American Elephants


Paul Ryan Speaks About America’s Global Role. by The Elephant's Child

Paul Ryan addressed the Alexander Hamilton Society on June 2, 2011.  Lest any perceive him as a “wild-eyed radical,” as some Democrats are attempting to do,  here he brings his budget expertise and innate good sense to address foreign policy.  Bret Stephens wrote about this speech in today’s Wall Street Journal,” because Paul Ryan’s views on America’s role in the world are no longer a matter of one Wisconsin congressman talking.” Here’s what Mr. Stephens says the speech tells us about Mr. Ryan:

First, that he’s an internationalist of the old school; in another day, he would have sat comfortably in the cabinets of Harry Truman, Jack Kennedy or Ronald Reagan. Also, that he believes in free trade, a strong defense, engagement with our allies—and expectations of them. Also, that he wants America to stay and win in Afghanistan. Furthermore, that he supports the “arduous task of building free societies,” even as he harbored early doubts the Arab Spring was the vehicle for building free societies. …

Thus this speech begins not with a cliché but with a contention: “Our fiscal policy and our foreign policy are on a collision course.” It proceeds, briefly, to demonstrate the point quantitatively: Defense spending in 1970 consumed 39% of the federal budget but takes only 16% today. In the proverbial guns-to-butter ratio, our veins are already clogged.

Next there is history. Why can’t the U.S. simply cede the cumbersome role of world policeman to somebody else? Didn’t Britain do as much in the 1940s? It did. Yet, “unlike Britain, which handed leadership to a power that shared its fundamental values, today’s most dynamic and growing powers do not embrace basic principles that should be at the core of the international system.”

That’s not a novel insight, exactly, but it’s something that needs to be said and is said only rarely. Similarly with Mr. Ryan’s next point: American exceptionalism isn’t a type of jingoism. Instead, it derives from the fact that it was the first nation born of an idea, and from an idea that is true not only for Americans. “America’s foundations,” he says, “are not our own—they belong equally to every person everywhere.”

Bret Stephens whole piece is here, but may be behind a subscription barrier. Do take the time if you can to listen to the whole speech. It’s very  thoughtful and a very impressive speech about America’s global role, and what we need to do to maintain it.



Government Elites Picking Winners and Losers? Bad Idea! by The Elephant's Child

Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, laid out his “Path to Prosperity” 2012 budget plan on Monday in a speech to the Economic Club of Chicago. He also discussed how the U.S. government reached this big-spending tipping point.

“By the end of the decade, we will be spending 20 percent of our tax revenue simply paying interest on the debt — and that’s according to optimistic projections.  If ratings agencies such as S&P move from downgrading our outlook to downgrading our credit, then interest rates will rise even higher, and debt service will cost trillions more.

This course is not sustainable.  That isn’t an opinion; it’s a mathematical certainty.  If we continue down our current path, we are walking right into the most preventable crisis in our nation’s history.”

A video of his speech is available here. Paul Ryan is terrific. He is clear, concise, and explains where we are and why we can’t go on kicking the problem down the road in the hopes that something will turn up.

If you don’t watch the speech — and it is long but worth your time, for this is the most important issue of our time — this is what you should remember:

The President’s plan begins with trillions of dollars in higher taxes, and it relies on a plan to control costs in Medicare that would give a board of 15 unelected bureaucrats in Washington the power to deeply ration care. This would disrupt the lives of those currently in retirement and lead to waiting lists for today’s seniors. The disagreement isn’t really about the problem. It’s about the solution to controlling costs in Medicare.

And if I could sum up that disagreement in a couple of sentences, I would say this: Our plan is to give seniors the power to deny business to inefficient providers. Their plan is to give government the power to deny care to seniors.

… That’s the real class warfare that threatens us — a class of governing elites picking winners and losers, and determining our destinies for us.   (emphasis added)

The Medicare actuary, Richard Foster, says that the Medicare Hospital Insurance trust fund is scheduled to be depleted in 2024, five years earlier than projected in last year’s report. Medicare prices would be considerably below the current level of Medicaid prices — which have already led to access problems for Medicaid enrollees, and far below the levels paid b private health insurance. Congress wold have in intervene to prevent the withdrawal of providers from the Medicare market, and severe problems with access to care.

His projections do not represent, he says, a reasonable expectation for actual program operations in the short run or the long run. The double-counting Democrats put in to make the law look good, and the unrealistic cuts will mean that the federal government will go even deeper into debt, making a way out even harder to find.

In other words, it’s not going to work. We need to repeal ObamaCare. The problems we can see now are only a beginning.



Here’s the Problem, In Their Own Words. by The Elephant's Child

Obama wants to”have a conversation.”  Paul Ryan wants to fix things.  Inaction is not a reasonable or acceptable answer.



Congressman Paul Ryan Testifies Before the Rules Committee Today. by The Elephant's Child
March 20, 2010, 12:33 pm
Filed under: Economy, Health Care, Law | Tags: , ,

Congressman Ryan testifies before the House Rules Committee. To see the true cost of the health care bill, please see the recent letter that the CBO wrote to Congressman Ryan here:



Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) Explains Clearly that the Republicans Know Very Well What They Are Talking About! by The Elephant's Child

Paul Ryan is a very impressive Congressman.  The Republicans are “the Party of No?” Not very likely.  The Republicans understand very clearly the ideas that underlie the Democrat Health Care plans, and why they won’t work.  They understand the sleazy budget tricks, the false estimates, and what the bills would actually do to the American people and the American economy.

Jay Nordlinger said at National Review today:

Let me try something out on you: This health-care summit was a bad idea for the Democrats for this reason: They have long benefited from a perception — a perception greatly abetted by the media: The Republicans don’t care about health care, they don’t know about health care, they are the Party of No. All the ideas and caring are on the Democratic side.

It is not so, and it has never been so. And now everybody knows it.




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