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Throughout Sean Hannity’s interview with Paul Ryan, it was painfully obvious that Mr. Hannity didn’t grasp the concept that divided government means one or both sides hate the deals they strike. Here’s the video of Hannity’s interview:

Throughout the interview, Hannity kept complaining that conservatives don’t like this deal much. Througout the interview, Chairman Ryan told Hannity that the budget would’ve looked much different had Patty Murray agreed to his budget and President Obama had signed it into law.

It’s unrealistic to think that President Obama would even momentarily contemplate signing such a budget. It’s absurd to think that Harry Reid would let Chairman Ryan’s budget to get a hearing, much less a vote in the Senate. That wasn’t going to happen.

What conservatives have to remember is that winning elections is the only way that the Ryan balanced budget proposal has a chance of becoming law. While Hannity and others kept insisting that Chairman Ryan had forgotten that Congress has the power of the purse, Hannity didn’t understand that Ryan technically had the power of the purse but he didn’t have the power of the purse without there being a steep political price to be paid.

People like Hannity have forgotten that the balanced budgets of the 1990s didn’t happen because John Kasich, Newt Gingrich and President Clinton instantly had a come-to-Jesus moment and they all lived happily ever after. Conservative incrementalism is the only reason we had 4 straight balanced budgets.

It’s important to remember that there’s a huge difference between President Clinton and President Obama. President Clinton had run something before getting elected. He knew the value of being practical when it was required. President Obama never ran anything as challenging as a lemonade stand. He grew up in a radicalized world. President Obama never thought that compromise was a worthwhile thing. He still doesn’t.

Let’s stipulate that the Ryan-Murray plan isn’t a great deal because it isn’t. It’s important for whining conservatives like Hannity to understand that, though it isn’t agreat deal, it’s the best deal available. It’s equally important that consertvatives like Mr. Hannity and others to understand that this deal has significant benefits.

First, there won’t be another shutdown, which means the spotlight stays of the disaster of Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act. That’s a huge win for Republicans. If that’s all that the Republicans got out of this, that’d be enough to chalk this up as GOP victory.

Second, there’s agreement in this legislation that opens up more oil and natural gas exploration. That’s a significant win for the GOP. Most importantly, it’s a major victory for the American people in the form of stabilized home heating bills and gas prices at the pump.

Third, it’s a win for Republicans because Democrats won’t get traction when they accuse Republicans of not having the ability to govern. Instead, Chairman Ryan has stopped the Obama form of governing. That form of governing meant jumping from one crisis and/or deadline to another. That method of operation gave President Obama a major advantage in negotiations because he had the bully pulpit and Republicans had a gun pointed at their head.

People like Erick Erickson need to get their facts straight. He didn’t get his facts straight in this post:

Now, with liberal Senator Patty Murray, Congressman Ryan wants to raise spending today on the promise that Congress will restrain itself ten years from now (or whenever the benchmark will be). It’s a return to pre-sequestration Washington — spending increases today in exchange for promises of spending cuts later.

According to Chairman Ryan, Erickson isn’t close to being right. The offsets in “autopilot spending”, aka entitlements, start immediately. In exchange for some ‘sequestration relief’, Chairman Ryan won some minor changes in entitlement spending.

The Erick Ericksons of the world will never be satisfied with anything other than total, immediate victory. If Republicans want to rebuild credibility in their brand, however, it’s important that they show apolitical people that they can be principled without being obnoxious.

Chairman Ryan’s budget provides that platform for Republicans.

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Despite the Democrats’ spin otherwise, the looming government shutdown will be their fault. Tonight, Republicans voted to keep the government open while attaching a provision that would delay the start of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. Here’s the White House’s response:

The White House on Saturday said President Obama would veto the House GOP’s latest stopgap spending measure.

It said Obama would veto the bill because of the inclusion of language delaying ObamaCare and eliminating a medical device tax, while faulting the House for not moving a simple funding measure approved by the Senate on Friday.

