This weekend, Wisconsin's First District Congressman Paul Ryan spoke with WTMJ620's Charlie Sykes on his Sunday Insight program. Highlights of the interview follow:
Ryan: Let's Appeal to the American Idea
If we don't like the idea of more able-bodied people becoming supplicants of the state, turning the safety net into a hammock that lulls able bodied people into lives of dependency - if we don't agree with that, then we owe the country an alternative vision to get back to the "American Idea", an opportunity society with a safety net that's there for people so that they don't slip through the cracks, to get people back on their feet on their own and to help people who can't help themselves.
The secret to success, and we'll see if it works or not, is to go to Americans with an affinity for that "American Idea", for that opportunity society, for that society of upward mobility where you can make the most of your life. That to me is something that people still believe in. That's the American dream. And we have to appeal to that and show how we can get back to that before it literally is too late.
Why the Senate Has Gone over 1,040 Days Since Passing a Budget
They're unwilling to show the country the kinds of tax increases that would be required for their vision of government. They will not reduce spending. They're adding to the spending and the kinds of tax increases that you've heard about in the media aren't anywhere close to achieving what you need. All of these tax increases on the so-called "rich' -- which are mostly small businesses -- it doesn't pay for more than a fifth of the President's deficit spending.
The mathematical problem is: you never catch up. You can't tax enough to catch up with the kind of spending that is in store in this country. We're saying spending is the problem. Every time we raise these taxes, it feeds more spending, which is what the President's budget does. You've got to deal with spending.
Ryan on the Proper Role of the Federal Government
The President tremendously believes in this progressive philosophy where the role and goal of government is to equalize the results of people's lives and have the government act as an equalizer of outcomes. We believe in the founding principle of equal opportunity, that the government's job is to protect our natural rights so that we can make a life for ourselves as we want to and to promote equal opportunity so that we can go out and chart our own course in life. It's a very different philosophical outcome.
The Contraception Mandate as an Infringement on Religious Liberty
The law gives the power to the Department of Health and Human Services to literally mandate what we can and cannot have. The whole issue is not necessarily about sterilization, abortion drugs, and contraception - it's that the government is mandating that we all buy coverage of these services. This is coverage that we have to pay for, even if it violates our religious freedom, our religious liberty and our conscience. It's a law that treats our constitutional rights as revocable privileges by our government, not inalienable rights by our creator.