Entries Tagged as 'Paul Ryan'

The Right to Rise? Ok!

David Frum December 19th, 2011 at 12:00 am 244 Comments

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Gov. Jeb Bush celebrates the “right to rise,” a concept he credits to Rep. Paul Ryan.

The idea behind the phrase is a powerful one: “We have to make it easier for people to do the things that allow them to rise.” At a time when Americans born into the poorest fifth of the population are less likely to rise into the next fifth than people in almost any other advanced democracy, the governor’s urging is welcome. But how to make it real?

Gov. Bush’s op-ed is built on the assumption that the over-regulation of business is the most important impediment to upward mobility in the United States:

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To Govern Better, GOP Should Work From Reality

November 4th, 2011 at 12:00 am 104 Comments

In my previous blog post, I discussed how many Republican criticisms of the Obama administration’s policies are not backed up by data.

Republicans don’t just have a problem with specific critiques, they also have a view of America that doesn’t match with how the country actually is. Their view disagrees with the reality of many important socio-economic problems. In some cases, such as America’s lack of upward mobility, some deny the problem exists.

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The Road to Treadmill Serfdom

David Frum September 20th, 2011 at 10:09 am 132 Comments

It’s a little hard to tell this story from Chicago without a lot of sarcasm, but I’ll try my best.

Like a lot of American cities, Chicago faces severe budget problems. One obvious place to look for savings: the health benefits of city employees. Health care for city workers costs Chicago $500 million a year and are rising at 10% per year.

Newly elected mayor Rahm Emanuel hopes to reduce those costs by encouraging city employees to take better care of their health. He has called upon city employees to enroll in a new wellness plan.Those who do not enroll will pay an extra $50 per month in healthcare premiums.

This experiment may or may not yield results. But whatever else it is, it hardly sounds like the thunk of the fascist jackboot on the pavement – or so you’d think.

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Memo to GOP: Don’t Run on What Voters Don’t Want

September 1st, 2011 at 1:08 am 56 Comments

With the national debt skyrocketing, a faction on the right is hoping to turn the 2012 election into a debate on entitlement reform. No doubt, many Democrats are hoping the very same thing.

Democrats would view that development as a chance to gain politically, while some Republicans would see it as a chance to demonstrate their purity.

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Huntsman Goes All in For Ryan

September 1st, 2011 at 12:50 am 15 Comments

While watching Jon Huntsman give his remarks on his jobs plan, I paid attention to how his speech described the existential threat of US debt.

Huntsman made clear he supports a Balanced Budget Amendment because “our debt is immoral and should be unconstitutional.” During a question-and-answer session, he added that the debt had to be controlled or it was going to “metastasize and kill this country.”

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Christie’s Good Fight

August 30th, 2011 at 12:56 am 51 Comments

As a Democrat – and a fairly liberal one by the standards of where I live – it isn’t that often that someone on the right really knocks my socks off. Let alone a Republican!

Yet that is exactly what happened on August 25th. From the comfort of my own living room I watched Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey patiently but firmly set a hysterical critic straight at a town hall meeting. The exchange can be seen on YouTube.

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Ryan is Missing His Big Chance

August 24th, 2011 at 1:34 am 52 Comments

Noah Kristula-Green pokes fun at the Weekly Standard and its editor, Bill Kristol, for their unabashed promotion of a Paul Ryan presidential run. Fair enough. However, it also should be noted that Kristol and the Standard are not alone. Politico reports that the conservative policy elite is “profoundly dissatisfied with the current field” of GOP candidates and thus pines for a fresh face such as Ryan’s.

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Cheerleading Ryan

August 22nd, 2011 at 4:49 pm 13 Comments

What’s more fun to try and figure out: why Paul Ryan is not running for president or why the Weekly Standard and Bill Kristol are very sad that Ryan is not running for President?

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Conservatives: Don’t Doctor The Ryan Plan

June 15th, 2011 at 1:17 pm 43 Comments

How far will conservatives go to tell Republicans they must support the Ryan budget in its entirety? A new Weekly Standard piece on Senate candidate Mike Haridopolos gives a hint.

The editorial line taken with this piece suggests that every Republican has to support the Ryan budget in its entirety, and that any qualm or qualification is unacceptable..

Haridopolos is currently the president of the Florida state senate and is seeking the GOP nomination to be the 2012 United States Senate candidate. What sets Haridopolos apart from other GOP candidates is that he is not supporting the GOP budget as it is currently written.