“Rather than taking up that legislation, the House proposes amendments that advance a narrow ideological agenda and threaten the nation’s economy,” the White House budget office said in a statement. “By including extraneous measures that have no place in a government funding bill and that the president and Senate already made clear are unacceptable, House Republicans are pushing the government toward shutdown,” it said. “If the president was presented with H.J. Res 59, as amended by these amendments, he would veto the bill.”

Putting things into a bill at the last minute has been happening for decades. In most instances, however, the changes are additional pork used to buy votes that ensure passage of the bill. This time, the change to the Senate bill would delay the negative impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka the PPACA.

The administration immediately attempted to paint Republicans as extremists:

Before the veto threat, White House press secretary Jay Carney called the GOP measure “reckless and irresponsible.” Any Republican who votes for the bill is “voting for a shutdown,” he said in a statement.

It isn’t amazing that the administration is attempting to portray Republicans as extremists. What’s amazing, though, is the fact that the media isn’t questioning the White House. They aren’t even pretending to be mildly interested in reporting facts.

Unlike the formerly mainstream media, I’ll put forward some verifiable facts. If Senate Democrats defeat the bill passed tonight by the House of Representatives:

  • they will have voted to not fund the government’s operation.
  • they will have voted for giving corporations a huge break while forcing families to suffer the consequences of the PPACA
  • they will have voted for hurting families while getting an exception for themselves and their staff.

It’s impossible to take Jay Carney seriously, especially considering his repeated indefensible statements. Here’s his latest spin:

In his statement, Carney criticized Republicans for repeatedly trying to attack the healthcare law, noting they have held more than 40 votes to defund, delay or repeal it.

“The president has shown that he is willing to improve the health care law and meet Republicans more than halfway to deal with our fiscal challenges, but he will not do so under threats of a government shutdown that will hurt our economy,” he said.

That’s BS. If President Obama was “willing to improve the health care law”, he’d push for something that didn’t use the government to force families into buying something they don’t want to buy. If President Obama truly was willing to meet Republicans half way on health care reform, he wouldn’t have shoved the PPACA down families’ throats. If President Obama was truly willing to meet Republcans half way, he wouldn’t have ignored the American people’s vociferous cries to stop the insanity of passing the ACA.

There’s no polite way of putting this so I’ll just say it. Mr. Carney is a liar. Mr. Carney insists that President Obama “has shown that he’s willing to improve the health care law.” I’m calling Mr. Carney’s bluff. I won’t believe him until he cites examples of President Obama did that. What specific provisions has he used that the Republicans proposed? We know that Republicans proposed tons of alternatives during the Health Summit. Here’s one of their proposals:

10:07– Sen. Coburn is now talking about lawsuit abuse reform and defensive medicine costs. Eliminating lawsuit abuse and defensive medicine costs would save almost $850,000,000,000 annually.

That went in one of President Obama’s ears and out the other. Nothing in the ACA addresses reducing defensive medicine costs.

10:42– Paul Ryan is responding to Rob Andrews on the issue of federal regulations. Andrews says that the federal government needs to regulate health care mandates. Ryan nailed Andrews, saying that organizations like NFIB will do a good job of negotiating health care policies for their members. Ryan then says that governors will do a good job regulating health insurance, too.

When I wrote this post, I cited Lamar Alexander’s statement:

Today, a 27-year-old man in Memphis can buy a plan for as low as $41 a month. On the exchange, the lowest state average is $119 a month, a 190 percent increase. Today, a 27-year-old woman in Nashville can also buy a plan for as low as $58 a month. On the exchange, the lowest-priced plan in Nashville is $114 a month, a 97 percent increase. Even with a tax subsidy, that plan is $104 a month, almost twice what she could pay today.
Today, women in Nashville can choose from 30 insurance plans that cost less than the administration says insurance plans on the exchange will cost, even with the new tax subsidy. In Nashville, 105 insurance plans offered today will not be available in the exchange.

When the federal government dictates what health insurance policies have to cover, families’ affordable choices shrink.

