Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Paul Ryan's speech- proving he's not the villain the Democrats want to pretend he is

It's always very tough to give these responses. the speakers don't have the pageantry and the applause. But I thought Ryan's speech was perhaps the best of these responses that I've seen. He said more in ten minutes about the chasm of debt that we're facing and how we need to be serious about facing up to the tough choices that will be ahead of us. He didn't get into many specifics, but that isn't what a ten-minute speech is for. He's one guy who has had the guts to put forth tough proposals in his road map.

I just hope that the Republicans, by choosing him to give the response, are indicating that they are willing to go forth with such tough choices.

President Obama ducked on entitlement reform. Paul Ryan was on the President's Debt Commission, a commission whose recommendations Obama seems to be ignoring. That's a real shame, because it is only by addressing entitlements that we are going to face up to our spending dilemma. President Bush tried to tackle entitlement reform and got chewed up by both Republicans and Democrats. We can't afford to continue ducking tough decisions on entitlements.

Allahpundit links to this story from The Hill about how Democrats are already talking about their efforts to demonize Paul Ryan.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the master political strategist for Senate Democrats, wants to turn Ryan into a bogeyman that voters think about whenever they hear about a Republican proposal to cut federal spending....

“This is an initial volley in a three-day effort — 72-hour window — to try to muddle Paul Ryan’s foray onto the national scene,” said a senior Senate Democratic aide. “We want to make the House Republicans or Republicans at large own his roadmap and what it would entail for Social Security.”

Democrats hope they can make Ryan’s debut on the national political stage as disastrous as the rebuttal Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) delivered in 2009. Jindal’s stilted performance, which the media skewered, immediately quieted talk of him as a presidential contender in 2012.
I know that talk of any sort of fiscal sanity scares democrats, but Paul Ryan's plan is not the horror tale that they'd like to make it out to be. Paul Suderman explains what Ryan is trying to do.
Scary stuff! You can practically see him twirling his mustache. But what exactly is this master plan that Americans should be so fearful of? It’s a plan to take the federal budget—currently humming down the path to fiscal disaster—and hopefully make it (gasp!) financially sustainable. It’s a plan to ensure that Social Security, which started paying out more than it takes in last year and relies on an imaginary trust fund in order to keep its books, can actually afford its obligations. It’s a plan to cap Medicare spending, and keep the growth of health care obligations from wrecking the federal budget by giving individuals the power to pick their own insurance plans. It’s a plan that would make no changes whatsoever for anyone who is a decade away from the retirement age. It’s a plan to balance the budget, eventually. Not now. Not next year. Not a decade from now, or even two. But in 2063.

Despite the implication that most of the GOP is now following Ryan's lead, it’s also a plan that most Republican members of Congress have long been hesitant to endorse—and a plan that Ryan has explicitly said he will not impose this year. Those closest GOP leadership has come to giving the plan the nod is Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s non-commital statement this week that “the direction in which the roadmap goes is something we need—we need to embrace.” You see how they are all under his control, don’t you?

So what’s more telling: that Republicans have fretted so much about signing on to Ryan’s plan? Or that Democrats and their defenders feel so threatened by Ryan’s plan to reduce the deficit, leave entitlements exactly the same for a full decade, and balance the budget 52 years from now, when most of Washington’s current political class will be covering boring disputes between the angels over St. Peter’s gate-keeping policies? I'll let that be a cliffhanger.
Scary, huh? And this is too much for the Democrats? Do they have any plan to tackle our entitle overload that will take up 92% of revenues in 2020? Not according to Obama's speech. He totally whiffed on this fact. Study this graphic of what our tax dollars in 2020 will have to fund and ponder whether Ryan's roadmap is really so scary.
Of course the Democrats are all set to attack Paul Ryan and try to make him the new Newt Gingrich. I think that will be hard. Ryan is much more sober and disciplined in his rhetoric than Gingrich. And the Democrats think they can take a shortcut to badmouth Ryan. They're willing to attack him, but not to pay attention to what he actually says. As the Weekly Standard reports, his chief attacker, Senator Schumer, won't answer a question about whether he has even read Ryan's Roadmap even though he's attacking it. Why read and think about that which they're demonizing?