Governing in the interest of the governed is a concept that hasn’t been practiced in Washington, D.C. for a very long time. Seldom do Americans become part of a national debate on how to tackle the most pressing issues facing our federal government. Entitlement spending is, perhaps, the biggest problem facing our country. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are are strapping this and future generations enormous unfunded liabilities and debt that will be next to impossible to contain unless we act fast. Luckily, there are people like Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
Mr. Ryan’s “Roadmap” plan (www.americanroadmap.org) has received considerable attention lately from both sides of the aisle. The plan ambitiously works to reform our health care policy, tax policy, and Medicare and Social Security. Serious deficit hawks on both sides of the aisle have lauded the plan as a step forward in a deeply partisan debate. But it should come as no surprise that shameless liberals like Paul Krugman of the New York Times are incapable of engaging in a civilized conversation about the future of our country. Instead, he used his column in the New York Times to insult Congressman Ryan and his plan:
Mr. Ryan has become the Republican Party’s poster child for new ideas thanks to his “Roadmap for America’s Future,” a plan for a major overhaul of federal spending and taxes. News media coverage has been overwhelmingly favorable; on Monday, The Washington Post put a glowing profile of Mr. Ryan on its front page, portraying him as the G.O.P.’s fiscal conscience. He’s often described with phrases like “intellectually audacious.”
But it’s the audacity of dopes. Mr. Ryan isn’t offering fresh food for thought; he’s serving up leftovers from the 1990s, drenched in flimflam sauce.
Krugman finishes his tirade with:
The Ryan plan is a fraud that makes no useful contribution to the debate over America’s fiscal future.
No useful contribution to the debate? Really?
In the interest of full disclosure, I served as Mr. Ryan’s legislative director and I can assure you that he, unlike many of his peers, cares very deeply for this country and it’s fiscal future. Mr. Ryan serves in the House so that he can make America a better and more prosperous place for his three small children. Meanwhile, a majority of his colleagues are more interested in playing political gamesmanship that bolsters their re-election prospects than to stick their necks out with bold ideas that can make our country great again.
Medicare and Social Security represent tens of trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities — future benefits owed, but cannot be paid — and the two programs are on track to consume almost half of the federal budget within the next twenty years. According to the experts are the Congressional Budget Office, Ryan’s plan would not only put these two important programs on better financial footing, it would make them financially solvent for years to come.
I realize the problems we face as a nation can be easy to ignore. Medicare and Social Security are complicated programs that can be easily demagogued by political opportunists. But that does not negate the fact that we must deal with the fiscal problems they present. If we do not answer the call to reform these programs, our country will continue to sink into a fiscal abyss that would make Greece jealous.
Ryan says is all in his response to Paul Krugman in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
The American people deserve a serious and civil discussion about how to reduce our exploding debt and deficit. By relying on ad-hominem attacks and discredited claims, Krugman and others are missing an opportunity to contribute to this discussion and are only polarizing and paralyzing attempts to solve our nation’s fiscal problems.