Again, President Obama is about getting everything his way. Mr. Carney’s lies aren’t persuasive.

When Democrats vote to defeat the House CR, they’ll have their fingerprints all over the looming government shutdown.

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Thanks to John Hinderaker’s post about the fight over the PPACA, I can now see the GOP winning this fight. Here’s what John said that makes sense:

The Senate will pass a continuing resolution that includes Obamacare. At that point, after a little grandstanding, the Republican House will graciously accept the Senate resolution in order to avoid a shutdown. The effect is that Democrats in both the House and the Senate have been forced to go on record in favor of Obamacare.

The Republican leadership thinks this is a desirable goal. Why? For at least two reasons. First, some Congressional Democrats were not in office when the ACA passed, and haven’t yet cast a vote on it. Second, it was one thing to vote for Obamacare when no one had read the bill, and hardly anyone understood what its effects would be. Now, most people understand that Obamacare is a job-killer, a choice-destroyer, and an administrative horror. So there is, I think, something gained when Democrats are compelled to hold their noses and vote for the noxious law one more time.

John understands that the PPACA won’t disappear until there’s a Republican in the White House and Republicans control the House and Senate. Still, forcing people to vote for the PPACA is taking its toll on Democrats:

UPDATE: Traditionally, voters have trusted Republicans more on “hard” issues–national security, taxes, the economy–and Democrats more on “soft” issues–education, the environment and health care. So it is noteworthy that, despite ceaseless attacks in the Democratic press, Scott Rasmussen finds that voters trust Republicans over Democrats on health care by 43%-42%. That’s a tie, of course, but it must reflect the public’s dissatisfaction with Obamacare. Republicans can push their advantage by continuing to pound away at Obamacare, as the House leadership is now doing.

Despite Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s protestations, people hate the PPACA. They like some of the bill’s provisions but they hate most of it. They certainly hate the bill’s tax increases. They hate the employer and individual mandates. They don’t trust the exchanges. In other words, while people like provisions like keeping young people on their parents’ policy until they’re 26 and preventing insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, they’re disgusted with the biggest provisions of the PPACA.

When the PPACA is repealed, Repbulicans should resurrect the Patients Choice Act. The key components of the PCA focus on greater consumer choice, fewer mandates and a strengthened doctor-patient relationship. The IPAB would disappear. Ditto with the tax increaases and the 20,000 pages of regulations (thus far).

In short, the PCA, not to be confused with PPACA, would be popular because people instinctively prefer more options than less and less government interference over excessive government interference. That’s what the PCA would deliver.

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A number of years back, I heard a joke, part of which I can’t remember. Still, I can remember enough of it to make a point. Historic military figures were looking at the Soviet Union’s military hardware. When the tanks rolled through Red Square, Alexander the Great replied, “If I had had these chariots, I would’ve ruled the entire world.” On his left stood Napoleon Bonaparte. After Napoleon read the current copy of Pravda, he replied “If I had this as the official newspaper, nobody would’ve heard of Waterloo.”

The point of the joke isn’t to get people laughing. It’s to make the point that there’s a more insidious type of Pravda operating inside the United States. For the last 5+ years, I’ve called that operation the Agenda Media. The Agenda Media doesn’t think it’s their responsibility to get people important facts. In their minds, their responsibility is to push their politicial agenda. If that means omitting important facts, that’s what they’re willing to do. This video is a perfect illustration of the Agenda Media’s selective editing:

Thankfully, citizen journalists with cell phones are recording things as they happened. Thankfully, citizen journalists with video cameras are informing people by filming protests like this, then posting the video to Youtube, then reposting the videos to their Facebook page, then posting the links to their videos to Twitter.

There’s a more important point to this. OFA isn’t just about protesting against constitutional conservatives. They’re identifying people in communities who might vote for progressives. Conservatives will show up to counterprotest against OFA. The big question is whether they’ll get into the neighborhoods and identify people that might appreciate the conservative/capitalist message.

Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Tom Coburn, Ron Johnson, Paul Ryan and Rand Paul should be the blueprint for Republicans for 2014. They’re picking fights with President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, which is essential to winning elections. They’re framing debates. For instance, Sen. Coburn is highlighting tens of billions of dollars of duplicative spending that should be eliminated in this budget. Sen. Johnson is highlighting how government is used as a weapon against the citizenry. Paul Ryan is fighting for a pro-growth budget that will eventually balance within a decade.

It’s despicable that the Agenda Media would distort what happened at a protest. As despicable as that is, that’s only part of this story. OFA is already identifying potential Democrat voters. Republicans need to start this week at identifying potential conservative voters.

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John Boehner is failing. He’s playing President Obama’s game on President Obama’s court. He’s prosecuting the wrong case. Rather than discussing the terms of the fiscal cliff debate, Speaker Boehner should be talking about why Republicans’ pro-growth tax policies are America’s only hope for a variety of Obama-created ills.

First, Speaker Boehner should highlight the fact that President Clinton’s high tax rates didn’t trigger the great economy. He should remind the nation that it was Newt’s capital gains tax cuts that sent the economy into high gear. Prior to those tax cuts, the economy was doing ok. After cutting the capital gains tax, growth exploded.

Another thing that Speaker Boehner must do is remind people that Republicans’ insisting on balancing the federal budget helped strengthen the dollar, which led to a dramatic shrinking of America’s trade deficit. That especially affected gas prices.

Third, Speaker Boehner should shout from the rooftops that revenues during the Bush tax cuts were significantly bigger than revenues are today. If Speaker Boehner asked President Obama why he’s insisting on anti-growth policies that tamp the economy down rather than implementing new pro-growth policies that strengthen the economy, President Obama might well blow a gasket.

This is the debate we should start. This is the debate President Obama can’t win. This is the conversation that would expose President Obama’s motivation for imposing higher tax rates.

Rather than the pattern of proposal-counterproposal, then a counter offer to the counterproposal, with each side publicly stating that the other side needs to put forth a serious proposal, Speaker Boehner should ditch that pattern, especially the taunting language.

Instead, Speaker Boehner, followed by every Republican in Congress talking with their local newspapers and TV outlets about how cutting spending is what’s fair to taxpayers and how reforming the tax code, highlighted by fewer deductions and lower tax rates, would strengthen the economy.

Highlight the fact that this was the real reason why the economy was strong during the Clinton administration. Highlight the fact that the economy didn’t take off until Newt changed the trajectory of the debate.

President Obama is too arrogant to be frightened by that debate, which means Speaker Boehner should be able to turn this situation into a discussion on getting America’s economy going for the first time during President Obama’s administration.

With expensive utility bills, shrinking paychecks, high gas and grocery prices and unacceptably high unemployment rates, the indictment against President Obama’s mishandling of the economy should be lengthy and powerful.

Finally, he should unleash Paul Ryan. Speaker Boehner should insist on a televised fiscal cliff summit, with Ryan leading the prosecution of the case against President Obama’s reckless spending. Dave Camp should prosecute the case for why the GOP tax reform plan will strengthen the economy.

GOP senators and governors should take part in this summit, too. One tactic President Obama has overplayed is saying that ‘we can talk about that’ on a variety of policies, then dropping that position the minute he’s out of the room. Republicans should tell him that implementing a pro-growth economic plan is non-negotiable.

Finally, make the case that raising the top marginal tax rates won’t affect the Warren Buffetts of the world because their income comes from investments, not wages. Make the case that raising the top marginal tax rates will hurt small businesses, not the evil Wall Street fatcats President Obama always talks about.

President Obama’s policies are failing. Speaker Boehner’s ineptitude in highlighting those failures has the fiscal cliff conversation heading in the wrong direction. It’s time to change the direction of that conversation.