In a recent op-ed Haridopolos explained that while the current GOP budget stops providing the current version of Medicare for those who are under 55 years old, he would extend that age range further downwards.

His op-ed does not give a number, but when FrumForum asked him about his position at an event in Washington DC, he suggested the changes in Medicare should apply to those who  are currently 40 or 45. He told the Weekly Standard this as well:

“Medicare is not a welfare program,” Haridopolos said today in an interview with The Weekly Standard. “It is a program that each one of us at this table will have paid 47 years of taxes for, and I’m a little reluctant to make that full jump.”

The 41-year-old said he thinks Medicare ought to be reformed for those closer to his own age, people who “have 25 years to prepare.”

“That’s roughly what we’re looking at,” Haridopolis said. “If we’re going to make that transition, let’s give someone the true time to prepare.”

The Weekly Standard took this information and ran with the headline:
Haridopolos: No Major Medicare Reforms for 25 Years

The piece said that Haridopolos “doubled down today on his opposition to Medicare reforms in the 2012 House Republican budget proposal”. Both Haridopoloscare and Ryancare work on the same principle: a vote is held now and Medicare is reformed for people who would qualify for the program at a later date.

If one wanted to be snarky, you could write a headline: “Ryan: No Major Medicare Reforms Until 2021” since that is the date when those who are currently 55 would start getting “Ryancare” as opposed the current version of Medicare. The fact is, both plans involve delayed change to Medicare.

Ironically, Haridopoloscare might be a better policy to run on as a candidate in Florida since its senior population might be scared by the Ryan budget. Haridopolos will be running in 2012 and Democrats can be expected to make a huge effort to run on the GOP budget — so it helps a GOP candidate to set himself apart from Ryan’s Medicare cuts.

Haridopolos told FrumForum that he supported the rest of the Ryan budget, particularly its tax reforms. In his op-ed, Haridopolos also agreed with the Republican position to repeal Obamacare and highlights how he wants to use a repeal to restore the funding to Medicare which has been cut.

In other words, he is with 80 percent of the rest of the Republican plan, yet this position is taken as “doubling down on his opposition to medicare reform”. It will be interesting to see how the Weekly Standard will report the different Medicare plans that the Republican presidential candidates will eventually produce.

How Palin Taps the GOP’s Economic Fears

David Frum May 31st, 2011 at 10:38 pm 85 Comments

This is part three in a series. Click here for part one and part two.


Not every Republican lives in Greenwich and earns millions.

For non-wealthy Republicans – as for non-wealthy Americans generally – the past half-decade has been a terrible time. Perhaps they have seen their house collapse in value. Perhaps they have lost their home altogether. Perhaps their retirement portfolio lost its value. Perhaps they have lost a job. Perhaps their child cannot start a job. Perhaps they have been hit by all of the above.

Or maybe they got lucky. Maybe they escaped any particular disaster. Yet they still face a reduced future. To repay its debts, mind the nation will need to export more. That means a reduced dollar, salve which in turn means that Americans will find it more expensive to buy globally traded goods like gasoline, grain, and coffee. Their state government is raising fees and cutting services to balance its books, so they can expect to pay more for worse roads, schools, parks, and hospitals. A big question mark hangs over the retirement guarantees extended by the federal government. Will Social Security and Medicare be there for them in anything like their current form?

Nor were things going so well even before the disaster.

Now they feel themselves living in a hostile culture, under a president who describes himself as a Christian but never goes to church, and who manages to symbolize both the ascendency of the educated elite and the displacement of native-born whites by non-white immigrants.

In this inhospitable climate, they have had many reasons to feel that the GOP does not speak for them.

They had reason to feel that the GOP did not speak for them during the years leading up to the disaster, when they were told that the Bush economy was “the greatest story never told,” despite the stagnation of their wages.

They had reason to feel that the GOP did not speak for them during the crisis, when Republicans bailed out Wall Street and the big car companies, while leaving distressed homeowners to fend for themselves.

They have reason now to feel that the GOP does not speak for them, as it coalesces around a plan to eliminate their deductions and curtail their Medicare in order to enact a big tax cut for people much higher on the income ladder.

They feel victimized, embittered, deeply mistrustful of every established institution except the military. And they are hungry for a candidate who pungently expresses their victimhood, bitterness and mistrust: Donald Trump? Herman Cain? Michele Bachmann? But of course, nobody does it better than the candidate who has made victimhood her core message: Sarah Palin.