Last night, Congressman Paul Ryan held a telephone town hall meeting with residents of Racine County to discuss legislation before Congress and answer questions regarding the federal government. Excerpts from Congressman Ryan's responses follow.
Overreach by the IRS and the cost of maintaining a complicated tax code
"The IRS is one of the most personal government agencies that we have. It knows all of your financial information. It knows your personal information. It knows your Social Security number and your kids' Social Security number. And so for an agency with this much information and power into our personal lives to abuse its' power like this -- it's tyrannical, it's wrong, it's antithetical to everything our country stands for. And so we want to make sure that this kind of horrible abuse does not occur again. And it's also one of the reasons I would say we need to reform our tax code. We have such a complicated tax system. No two people who make the same money pay the same tax, and so we need to clean up the tax code. And if we have such a complicated tax code, you're going to have such a huge IRS that might be prone to do these kinds of things."
Ryan on comprehensive reforms to our immigration system
"What we're saying is: We need to reform our immigration laws so that number one, we secure our border. And we know what we need to do to secure our borders. It's literally physical things like fences, border patrol agents and detention centers. We also have got to have a visa system so that people can come here legally by getting a visa and come through the legal immigration system. We have to make that work better. Then we have to figure out what to do with those people who are undocumented and come up with a way to bring them out of the shadows so that they can normalize their status without being rewarded for cutting in line."
Difficulties with the implementation of Obamacare and the unlikelihood of defunding the law
"I think as this law is unfolded, as it rolls out this year and is implemented next year, there are so many problems that we're going to have with it that we're going to have to go back and rewrite this law and replace this law. I think it will collapse under its' own weight. I'm already hearing from physicians, from hospitals, from nursing homes, from businesses, from families about all of the uncertainty and the huge price increases and I think that the country is going to learn that this law was not what it was said to be. If you like what you've got, you can keep it, people thought. Well, millions of people now are losing their health insurance. We're seeing a lot of hospitals losing money now as a result of this, and more and more people won't take Medicare patients, for example. We see a lot of problems, but I unfortunately don't think it will be defunded between now and when it's implemented. "