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Paul Ryan (R-WI): A Choice of Two Futures

Posted by Larry Doyle on February 15, 2012 10:17 AM |

Markets manipulated by the presence of massive infusions of liquidity from central bankers may give the appearance of calm, smooth sailing but under the surface an explosion of epic proportions continues to build.

What is fueling that volcanic eruption?

Chronic deficit spending.

With our fiscal deficit having grown by trillions of dollars over the last few years, make no mistake the withdrawal pains and devastation from this out of control spending WILL be extraordinary. Not might be. WILL be. Borrowing from future generations may be a political art form in Washington but it is truly nothing more than a failure of governance. 

With all due respect to those currently on our Presidential political stage, I see little of real substance in addressing this issue. President Obama’s recently submitted budget strikes me as little more than a political document. Who on the Republican side of the ledger is willing to truly elevate the discussion to an adult level on the deficit?

How I wish that Paul Ryan (R-WI) were running for President this year. Ryan may have been somewhat ostracized by House Speaker Boehner last year, but he consistently strikes me as having the courage and the vision which America needs to regain our footing, and transition away from the chronic deficit spending which will crush us.

Ryan has put forth The Roadmap Plan for America. At the very least America needs the adult discussion that goes along with Ryan’s roadmap. On that note and in attempt to promote the dialogue, I welcome highlighting Ryan’s work:

A Choice of Two Futures

Rarely before have the alternatives facing America been so starkly defined.

For the past year, Washington’s leaders have taken an already unsustainable budget outlook and made it far worse. They have exploited Americans’ genuine economic anxieties to justify an unrelenting and wide-ranging expansion of government. Their agenda has included, among other things, a failed, debt-financed economic “stimulus”;  an attempt to control the Nation’s energy sector; increasing domination of housing and financial markets; the use of taxpayer dollars to seize part ownership of two nearly bankrupt auto makers; and, of course, the planned takeover of Americans’ health care, already heavily burdened, manipulated, and distorted by government spending and regulation.

This domineering government brings taxes, rules, and mandates; generates excessive levels of spending, deficits, and debt; leads to economic stagnation and declining standards of living; and fosters a culture in which self-reliance is a vice and dependency a virtue – and as a result, the entire country weakens from within.

Increasingly, Americans are rejecting this approach, and for good reason. But the status quo is not acceptable either. The Federal Government’s current fiscal path is unsustainable: it leads to unprecedented levels of spending and debt that will overwhelm the budget, smother the economy, weaken America’s competitiveness in the 21st century global economy, and threaten the survival of the government’s major benefit programs.

The President and congressional Majority are only hastening America’s march toward this reckoning, adding to trillions of dollars worth of unfunded liabilities, and accelerating the erosion of Americans’ health care and retirement security. Their “progressivism” ironically points backwards – to a future in which America’s best century is the past century.

There is another choice, as reflected by the proposal described in this report: A Roadmap for America’s Future. It is a comprehensive, alternative approach to the Nation’s most pressing domestic priorities. Specifically, the plan addresses the following:

▫ Health Care. It provides universal access to affordable health coverage, not by expanding government, but by reinforcing the role of consumers – patients – in a truly competitive marketplace. In conjunction with this, the plan takes on the necessary task of restructuring the government’s medical entitlements, making them sustainable for the long term.

▫ Retirement Security. It saves and strengthens Social Security, making the program sustainable for the long run, and helping expand investments needed for economic growth.

▫ Tax Policy. It offers an alternative to today’s needlessly complex and inefficient tax code, providing the option of a simplified mechanism that better promotes and rewards work, saving, and investment.

▫ Job Training. It helps the Nation’s workforce prepare for success in the global economy by transforming 49 job training programs, scattered across eight agencies, into a flexible, dynamic program focused on results, and accompanied by clear measures of transparency and accountability. The plan requires the development of performance measures, and gives each State the option to consolidate funding into one program, if such an approach can be shown to improve outcomes and achieve job training goals.

This plan is not simply a slimmer version of the “progressive” ideology. It is a true alternative, and a complete legislative proposal consisting of specific policies supported by Congressional Budget Office estimates of its fiscal and economic consequences. More important, it is based on a fundamentally different vision from the one now prevailing in Washington.

It focuses government on its proper role; it restrains government spending, and thus limits the size of government itself; it rejuvenates the vibrant market economy that made America the envy of the world; and it restores an American character rooted in individual initiative, entrepreneurship, and opportunity – qualities that make each American’s pursuit of personal destiny a net contribution to the Nation’s common good as well. In short, it is built on the enduring truths from which America’s Founders established this great and exceptional Nation.

This proposal does not attempt to abandon commitments Americans established over the past century, or to dismantle government. It recognizes that government has a necessary role in supporting the institutions through which Americans live their lives, and in providing a safety net for those who face financial or other hardships. But it rests on the conviction that government’s principal role is to maintain the freedoms through which individuals can pursue their own destinies.

As Jefferson put it: “A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”

The balance of this introduction describes these two futures in detail. The remainder of the report describes the principal domestic challenges through which this choice appears at present, and then presents a full description and explanation of the policies embraced in this legislation.

I am not blindly promoting Ryan’s plan nor a Republican agenda. As a registered Independent, I am merely stating that we had better wake up and accept the fact that we need to have an adult dialogue on these issues.

There is not a lot of sand left in the hourglass.

Let’s talk!

Larry Doyle

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I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets, our economy, and our political realm so that meaningful investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

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