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Ralph Benko’s op-ed is the perfect counterargument to Michael Tomasky’s silly column, which I wrote about here. Benko didn’t waste time in highlighting the flaw in Tomasky’s logic:

Liberals do not grasp the distinction between Ronald Reagan and (either) George Bush. This blind spot creates a massive confusion and hazard to their ambitions. Obama defeated neither the Reagan Narrative nor Team Reagan. Team Bush appropriated, and then marginalized, both. Obama beat Team Bush, not Team Reagan. The implications are huge.

This post isn’t about trashing Karl Rove or the Bush family. Frankly, that’s a waste of time when there’s important things to be done. Instead, it’s about identifying underlying principles undergirded President Reagan’s policies. Mr. Benko is spot on with this analysis:

Real conservatives saw Reaganomics as a way of creating broad-based opportunity, not as catering to the rich. It worked out exactly that way in America and throughout the world. The blossoming of free market principles, especially low tax rates and good money, brought billions of souls out of poverty, from subsistence to affluence.

Several things worked together to make America infinitely more prosperous during Reagan’s time than during President Obama’s time in office. First, the dollar was much stronger than during President Obama’s time in office. That’s partially because President Reagan’s domestic energy policy was infinitely more robust than President Obama’s. The less money we needlessly ship money overseas for oil, the stronger the dollar is. Our trade deficit shrunk, too.

The new conservative Republican leaders are strikingly formidable. The leaders of the new generation, like Reagan, and Kemp, before them (and Kennedy still earlier), all recognize the power of the “rising tide lifts all boats”.

It isn’t a stretch to think that conservatives like John Kasich, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker and Marco Rubio will re-ignite the Reagan Revolution. Each of these men have spotless conservative credentials, which is why they fire up the base in ways Mitt Romney and John McCain couldn’t.

When President Bush won in 2004, he got 62,000,000 votes. McCain got fewer votes than President Bush. Mitt got fewer votes than Sen. McCain. Had Paul Ryan been at the top of the ticket, however, it isn’t a stretch to think he would’ve topped President Bush’s vote total.

That’s because he’s the spitting image of Reagan. The Reagan Revolution was fueled by a glut of great ideas. A Ryan Revolution would be powered by the same thing. Most importantly, he’d talk conservatism like his native language. This isn’t an attempt to trash Mitt. It’s simply stating the obvious. He just didn’t prosecute the case against President Obama the way Ryan would have.

President Bush’s spending turned conservatives off because he had a Republican House and Senate much of the time. President Reagan’s spending was done, in part, because he had to rebuild the military after President Carter gutted it, partly because Tip O’Neill controlled the House.

Everything President Reagan fought for was targeted towards creating prosperity. He didn’t back away from a fight, either. When PATCO went on strike, he fired them because they broke federal law. When Tip O’Neill accused him of not caring about the average working Joe, Reagan responded mightily. His temper flaring, he marched back to the podium, then said, essentially, that he’d made his money because he’d worked hard, then adding that it wasn’t given to him.

It’s a fight Mitt Romney backed away from too often in his attempt to win over women voters or independents. It’s a fight the next generation of conservatives will fight with vigor.

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Read more about it here. This poll would answer why Paul Ryan and Bill Clinton would campaign in Minnesota the last Sunday before the election.

Tonight’s debate wasn’t the substantive debate that conservatives were hoping for. When Vice President Biden rolled his eyes the first time, I wondered if that was a signal for what was ahead. It was.

Let’s be clear about this. Vice President Biden was the aggressor tonight. That’s almost automatically a sign of who won the debate. Tonight was the exception to that rule.

It isn’t that I think Paul Ryan won tonight’s debate, though he showed he’s more than capable of being a heartbeat away from the presidency. It’s that Joe Biden was consistently dismissive of Ryan.

There’s no question that the MSNBC crowd is ecstatic tonight. If I got a sawbuck for each of their internal and external fistpumps, I’d have enough to pay for a lavish month-long vacation in the Carribbean. There’s equally no question that Vice President Biden’s antics turned off independents and women. This video of Greta van Susteren interviewing Brit Hume says everything:

Vice President Biden didn’t just turn off Brit Hume and Greta van Susteren. He turned off Chris Wallace, too:

That’s only part of Vice President Biden’s problem. When asked about additional security forces for the Benghazi Consulate, Vice President Biden said that the administration didn’t know about requests for additional security. That’s a bald-faced lie according Wednesday’s testimony:

“We weren’t told they wanted more security. We did not know they wanted more security there,” Biden said.

