Ryan talks Republican role in a divided government

2013-01-28T15:56:00Z 2013-12-17T10:53:03Z Ryan talks Republican role in a divided governmentALISON BAUTER alison.bauter@journaltimes.com Journal Times

RACINE — Republicans couldn’t capture the majority in November’s national elections, and now they’re left to do what they can — and, morally, what they must — to protect the nation’s financial future, according to U. S. Rep. Paul Ryan.

That’s the role in which would-be vice president and re-elected Wisconsin Congressman Ryan now casts his party, post-loss.

“If we’re not going to fix (the national debt) now, then we need to try to buy the country time,” Ryan told The Journal Times’ editorial board Monday afternoon.

Budget remains priority

True to form, on Monday Ryan opened by distributing a stack of hand-outs, joking, “Wouldn’t be me without a PowerPoint.”

Graph by graph, Ryan outlined the beliefs he tried to impart during his vice presidential bid — spending is the problem, he said, and “the problem from a fiscal standpoint, from a debt-reducing standpoint are these mandatory programs, entitlement programs.”

When it comes to fixing those problems his way, Ryan is realistic about his party’s chances when Democrats again control the Senate and the White House, but said he still sees a moral imperative to counter Democrats’ approach, which he casts as fiscally disastrous.

In a “Meet the Press” interview Sunday, Ryan made headlines by suggesting that the sequester was inevitable given Democrats’ unwillingness to compromise. The sequester is a pack of automatic spending cuts set to take effect on March 1 if lawmakers don’t act. They were originally set to take effect on Jan. 1 until Congress voted to delay them during fiscal cliff negotiations. Ryan stuck by the statement Monday, adding that he hopes the series of mandatory cuts to defense and domestic spending “adds to the need to solve our budget problems,” acting as a wake-up call to those on the other side of the aisle.

On the issues

The Janesville Republican, whose 1st Congressional District includes all of Racine County, points to President Barack Obama’s rhetoric of “political conquest over political compromise” as the continuing culprit in lawmakers’ uphill battle for bipartisan solutions.

For example — some Democrats are willing to consider his ideas on tax reform and altering Medicare, Ryan said, but the president is not.

Democrats by and large either fail to see the national debt as a problem, or grossly underestimate its severity, he said, adding that he thinks the president falls in the latter category.

On the Affordable Care Act, Ryan repeated past assertions that the law will “collapse under its own weight,” but not before substantially harming business owners and health care providers. On that issue, Ryan suspects the two sides will never see eye to eye.

Similarly, Ryan said he opposes assault weapon bans, but supports closing loopholes on background checks. Additionally, he said, the gun control debate doesn’t account for deeper issues that give rise to gun violence — a cultural desensitization to violence, and failure to identify and treat mental illness early on. Societal issues like these may not be ones that Congress can easily solve, Ryan suggested.

Room for compromise

One area Ryan said is ripe for bipartisan reform is immigration, previously thorny territory that the congressman said creates an “artificial barrier” to Republican support.

“It’s the best chance we’ve got for bipartisanship that works,” Ryan said, noting his past support for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s immigration proposals.

Finding a consensus on that issue will open the possibility to offer substantive alternatives on other issues, broadening Republicans’ appeal and their chances to regain a majority in 2014, Ryan said.

“We have better ideas on the issues, and we need to showcase that,” he said.

Copyright 2015 Journal Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(27) Comments

  1. drizzit
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    drizzit - January 31, 2013 5:18 pm
    Ryan is like a founding father reborn. I love listening to him, and the Liberals need to take the budget seriously.

    On gun control he's got it right also. Make sure we can get background checks at all gun sales including individuals & swap meets.

    98% of all gun violence is from liberals in Democrat voting districts with 12% of all American gun violence coming from Chicago.

