentators and pundits opposing it. And voters did not seem to hold it against Republicans, especially when contrasted with President Obama’s proposal to reduce Medicare spending by empowering the Independent Payment Advisory Board​—​a panel of 15 experts​—​to ration care. By November, the New York Times was reporting that the merits of a Ryan-style reform were getting a serious look beyond Republican ranks and “some Democrats say that​—​if carefully designed, with enough protections for beneficiaries​—​it might work.” In December, Democratic senator Ron Wyden of Oregon joined with Ryan to propose a bipartisan version of the idea. (more…)



Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
The Wall Street Journal

  • Updated March 19, 2012, 10:50 p.m. ET

The GOP Budget and America’s Future

The president’s budget gives more power to bureaucrats, takes more from taxpayers to fuel the expansion of government, and commits our nation to a future of debt and decline.


Less than a year ago, the House of Representatives passed a budget that took on our generation’s greatest domestic challenge: reforming and modernizing government to prevent an explosion of debt from crippling our nation and robbing our children of their future.

Absent reform, government programs designed in the middle of the 20th century cannot fulfill their promises in the 21st century. It is a mathematical and demographic impossibility. And we said so.

We assumed there would be some who would distort for political gain our efforts to preserve programs like Medicare. Having been featured in an attack ad literally throwing an elderly woman off a cliff, I can confirm that those assumptions were on the mark.


But one year later, we can say with some confidence that the attacks have failed. Courageous Democrats have joined our efforts. And bipartisan opposition to the path of broken promises is growing.

And so Tuesday, House Republicans are introducing a new Path to Prosperity budget that builds on what we’ve achieved. (more…)



Friday, March 2nd, 2012
The Wall Street Journal

  • March 1, 2012

Ryan’s Medicare Revolution

With little fanfare, the Wisconsin Republican congressman has persuaded presidential candidates and even some Democrats.


Over the past year, an entitlement revolution has taken place on Capitol Hill. It has gotten relatively little attention from the media. Yet its implications for the budget deficit and the health care of senior citizens are enormous.

The revolution involves Medicare, the health-care program for the elderly and the single biggest cause of America’s looming debt crisis. Reform of Medicare would be achieved by a policy known as “premium support.” It would bring consumer choice and spending restraint to the beleaguered program.

You may not have heard of premium support. But thanks to the efforts of Paul Ryan, the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee, it is now the leading alternative to current, fee-for-service Medicare. Indeed, it is the only credible alternative.

How would premium support work? Beginning in 2022, it would create a marketplace in which seniors have a fixed amount of money to buy health insurance. The amount of “support” would match the price of the insurance “premium.” The poor would get additional support to offset out-of-pocket expenses. The better-off would get less. Payments would be “risk-adjusted” so the sick would be assured of full coverage.

Yes, it’s a bit complicated. Insurers would compete for the business of seniors. There would be three options. One would be coverage at the support level. Another would offer less coverage at a lower price, with the difference rebated to the beneficiary. The third would provide broader coverage at a higher price, requiring the beneficiary to pay the amount above the support level.

That’s the health-care part of premium support. The cost-saving part is simpler. Medicare in its current form is open-ended, its expenditures uncontrolled and unsustainable. With premium support, the cost of Medicare would be capped. Its payment would rise with the rate of inflation or GDP growth, or slightly above.

The salience of premium support doesn’t depend on who wins the White House in November. It is bound to be a major part of budget negotiations. Without it, serious deficit reduction would be almost impossible. With it, a debt crisis like Europe faces today is avoidable.

True, Mr. Obama’s health-care law has created an Independent Payment Advisory Board with the task of limiting Medicare spending, now rising at 6% a year, to the economic growth rate plus a half percentage point. Not only does the board lack the tools to achieve this, but even if it did, the cuts would drive away doctors by the thousands and force hospitals to close due to lack of funds.

How Mr. Ryan, a protégé of the late Republican reformer Jack Kemp, yanked premium support from obscurity is an amazing story. Discussed in policy circles for years, it was recommended by a bipartisan presidential commission in 1999. President Clinton ignored the advice, and President George W. Bush never embraced it.


Associated PressWisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan (more…)



Thursday, February 23rd, 2012




Saturday, February 4th, 2012

The 2011 HUMAN EVENTS Conservative of the Year: Paul Ryan

Posted 12/22/2011 ET
Updated 12/23/2011 ET

The editors of HUMAN EVENTS are proud to name Rep. Paul Ryan as “Conservative of the Year” for 2011.  The Wisconsin Republican was a favorite from the very beginning of the nomination process, not only with our editorial board but with our readers as well, for his relentless commitment to proposing bold, free-market reforms to rein in an out-of-control, ever-expanding government that is destroying the American economy. Despite the left’s vicious and unfounded attacks, Paul Ryan has pursued an agenda of limiting Washington’s control over our private property and the decisions we make, while eloquently arguing that true way out of poverty is through the benevolence of capitalist pursuits, not through the confiscatory paws of government bureaucrats.  And who better to profile Ryan’s indefatigable journey than eminent financial columnist and popular television host Lawrence Kudlow. Congratulations, Paul Ryan.

When you think of Republican congressman Paul Ryan, terms like earnest, serious and important come to mind.  So does the term old-fashioned. Ryan comes from an old-fashioned place, the blue-collar town of Janesville, Wisconsin.  He cherishes the old-fashioned values of a faithful family man. He even looks old-fashioned, with his white shirts and striped ties.  And he uses old-fashioned argument skills, persuasively weaving big-picture themes with the numbers that back them up.

And Ryan has old-fashioned goals, too, like saving America from fiscal bankruptcy, economic stagnation and a European-style entitlement state. (more…)

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