Paul RyanPaul Ryan introduces his and House Republicans’ proposed budget for the coming year:

America’s national debt is over $16 trillion. Yet Washington can’t figure out how to cut $85 billion—or just 2% of the federal budget—without resorting to arbitrary, across-the-board cuts. Clearly, the budget process is broken. In four of the past five years, the president has missed his budget deadline. Senate Democrats haven’t passed a budget in over 1,400 days. By refusing to tackle the drivers of the nation’s debt—or simply to write a budget—Washington lurches from crisis to crisis.

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Bonus Paul Ryan fact:  Did you know that Paul Ryan’s mother, after the death of her husband, went back to school and started a small business, all while caring for Ryan’s aging grandmother?

Click for video.  Transcript:

When my dad died, my mom went back to school.  She went back to college, got a new skill or new trade, and then she started a small business.  My mom had three or four employees at that small business that she started.  We were taking care of my grandma at the time, she was going to school, and then she started this small business.

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Romney announced his running mate this morning: Congressman Paul Ryan.

A few days ago, when everyone was speculating about who it would be, I read National Review editor Rich Lowry in Politico arguing that, contrary to what some critics were saying, Paul Ryan could be a great choice, not least because he is the face of the desperate effort to save America from “the most predictable crisis in history”:

Ryan tops the Democratic target list for the offense of proposing serious reform of Medicare, as part of a budget that puts federal obligations on a sustainable path. It’s been a cardinal rule of Republican politics that it’s OK to talk about balancing the budget, so long as no one talks about touching the entitlements that drive the long-term debt. Ryan broke the rule.

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Congressman Paul Ryan offers a very succinct review of the last two years, from Democrats’ bad policies (e.g., raising taxes during a recession) to their refusal to follow the rules (not passing a budget when required by law to do so, abusing the reconciliation process to pass Obamacare).  I recommend it, especially if you’re not already familiar with some of this recent history.  Even if you are, it’s important to keep the current debt-limit fight (including President Obama’s breathtaking attempts to paint himself as the responsible one) in perspective.

Hat tip to the Foxhole.

The National Debt

April 19, 2011

Paul Ryan vs. the status quoA credit-rating agency warned yesterday that the United States may not be able to make good on its debt.  The agency said the odds are one in three that the United States will lose its AAA rating in the next two years, which would make it harder for the United States to borrow money, at higher interest, triggering a catastrophic debt spiral.  NRO’s Kevin Williamson gives some good background and explanation, while NRO editor Kathryn Jean Lopez points out that if you read National Review, you would have seen this coming.

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Tightening the Belt?

February 9, 2011

(Tightening the screws?)

I’ve talked before (here and here) about the possibility of a constitutional amendment to address the structural problems with our democracy that make it tend toward a more and more bloated government.  Apparently Senator Orrin Hatch has proposed a balanced-budget amendment several times before, but this time, as I’ve suggested, the current political climate could actually make it happen.  In fact, this writer says that new Senator Rand Paul will also be proposing a balanced-budget amendment of his own.  Better too many than too few!

In other news, I’m encouraged to hear that new Tea Party-type congressmen and the American people may actually be serious about dealing with the problem of government spending.

Update (February 10th, 2011): National Review Online reports (with links to further details) that the conservatives have won this internal debate among House Republicans:  “GOP Will Fulfill ‘Pledge,’ Cut $100 Billion”.  It’s only one battle, but as far as it goes, I think this is great news!

More of the Same

January 26, 2011

Didn’t President Obama and other Democrats use to criticize the Failed Policies of the Past Eight Years?  (See, e.g., here and here.)  The more things change, the more they stay the same:  Apparently sticking with the failed policies of the past two years, by contrast, is a great idea.

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