    We need gun training, and I just went to Shooters, and it was a lot of fun. You can rent a gun there, and start your training today.
  2. An American
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    An American - January 29, 2013 7:05 pm
    So why does the tea brains think that the best way to pay for their wars is to take it out of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Veteran benefits. Those programs have not cause the deficit, their wars and an unapid for prescription drug program and tax breaks for the wealthy did, however.
  3. jrunny
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    jrunny - January 29, 2013 5:58 pm
    Until this country changes its spending I too feel my kids have a very disappointing future.
  4. bergyman
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    bergyman - January 29, 2013 5:31 pm
    The truth about the TEA party is that they are tired of us spending more than we take in and they believe that we have a spending problem (since we've never spent more money compared to GNP (including wars) in our country's history). Yeah. How stupid. Better to be your definition of "stupid" that to be irresponsible and ask our grandkids to support 50% of the nation that is currently not paying any federal income tax.
  5. bergyman
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    bergyman - January 29, 2013 4:54 pm
    Funny that you're calling this a puff piece. I was looking at the picture and thought "could they have picked a picture that made him look any goofier?" Obama (http://journaltimes.com/news/us/obama-on-immigration-overhaul-now-is-the-time/article_e44e3af6-6184-5cb2-b32b-d1f558f35705.html) gets the good pix as does Kerry for his Sec of State article.
  6. bergyman
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    bergyman - January 29, 2013 4:49 pm
    I think the person spelling "intelligent" wrong should watch what arguments he or she makes on a subject.
  7. An American
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    An American - January 29, 2013 4:34 pm
    How dare you unveil the truth about the tea party. They are working as hard as the can to keep people stupid and against their own best interests.
  8. An American
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    An American - January 29, 2013 4:31 pm
    I guess Ryan and his band of Greedy Old Plutocrats just don’t get it. Women and minorities do not want his party’s control over their lives. He turns women off with his insistence that his party knows what is best for women, and that his government should join them in the doctor’s examination room. He knows what is best for them, just ask him. He will tell them, a co-sponsor of the bill to address rape, that their resulting pregnancy is what God wanted them to experience and they should have no right to an abortion, whether they are 6 years old, or 60. Other minority groups are not as complacent or stupid Ryan wishes they were, and they will continue to reject his ungodly politics.

    Fools like this just don't get it. Demographics are making them obsolete.
  9. ggodmuls
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    ggodmuls - January 29, 2013 4:28 pm
    *WOW* Have you ever been Bamboozled by the Politicians.


    Fleming v Nestor - US Supreme Court

    In this 1960 Supreme Court decision Nestor's denial of benefits was upheld even though he had contributed to the program for 19 years and was already receiving benefits. He appealed the termination arguing, among other claims, that promised Social Security benefits were a contract and that Congress could not renege on that contract. In its ruling, the Court rejected this argument and established the principle that entitlement to Social Security benefits is not contractual right.

    Good luck with what YOU THINK is the law, because, it isn't.

    Social Security is not an insurance program at all. It is simply a payroll tax on one side and a welfare program on the other. Your Social Security benefits are always subject to the whim of 535 politicians in Washington.

    In an earlier case, Helvering v. Davis (1937), the Court had ruled that Social Security was not a contributory insurance program, saying, “The proceeds of both the employee and employer taxes are to be paid into the Treasury like any other internal revenue generally, and are not earmarked in any way.”

    Keep Yelling, you'll only get tired. What the politicians have promised - can't be paid - the I.O.U.'s are worthless scraps of paper. GOOD LUCK GETTING A COURT TO ENFORCE YOUR CLAIMS, which have no basis in law. .

  10. ggodmuls
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    ggodmuls - January 29, 2013 12:38 pm
    Senator Rand Paul to Breitbart News's Ben Shapiro: "I think the President understands the Constitution enough to know that he would prefer a different type of constitution. [Supreme Court Justice] Ginsberg said she admired the South African Constitution. So, I think that's more of where the President is coming from. They would rather have positive rights, enumerated, that everyone has the right to water, housing, haircuts, you name it."

    You're right - so - who pays?

  11. ggodmuls
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    ggodmuls - January 29, 2013 12:37 pm
    Granny - Meet Racine's Royalty - no Wal-Mart there.... only the best will do!


    All courtesy of abusing confiscatory, mandatory taxation - because it is certainly not based upon merit or effort.
  12. jrunny
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    jrunny - January 29, 2013 10:40 am
    granny who is your Florida representive? Does he care about this country like mine does?

    As for salads Where is the best one you can get on those early bird specals in St Pete Beach?
  13. granny grits
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    granny grits - January 29, 2013 10:22 am
    Word salad?
  14. jrunny
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    jrunny - January 29, 2013 10:12 am
    Happy Birthday Paul...You are a hero I'm this country when heros are hard to come by.
  15. milwaukeebo
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    milwaukeebo - January 29, 2013 9:48 am
    Ryan and his lies about Social Security

