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Highlights from Congressman Ryan's Area Listening Sessions on October 28, 2011


Location: Washington, DC

During October, Paul Ryan welcomed over 1200 residents to 6 listening sessions throughout Southern Wisconsin. On October 28th, Congressman Ryan visited Janesville, Elkhorn, and Kenosha to discuss our nation's unsustainable spending, the growing debt problem, and how we can create jobs. Excerpts of the day's listening sessions follow:

Jobs and the Economy are Primary Concerns Voiced during Listening Sessions:

"Jobs were the primary concern. I spent the bulk of my time in the beginning talking about the economy and about some of the ideas I have written and passed through the House. Ideas we have proposed to get the economy growing. That's what people are anxious about, and it's no wonder, as we have double digit unemployment here.

I've done over 500 of these listening sessions since representing the area. They're extremely helpful to me to just sort of get a sense for what's on the top of people's minds. There are a number of issues: immigration, health care, boutique issues, that come up, but jobs and the economy are number one, bar none."

Building on Bipartisan Ideas; Not the Failed Policies of the Past

"I remain hopeful that policymakers can move beyond the divisive partisanship and rhetoric that pits Americans against each other. While political differences are common and indeed welcome in our nation's exceptional democracy, we cannot let gridlock become an excuse for inaction. But progress takes leadership - and we are seeing too little of that in Washington today.

For my part, I will continue to offer principled solutions that fix Washington's broken budgetary system, address the exploding debt, and offer a brighter economic future for our children and grandchildren. Where I agree with the President and his party, I will do all I can to advance legislation that makes progress toward these goals. Where we disagree, I will continue to articulate viable alternatives that show another way forward."

Promoting Upward Mobility instead of Economic Division

"We shouldn't be pitting people against each other. We should not be fueling class warfare, or preying on the emotions of fear, envy and resentment. Instead, let's try to work at upward mobility. Let's try to work at getting economic opportunity into those parts of America and into those families that have never seen it before."

Ryan on Ending Policies of Crony Capitalism

"Republicans have to own up to the fact that we have made these types of mistakes in the past too. We engaged in corporate welfare and we have to own up to it. We want to be pro-market, not pro-business, that means we do not see our job in government as protecting incumbent businesses, our job is to protect the free enterprise system that makes businesses grow and achieve and create jobs and wealth. We have got to be careful of that. The President is just full throttle, all out, putting these kind of crony capitalist policies in place.

Solyndra is a perfect example of these crony capitalist policies and we have got to reject that economic mindset of government picking winners and losers in society. The government should set the rules of the road, treat everyone the same, give a safety net to the people that cannot help themselves, who are down on their luck get back on their feet, and promote equality of opportunity and liberty, not equality of outcome and results."

Ryan: Taxing Job Creators to Reduce our Debt Misdiagnoses our Fiscal Problems

"90% of our businesses in Wisconsin file their taxes as individuals, so all of those tax increases -- both those in law and those being proposed - are aimed at 9 out of 10 businesses we have and who are on that individual tax system. These policies are cranking up the taxes of our job creators and causing economic damage. But even forgetting about the economic damage, the math does not add up anyway, so what are we going to do after that's done?

There is no answer for that and this is why I say we need to get back to our roots. We have got to get back to prosperity. We have got to get back to the ideas that we know work to grow our economy to create jobs. I would argue there are two headwinds are beating our economy: Europe is one of them, but the other is Washington. Washington is failing us and is doing more harm than good to get the economy moving."

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