First, this administration’s insistence that they didn’t know about the requests is frightening. Either the administration is lying about not knowing or they weren’t interested in the security conditions at a consulate in a growing terrorist hotspot.

If Vice President Biden wants us to believe that this administration didn’t pay attention to the escalating terrorist threats near the consulate, then he’s asking us to believe that they don’t pay attention to growing terrorist threats around the world.

That’s frightening.

The good news for Democrats about tonight’s debate is that it fired up the progressive base. The bad news is it turned off the other 70+ percent of the voters.

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7:50 CT — Welcome to LFR’s VP debate liveblog.
8:00 — Ed Rollins “Paul Ryan will get the job done.” I agree.
8:02 — Martha Raddatz introducing the debate. Nine segments, alternating between foreign, domestic policy.
8:03 — Starting with Libya, Biden promises “We’ll get to the bottom of this.” Now Biden is talking about President Obama’s foreign policy accomplishments. “President Obama
8:06 — Ryan: “First they blame the Youtube video for the attack, now they’re blaming the Romney-Ryan ticket for the terrorist attack.”
8:08 Ryan: We shouldn’t have called Bashar Assad a reformer when he’s aligning with the Russians.
8:15 — Biden: These are the most crippling sanctions in history.
8:22 — Biden is being unbearably smug. I hope it’s coming across that way at home.
8:29 — Ryan: I think Vice President Biden knows what it’s like for the words to not come out right.
8:38First Biden gaffe: I heard that death panel stuff from Sarah Palin. It seems like every vice presidential debate, I hear this stuff.
8:40 — Ryan is now asserting himself. He’s pouring it on about Medicare, citing Ron Wyden, Alice Rivlin & Sen. John Breaux as proponents for premium support for Medicare.
8:58 — I thought I’d give Martha Raddatz a fair shot. The only time she interrupts, she interrupts Ryan right before he finishes his point.
9:00 — BIDEN’S SECOND GAFFE: We went there for one reason, to get that killed Americans.
9:25Best tweet of the night from Jonah Goldberg: Biden: We don’t have litmus tests, but I guarantee we’ll appoint pro-choice justices.

Jim Hoft’s post about this morning’s Morning Joe focuses on Joe Scarborough’s “Emperor has no clothes” moment. While that’s noteworthy, it’s worth talking about what Mika Brzezinski said about the vice presidential debate. That section starts with Mike Barnicle laughing while saying that Vice President Biden “will be great. He’s gonna be great.” That’s when Brzezinski said “And his decaded in Congress will help. I think Paul Ryan is outmatched.”

First, it’s noteworthy that Ms. Brzezinski thinks that the smartest man on policy in Congress is outmatched intellectually by the most gaffe-prone politician of the last half-century. That’s laughable. Paul Ryan is quick on his feet. He isn’t gaffe-prone. He knows the budget thoroughly. He was taught pro-growth economic policy by Jack Kemp.

What part of that resume says Ryan will be outmatched?

This leads to a second point, a point that the pundits aren’t making. The vice presidential debate is far more important than they’re admitting. It isn’t important because people are deciding whether they’d rather vote for Vice President Biden or Congressman Ryan.

It’s important because a strong debate performance by Congressman Ryan a) makes him acceptable as the man 1 heartbeat away from the presidency and b) would sustain the momentum created by Mitt Romney’s performance.

When Paul Ryan debated President Obama at the Health Summit, Ryan administered a thorough butt-whooping to President Obama’s ego. Now we’re supposed to believe that Vice President Biden has Ryan’s number, that he’s Kryptonite to Paul Ryan?

That’s a stretch even a double-jointed 15-year-old gymnast couldn’t make.

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