    Let’s be brutally frank today: The claim by some of those Wall Street money changers and politicians like PAUL Ryan and many of his Republican colleagues that Social Security is contributing to the national debt and therefore needs to be “fixed” is nothing more than an outright lie.
    Because the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted to make sure that the Social Security Trust Fund was protected from the ever-changing political winds, it was set up as a separate self-financed system that gets its revenues from three sources — roughly 80 percent from the payroll tax of 6.2 percent for both the employee and employer (the 6.2 was reduced to 4.2 for employees to help provide relief during the recession and went back to 6.2 percent on Jan. 1), another 15 percent from interest earned by the trust fund, and the other 5 percent from taxes that Social Security recipients wind up paying at income tax time. In Social Security’s 75-year history, it has collected $15.5 trillion and currently has $2.6 trillion in the bank, enough money to pay full benefits until about 2037.
    It cannot borrow, but the government itself can borrow from it and always does. The Social Security Trust Fund currently holds roughly 18 percent of the federal government’s debt, twice as much as China, the country Republicans like to claim is holding our debt. Former Michigan Sen. Donald Riegle, who believes the government ought to repay Social Security, has pointed out that President George W. Bush borrowed heavily from the trust fund to mask the budget costs of his two wars and the tax reductions he engineered in his first term.
    And now Paul Ryan and the congressional Republicans and Wall Street financiers who are spreading the lie that we can’t tackle the national debt problem without changing Social Security.
    In a recent op-ed, Riegle named Wall Street insider Pete Peterson as a leading advocate of this lie. He has dedicated a billion dollars of his fortune to destroy the system as we know it.
    “Peterson is joined in his efforts by other wealthy special interests that have much to gain if Social Security is cut or eliminated,” the retired senator said. “The same Wall Street firms that needed the taxpayers to bail them out — and individuals like Peterson who took advantage of a tax loophole that enabled him to pay taxes on his Wall Street profits at the same rate as a janitor cleaning his office — are conducting a massive lobbying campaign to reduce Social Security protections” by claiming it’s a way to lower the deficit.
    In fact, Riegle points out, Wall Street ought to be reimbursing the system for the money it lost when workers lost their jobs and interest rates plummeted thanks to the reckless behavior of Wall Street banks and other financiers.
    “Social Security did not create the economic problem or the budget deficit,” he adds. “Wall Street and other government spending did. But the opponents of Social Security don’t want to pay back all the money that was borrowed from Social Security. Instead they want to cut Social Security benefits.”
    That, of course, would be a hard hit for millions of older Americans, many of whom rely on Social Security to keep them out of poverty. And all for the benefit of those who least need it, but are willing to lie to get it.

  16. milwaukeebo
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    milwaukeebo - January 29, 2013 9:23 am
    Well, now... Looks like Eddie Munster is more delusional than we originally thought.
    I wonder if he, and his Greedy Obstructionist Party cronies really understand how economics and math works, or if they are only experts because Faux says they are.
    Let's see what the Congressional Budget Office has to say, shall we?
    Social Security and Medicare are sometimes called "entitlements," because people meeting relevant eligibility requirements are legally entitled to benefits, although most pay taxes into these programs throughout their working lives. Some mandatory spending (such as Congressional salaries) is not part of any entitlement program.
    The United States spent 20 percent of the federal budget on defense in 2008. According to the CBO, defense spending grew 9.8% annually on average from fiscal year 2000-2009.
    Much of the costs for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have not been funded through regular appropriations bills, but through emergency supplemental appropriations bills. As such, most of these expenses were not included in the budget deficit calculation prior to FY2010. Some budget experts argue that emergency supplemental appropriations bills do not receive the same level of legislative care as regular appropriations bills. During 2011, the U.S. spent more on its military budget than the next 13 countries combined.
    All told, the U.S. government spent about $718 billion on defense and international security assistance in 2011 — more than it spent on Medicare. That includes all of the Pentagon’s underlying costs as well as the price tag for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which came to $159 billion in 2011. It also includes arms transfers to foreign governments.
    - U.S. Congressional Budget Office, An Analysis of the President's Budgetary Proposals for Fiscal Year 2010, June 2009.
    Very interesting!
    What about a recent analysis by the Washington Post?
    Defense Spending in 2011
    United States: $718 Billion
    China, Russia, Great Britain, France, Japan, India, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Brazil, Italy, South Korea, Australia, and Canada combined: $692 Billion
    ¢27.8 of every tax dollar goes to Defense spending. ¢20.1 goes to Medicare, and ¢12.2 goes to Social Security.
    As the economy has tanked, the banks have been bailed out, and America lost its jobs, the defense budget continues to grow.
    For the past 13 years U.S. military spending has increased 114 percent.
    That's 8 percent higher than at the height of Reagan's presidency and the Cold War.
    The money is used to buying sophisticated weapons that often don't make it into production, and when the do they're expensive to maintain.
    The U.S. must spend a full 1 percent of its GDP just to maintain its arsenal.
    - Washington Post analysis of US Defense Spending
    Wow, who would have thought?
    What does the Office of Management and Budget have to say?
    Where'd the money go?
    A significant reason for the current budget deficit were the tax cuts instigated by President George W. Bush. but President Obama also pushed through Congress a payroll tax cut intended to pump money into a moribund economy. Tax cuts accounted for a further $2.8 trillion of the $11.7 trillion discrepancy. The biggest component was Bush’s 2001 reduction in income-tax rates, which alone accounts for about $1.2 trillion in revenue foregone over the decade.
    There were increases in outflows unpredicted by the CBO. Between 2001 and 2011, increased discretionary spending amounted to about $3 trillion. This category includes defense spending related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, homeland security upgrades in the US, spending on food stamps and other hard-times safety net programs, and other general budget categories that are supposed to be approved annually by Congress.
    Edmund Volkshull, a former economic official in the Bush White House, explains that the majority of the discrepancy came from decreased revenues. (in other words, tax cuts) 32 percent went away due to projection inaccuracy (we guessed wrong) 49 percent went to tax cuts, (Congress and Dubya gave breaks to the wealthy) and 19 percent can be accounted for by various forms of increased spending. (Congress spent money on unfunded and illegal wars).
    - Office of Management & Budget
    I don't know about you guys, but a reading of the facts, analysis of economic data, and reality shows that Ryan and his Grotesquely Obsolete Party hacks don't have the first inkling of what tanked the economy (other than their stated intent to do so) and they clearly don't understand that the Middle Class is the economic engine of this nation.
    They're committing treason right before our eyes, and their constituents are stupid enough to let them get away with it.

