Paul Ryan: I would advance different solutions with an eye toward international competitiveness and … encouraging certainty.
Klein: The National Federation of Independent Business’s surveys have shown the main concern of their member businesses is that they’re not going to have customers for their products. So do Republicans have any demand-side solutions, even if they’re just tax cuts? Is there talk of a payroll tax holiday, or anything similar?
Ryan: There are some who do. Where I come from, I think certainty and long-term solutions are better. Temporary stuff doesn’t work.
Klein: But to just push you on this one more time, even under the best circumstances, that will take a long time. What Congress produces won’t be what’s in your white papers. So best-case scenario: Replacing them takes awhile, and there’s going to be natural uncertainty as banks, for instance, now have to wait to see what the new rules will be on them. And so what do you do in the interim to unlock this capital?
Ryan: If Nancy Pelosi came to me and said I’ve been wrong, you’re right, what do you want to do immediately, we could put caps on spending, maybe make a good dent on future spending through the [fiscal] commission, and extend the tax cuts two years. That, in and of itself, would really help the economy.
How easy was that? He's so smart.
Klein: A report released by the National League of Cities, the National Association
of Counties and United States Conference of Mayors said they’ll have to lay off
500,000 people in the next few years if they don’t get some fiscal relief.
That’s 500,000 people on the unemployment rolls.
Ryan: I’ve always believed we need automatic stabilizers. We need a safety net. But … I also think it’s a bad idea to bail out states from making the necessary decisions they need to make to increase and fix their structural deficit problems. All you’re doing then is putting their liabilities on the federal books.