Politics Daily: Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) debated New York Times columnist David Brooks Thursday morning at the American Enterprise Institute. The issue was ostensibly "limited" government versus a more "energetic" one.Want more proof, check out Ryan's all or nothing no vote for the Deficit Commissions draconian cuts to the most needy:
Ryan went on to say that "big government is lethargic government. We should not be asking, 'How big should our government be?'; we should be asking, 'What is our government for?' "
Brooks argued that his concern wasn't solely about policy. Criticizing Ryan, he said, "Paul's prose is sometimes at war with his policy. Brooks argued that reason is not as important as character, which is created by social bonds. As such, he argued that big or small government is a "meaningless" concept and a "distraction" -- what matters is whether government "builds character or erodes it." He argued this has
real-world implications because it means conservatives who are elected come into office with no governing philosophy.
Brooks said Ryan's framing of the issue is the problem -- that we face a stark choice between a free-enterprise-opportunity society and a European-style social democracy that will lead us down the "road to serfdom." He said it is journalistically wrong to assume Democrats want to create a European welfare state. "I just don't think they're as extreme as you make them out to be," he said.
Brooks then turned to Ryan and said if President Obama calls and says, " 'I'll take Ryan-Rivlin if you will take a top tax rate of 39 percent' -- I hope you will take that deal."
During the rejoinders, Ryan responded by saying that our nation has gone from assuming our rights were derived from God to assuming our rights come from government. "And so, I do believe that the idea of the role of government has changed," he said.
He also noted the urgency facing us today, saying that if we don't fix the debt crisis soon, interest rates will destroy us and we would then be just engaging in "managed decline."
And that’s Ryan’s absolutist plan. A plan that very plainly states that government can’t afford saving people, which begs the question, how can individual Americans afford it then?
National Journal: Two lawmakers on President Obama's bipartisan deficit commission said they will vote in favor of the report the panel released earlier this week. Meanwhile, another member, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, said he will vote against it. Ryan said he could not support the recommendations because they did not curb health-care-related costs to his satisfaction: "It not only did not address the elephant in the room, health care, it made it fatter."
"I just don't think this thing has the ability to last in policy … with the Boomers
starting to turn 65 this year, fix it once and for all so we can really get this thing fixed," he said.