  17. jrunny
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    jrunny - January 29, 2013 8:10 am
    In 2,3 years I do see Pauks predictions come true. Obamy could careless for this country. Just listening to Paul his patriotism is true.

    Funny un American sure know a lot about being a pervert. Sense he has some first Hand knowledge on the subject.
  18. 2brnt2b
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    2brnt2b - January 28, 2013 9:41 pm
    they're outnumbered. they need to have larger familes. that like them.
  19. An American
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    An American - January 28, 2013 9:22 pm
    Dahhhh. So inteligent. Dahhhhhh!
  20. mt_pleasantly
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    mt_pleasantly - January 28, 2013 8:31 pm
    At least they've finally read the writing on the wall regarding immigration. With americas demographics quickly changing the GOP can no longer afford to marginalized or alienate anyone. I think that is a huge reason why they lost the presidency.
  21. jrunny
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    jrunny - January 28, 2013 8:11 pm
    Hope someday you will stay on topic.

    Go Paul please the wisdom thus country needs to beat back the misguided liberals.
  22. Blindman
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    Blindman - January 28, 2013 6:21 pm
    Ryan is absolutly correct about obamas "divisive rhetoric" and "political conquest,more than political compromise"...This is one of the most divisive "presidents" in U.S. history,and the far left loves it.
  23. Blindman
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    Blindman - January 28, 2013 6:16 pm
    Instead of listening to what dems say about republicans,maybe listen to what republicans are saying...Republicans are the party of morals and fiscal responsibility...Apparently the American people aren't interested in those things.
  24. Jacob S
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    Jacob S - January 28, 2013 5:59 pm
    If you truly want to tackle the budget, why not reduce Defense Spending? If the country is in such dire economic straits, why are Republicans still focused on Social Issues like Abortion and "Personhood"?

    Why does The House stay in Washington a relatively short amount of time? Maybe speak with Majority Leader Cantor, about it.
  25. An American
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    An American - January 28, 2013 5:14 pm
    Ryan and moral -- now that is a definition of an Oxy-morom.
  26. Timt49
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    Timt49 - January 28, 2013 5:11 pm
    Un American, is that you again?
  27. whateverusay
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    whateverusay - January 28, 2013 4:59 pm
    Another love letter from the JT. Ryan voted for two unfunded wars, Medicare advantage that said the government couldn't negotiate prices with , the Bush tax cuts and TARP - but NOW he has a moral imperative to cut spending? That's rich.

    Did Bauter ask him ANY substantive questions or did she just write down whatever Ryan said? Her tea party friends will be grateful for the puff piece.
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