Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ryan Emerges as GOP Economic Policy Leader

Rep Paul Ryan is a Republican that Democrats love to hate. Maybe not out front with the vitriol used against some more boisterous and camera grabbing - Michelle Bachmann comes to mind - but behind the scenes it is difficult to imagine Democrats snarling and plotting against him. With his quiet determination and mastery of economics, this guy is winning the battle over the continued escalation of the federal deficit. The insanity hasn't been curbed yet but it is in play, even with President Obama still in the White House.

Paul Ryan is “the man with the plan” to save America, in part by making deficit reduction “sexy for the iPod generation.”

He’s the man who’s tangled with President Obama in public a year ago – and won.

He’s a Republican who can rattle off a list of his favorite Democrats to work with.

That's the real strength held within Rep Ryan - he can work with Democrats while keeping true to his personal political principles. He remains open to discussion with the opposition. This is something the more strident in both parties have to learn - working with the opposition is a necessity and each must find the way to do so. Working with the opposition doesn't mean a politician has sold out his/her principles; it means he/she understands political science and can persuade others to come along in his/her agenda. Harder in practice than in theory, it is a roadblock in today's politics that must be tackled.

Ryan has been chosen to deliver the GOP response to the State of the Union address this year. This is good news. This shows the GOP leadership recognizes the potential of Ryan in the role of economic reform. It is not his nature to be a bomb-thrower. He doesn't produce headlines with over the top remarks or unusual behavior. He is the voice of calm, steady reason so sorely lacking in political discourse today.

Ryan has his work cut out for him. He produced his "Roadmap for America's Future" many months ago which provides an alternative to the Obama/Democrats wild spending spree in the name of economic recovery. Political junkies who watched the spectacle that was President Obama's bi-partisan gathering of Republicans and Democrats discussing our country's economic woes will remember President Obama's inability to squash Ryan's points from his Roadmap as reasonable conservative alternatives to his progressive agenda. Frankly, Barack Obama is no match for Paul Ryan on the subject of economics.

Republicans must prove a serious devotion to deficit reduction by tackling the hard stuff. Not just by whittling away at the usual areas - the real problem areas have to be trimmed and the time is now. Small issues like de-funding NPR are understandable but hardly worth much energy and not the clarion call of fiscal conservatism. The waste in the military budget must be up for debate and action. There is no stronger defense hawk than John McCain and he has battled for years over the waste and corruption in the system. Also, entitlement spending in Social Security must be reigned in. We are in dire need of politicians brave enough to do the heavy lifting on this.

Trust the American people. The 2010 elections proved that voters are rallying for economic responsibility brought forward by those willing to tackle the decisions that must be made for national fiscal recovery. If the GOP can embrace this opportunity to lead as our nation struggles still to recover, the election victories will take care of themselves. It is their time to prove seriousness and a willingness to make some tough decisions on policy.

Let's give Ryan's Roadmap serious consideration.

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