Rep. Paul Ryan: Hope for America’s Future

For the 450 or so guests in attendance at the Claremont Institute’s annual Churchill dinner Saturday night in Newport Beach, remarks made by Congressman Paul Ryan struck a deep cord: “The shadow of our ever-growing national debt hangs over businesses and workers—hangs over senior citizens, who wonder if Washington is making empty promises over retirement—hangs over parents, who worry that they are leaving behind a weak, poor inheritance for their children, with fewer opportunities than they once had.”

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The Wisconsin congressman attended the Claremont event to receive the Claremont Institute’s statesmanship award but he focused his remarks on the challenges that are ahead for the United States.  Ryan painted a gloomy, dismal picture of America’s future, if the nation continues down the path it is currently traveling. He stated that America has been “repeating the errors of Europe”, aggravating our debt by continually borrowing and “living from hand-to-mouth.” Criticizing the policies of the Obama Administration, Rep. Paul Ryan denounced the excessive, burdensome taxes and said that the regulations are crippling our economy and moving us backwards.

The truth is that the government cannot overcome its debt by merely taxing its population, and relying on regulations for its source of income. Congressman Ryan relayed facts and figures from his research on tax rates for the next generation. The numbers that the analysts in Washington came up with were stunning: the lowest tax bracket goes up to 25%, middle-class to 63%, and the highest bracket rounds off at 88%, all to provide for Obama’s expansive government. “Tax hikes will chase higher spending, until we can’t borrow another dime,” he declared. “The problem is all of the empty promises made to future generations.” Indeed, the President works to grow entitlements, and combining all of the unfunded liabilities and promises brings the total cost of Obama’s borderline-socialist regime to $99.4 trillion. To simply keep all of the promises that Obama has made to America’s generations, we would have to invest nearly $100 trillion into the US government, just to have those finances. That’s the situation that Europe finds itself in today. We are not threatened by foreign aggression, but by the “titanic imbalance of money.” The economy clearly isn’t growing enough to bring new jobs—so why is the government making it harder to bring businesses that have the capability to grow jobs? “Canada is lowering its business tax to 15%, while Obama wants to grow it to 50%,” said Congressman Paul Ryan. In an increasingly globalized world economy, the US can’t afford to make it difficult for its own business to compete.

“It is no question that the president inherited a difficult situation, but his policies have made things much worse. Washington is spending dollars we don’t have on programs that don’t work.” Congressman Paul Ryan cited Obama’s politics of division, fear, envy, and resentment. The President is sowing “social unrest” and pitting groups against each other, only to “distract us from the real issues at hand.”

“Americans know that they’re in trouble, and they’re ready to be talked to like adults, not pandered children,” stated Rep. Paul Ryan. The Wisconsin congressman cited Churchill’s leadership as an example, stating that the famed British leader had great faith in his people—faith in his words, and faith in the people that he was speaking to. He was confident that his people would prevail, that victory would not come easily, but be earned. The facts were somber, but the greatest sin, according to Churchill, was the refusal to tell people the facts they needed to make the proper decisions to act. It is total injustice to “lie to the American people” about the profound choice that must be made on the path we take in this country. The problem in Washington today is timidity and fear of losing the next election due to speaking the truth. Churchill challenged his people to face the threat and move forward. “Nothing is more predictable than the fiscal train wreck,” said Rep. Paul Ryan. “But there is time to reform the tax code, control debt, restore economic prosperity, and repeal the healthcare law.”

Congressman Ryan concluded his speech asking the guests in the room: “Do you want the President’s path of debt, doubt and decline, where government goes from promoting equal opportunity to equalizing the results of our lives? Or do you want the American idea: the opportunity society with the safety net, dedicated to liberty, equality of opportunity, and upward mobility?” Judging from their reaction, the audience—perhaps representative of the broader electorate—prefers the latter.

(Josephine Djuhana is Assistant Editor for the California Political Review.)


  1. Representative Paul Ryan is not from Ohio but Wisconsin. He is a brilliant man who understands our economy and its potential demise

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