Paul Ryan talks with Mark Belling about the State of the Union
News/Talk 1130 WISN-AM
Yesterday, Wisconsin’s First District Congressman Paul Ryan spoke with Mark Belling on News/Talk 1130 WISN.
Rep. Ryan on what was missing from the President’s State of the Union address
The one thing [the President] just cannot get around is that we have a debt crisis coming. We have a real budget problem. He did his best to try and paper that over. He suggested that we had $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction – that is a gross number by the way. He did not talk about all of the debt-increasing bills he signed into law since he has been in office. He did not tell you about the stimulus, or the unemployment extensions, or the payroll tax holidays, or the disaster funding, or the 24% increase in government agency budgets that he approved in his first two years – all of which washed up most of that claimed deficit reduction. So what we got here, is he is trying to say is ‘there really is not a fiscal problem, we do not have much more to do, let us get back on to growing government and creating new government programs.’
On the fiscal fights coming up this spring
This spring we are going to have a big fiscal fight. We have the sequester coming, continuing resolution, debt limit, and budgets. We have a big fiscal debate that is coming and so what [the President] is trying to do before this fiscal debate starts in earnest, the debate I will be in the center of as the Chairman of the Budget Committee, he wants to basically say: ‘What are you fighting about? There is no problem here. We do not have a debt crisis. We do not have a debt problem.’ That to me is just an amazing abdication of leadership. Every fiscal expert, every fiscal watchdog out there will tell you that we are on the path to Greece. We are just right behind Europe. And if we do not get our act together, if we do not get our debt and deficits under control it will not only dramatically damage our economy today, it will destroy our children’s future and we will have a debt crisis like that which is engulfing Europe. The fact that he is trying to paper over that, or ignore that, or do nothing to fix it is just stunning to me.
Immigration reform and the potential for bipartisan cooperation
[The President] used words, to me, that did not inflame. He chose not to drive a political wedge into the immigration debate where he clearly could have and was probably tempted to. So that gives me a degree of hope that he is not going to get in the way of our promising bipartisan discussions in the House and the Senate…. Because there are Democrats and Republicans here who know that we have a broken immigration system. And from all aspects of it, it needs to be fixed. They are working sincerely and earnestly to actually fix this while we respect the rule of law to make sure that the Rubio principles and any of others we are talking about do not have amnesty. They get this right, they get the border secure, and they respect the rule of law.
The importance of offering solutions to our challenges
I see two things – dissent and propose alternatives. It is not just enough for us to oppose. We need to say what we would do differently. We do not like Obamacare and we are not going to come around to liking Obamacare. But we think we owe the country how we would do things differently. We do not like the tax system. We do not like what just happened in taxes. So we think we should propose the tax system we ought to have. I am going to be rolling out a budget in about a month saying ‘here is how I think we ought to balance the budget.’ The President proposes to never ever balance the budget.
Putting politics aside and meeting the challenges we face
We just had an election. Let’s not worry about the next one. Let’s worry about doing what we think is the right thing. And that now is saving the American dream, saving our economy and preventing a debt crisis. Because you know what happens in a debt crisis – everybody loses and everybody gets hurt.… So it is our job, no matter how difficult it is politically – and he is going to make as difficult as possible – it is our job to try and buy time for our country to reduce the likelihood of a debt crisis to get this fiscal situation under control. That is our duty.