Paul Ryan’s Churchillian Moment

Rep. Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan’s Churchillian Moment at Claremont Institute on November 12th is one that our Presidential candidates need to consider and model when they are presenting their case. Ryan gave the kind of  speech one would like to have heard in person. It’s inspiring and it’s alarming at once.

You can read the speech in its entirety if you click my link, but following are some excerpts that bring home the reality of our economic challenges. They present as bad as any war because of the impending devastation which many people choose to deny. We are a dying country if we continue the path we are on. Our enemy is one we have known before and the enemy is us.

Excerpts –

“…In 2009, they put the government’s unfunded liabilities – promises made to Americans for which the government has no means to pay – at $62.9 trillion. Last year it was up to $76.4 trillion. This year it is up to $99.4 trillion. The gap is growing by trillions of dollars every year…”

“…There is no question the President inherited a difficult situation, and this problem has been building for decades. But the great disappointment is that his policies have made things worse.

  • The unemployment rate has risen from 7.8 to 9 percent.
  • There are 2 million more jobless Americans now than in January 2009.
  • There are more than 6 million Americans who have been out of work for over 6 months.
  • 6.3 million people fell below the poverty level in the President’s first two years.
  • More people are below the poverty line today than in the 52 years that we’ve tracked it.

At the very time when economic stagnation is causing revenues to shrink, Washington is spending dollars it doesn’t have on programs that don’t work.

Between January 2009 and January 2011, spending for government bureaucracies went up 24 percent. When you add the failed stimulus on top of that, total spending jumped to 84 percent. And earlier this year, the President’s budget called for government to spend over $46 trillion in the next ten years.

$2.4 trillion of that spending explosion is for his new health care law. The law sets up 159 new boards, agencies, and bureaucracies. One of these new boards consists of 15 unelected bureaucrats who have the power to put price controls in Medicare that will lead to denied access to care for seniors.

The new board’s recommendations would become law unless a supermajority voted affirmatively to replace them – a high hurdle that raises constitutional questions about whether Congress can legitimately grant this much lawmaking power to unelected bureaucrats.

This new law has become a poster child for the rule of man triumphing over the rule of law – the Obama Administration has granted over 1,400 waivers to those large corporations and unions that had the connections to lobby for them.

The powerful discretion assumed by HHS to play judge in determining these stays of execution does tremendous damage to the rule of law.

Churchill once said: “If you make ten thousand regulations, you destroy all respect for the law.”

Well, we’re there. This administration imposed 3,503 new regulations in 2009, and 3,573 in 2010 – 68 a week. And this year there are 4,257 more regulations under review.

Two-hundred and nineteen of these have been estimated as impacting the economy by over $100 million – each.

Look, when an economy isn’t growing enough to create jobs for workers, why would government make things harder for job creators? And it’s not just new regulations – the lower tax rates enacted in the early 2000s are scheduled to expire soon, at which point we will face major tax hikes across the board, on personal and business income.

The top marginal federal tax rate that many small businesses pay is set to rise to 44.8 percent just 14 months from now. And the President and Democrats in the Senate are seeking to impose a surtax that would raise that top rate to over 50 percent…”

“…This is an enormous challenge – but it is not without precedent. When Churchill began to ring alarms about the growing threat from Germany, others did not see the danger. Britain’s situation deteriorated year by year. The government’s response was half-hearted … and its feckless delays made the war that much harder to win.

He was summoned to save the country… the one man the British would trust. France had fallen. America had not yet stepped forth. And Hitler turned his whole fury on the island nation.

In that moment, Churchill roused his people to stand up against the threat and look to the future – a time when ‘all Europe may be freed, and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands.’…”