Back in the Spring of 2013, then-House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan released a 10-year plan to balance the federal budget and shrink the deficit beginning in FY2014. Known as the “Path to Prosperity,” Ryan’s plan would “end cronyism, eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse” as it “returns the federal government to its proper sphere of activity.”
However, later that year as he prepared for his 2014 re-election campaign, Ryan abandoned his desire to return government to its proper sphere when he joined forces with Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) to pass the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. Ryan and Murray’s bill raised taxes and increased spending, but postponed paying for the bill until after 2022.
Well, as the old saying goes, history often repeats itself. As we see in the current discussions about budget and taxes, when it comes to big-government spending and increasing the budget deficit, these words are particularly true when discussing Paul Ryan.
Just weeks after the 2016 election, there was some concern in GOP-land that Ryan and Trump would clash on matters of the budget. Trump has been advocating a laundry list of budget-busting proposals, including: new entitlement spending, a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan, and drastic tax cuts. Meanwhile, as he basked in the afterglow of his 2016 re-election, Ryan began talking about fiscal responsibility once again as if he really believed it.
However, after being exposed as the leader of the GOP (Gang Of Phonies) when it comes to big agenda items–such as repealing Obamacare–and presiding over one of the most unproductive legislative sessions in American history, Speaker Ryan is preparing for another re-election with nothing to show for his 2016 win. So, just as big-government Democrats and Republicans have always done, Ryan is prepared to once again lay aside America’s inevitable bankruptcy by playing games with the budget in order to buy votes.
In a recent Associated Press interview, Ryan backed away from pesky issues like doing his Constitutionally-required job of managing America’s checkbook in preparation of his latest version of so-called tax reform. Calling tax cuts “more important than anything else,” Ryan has completely abandoned the GOP’s “revenue neutral” promise made by the party last year in an official “campaign manifesto.”
Trump, intentionally or otherwise, has made things pretty easy for Ryan following his agreement with Chuck Schumer last week to permanently eliminate the debt ceiling. With no requirement to offset future budget increases with corresponding budget cuts, along with the elimination of the debt ceiling, the consequences of Ryan’s deficit-exploding tax cuts will be easily swept under the rug.
Ryan once advocated a Path to Prosperity. In reality, with Trump’s lurch to the left and Ryan’s upcoming election, it appears we are on a Path to Poorness. Thanks to total GOP control in Washington, DC, America’s fiscal Apocalypse gets closer every day.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative, your source for opinion that’s politically-incorrect and always “right.” His articles can also be found on RedState.com.
His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.