Vice President Paul Ryan: Could free enterprise get its groove back?

posted at 11:01 am on August 11, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

I’ve made no secret out of the fact that I’ve long been rooting for Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal for Mitt Romney’s running mate selection, but when I went to check my e-mail and the Twitters one last time before hittin’ the hay last night and saw the Paul Ryan news, I had about a twelve-second rush of confused and conflicting emotions before deciding that, actually… this is kind of awesome.

I was really afraid there for a while that Romney would go with Rob Portman or Tim Pawlenty — as competent as either of them might be, I’m sorry, but I confess that I side with the “vanilla”-detractors on that one. They’d just be so boring. And while a lot of the speculators were speculatin’ that Paul Ryan’s fiscal reform and budget proposals will be a liability because of the way the Left will hammer and distort them, I don’t happen to see it that way. Paul Ryan is one of the few politicians who has dared to suggest comprehensive, viable solutions to our dramatically unsustainable national spending habits. That is a good thing, and if we can frame it simply and correctly (ay, there’s the rub!), I think people will respond in the positive.

I’ve heard quite a few fellow conservatives express their ire that his plans don’t go far enough, and in a more perfect and ideal world, I’d wholeheartedly agree with them — but buck up, friends. It’s important to stand tall for your principles, but this isn’t a more perfect and ideal world. Huge, sweeping, and sudden changes are just not part of the infrastructure of our two-party republic. Sometimes you’ve gotta’ do things by halves to work toward a whole — it’s a heck of a lot better than doing nothing.

Our national debt, fueled by our rapacious entitlement programs, is perhaps the most utterly predictable, self-inflicted, and calamitously far-reaching problem in modern history. Honestly, it’s so painfully laughable when people accuse free enterprise of fueling human greed, when big government is so clearly what allows the negative aspects of greed to flourish. If you haven’t picked up on this yet (tee hee), freedom and free markets are pretty much my political guiding lights: Their penetrating power to solve all manner of material ills, without coercion or affectation, is unparalleled. Whatever their other political faults may be, I think Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan truly understand and respect free markets. While Mitt sometimes stumbles on communicating that message (“corporations are people” and “I like firing people” = essentially true, but unfortunately not the most appealing way to say it), I’ve only ever heard clarifying and effective free-market testaments from Paul Ryan so far.

Along with my Townhall buddy Guy Benson, I had the opportunity to sit down for a lengthy interview with Paul Ryan in the Capitol offices last summer. I usually approach all politicians’ sincerity with extreme skepticism, but I was amazed at how friendly, easygoing, earnest, polite, casual, and engaging Ryan was. Democrats are going to have their work cut out for them trying to make him look like a bad guy, because I really believe people are going to naturally like him. Oh, did I mention brilliant? Because the man was passionately spouting off about complex fiscal and tax scenarios like they were as simple as the ABCs.

Every time I’ve written about Paul Ryan since then, I’ve referred to him as a hard-hitting fiscal guru — and more than anything, that’s what America needs right now. His common sense and doggedness are invaluable, and I’m hoping this will be a positive and definitive step in moving America away from intellectually cheap populism and instead making free enterprise cool again. Let’s do this.


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I am literally laughing at anyone who thinks TARP was necessary or that the stimulus or bailouts were necessary, while cursing you as ignorant enablers in the same breath.

Dante on August 11, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Whatever…I do not give a damn what you think…I have more faith in Paul Ryan than I do some anonymous commenter on a blog. There is no way that Ryan would have supported that or that so many other conservatives would have supported it if they did not think there was a real emergency..That does not mean that I like what Obama did with the program once he became President and I do not support the takeover of GM.

Our real spending problems are chronic and on going. If the only money that had been spent had been the initial 300 billion that was paid back..and not the additional spending..or the 800 billion dollar stimulus or the take over of GM or the extensions of unemployment insurance and the additional food stamp and medicaid money…along with the ever growing medicare and social security money…well, we would not be where we are.

Terrye on August 11, 2012 at 6:06 PM

But O’Bozo has eaten there – many times when Moochie wasn’t there. Doesn’t that count for anything? ;)

honsy on August 11, 2012 at 3:25 PM

obozo has opened a dog shelter in his digestive track too, to quote from Mark Steyn…does that count for anything? :-)…

jimver on August 11, 2012 at 6:07 PM

I am literally laughing at anyone who thinks TARP was necessary or that the stimulus or bailouts were necessary, while cursing you as ignorant enablers in the same breath.

Dante on August 11, 2012 at 5:59 PM

aww, the prescient’s at it again :)…you are the most ignorant fool on this blog, but somehow the reality of it escapes you…must be nice to live in your little own world in your head…

jimver on August 11, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Why would he do that? The Republicans just picked a guy who agrees with him economically. Obama gets to point to Ryan’s votes for the bailouts, for TARP, for raising the debt ceiling and increasing spending. This was a gift to the Obama camp, which isindistinguishable from the Romney/Republican camp. Look at all of you cheerleading Romney and Ryan.

Dante on August 11, 2012 at 6:01 PM

You do not even know what you are talking about.

You are not even making any differentiation between the initial 300 billion TARP and everything that came after…and as for raising the debt ceiling…there was no way that was not going to happen. If they had not raised the debt ceiling, the Democrats could easily have stopped paying the military and social security and just blamed it on Republicans and then there would have been public demands to raise the debt ceiling..you are talking about 40 cents out of every dollar.

If we are going to cut spending and save the economy there has to be a plan and financial suicide is not a plan.

Terrye on August 11, 2012 at 6:13 PM

…I have more faith in Paul Ryan than I do some anonymous commenter on a blog. There is no way that Ryan would have supported that or that so many other conservatives would have supported it if they did not think there was a real emergency..

Terrye on August 11, 2012 at 6:06 PM

It’s not everyday someone comes right out and says they don’t think for oneself, but here you are

Dante on August 11, 2012 at 6:18 PM

It’s not everyday someone comes right out and says they don’t think for oneself, but here you are

Dante on August 11, 2012 at 6:18 PM

Do you even know of the area Ryan is from? He is the rep for the south east part of the state. you know how it is in that area? Highly union. In fact…. GM is there or was ( I cant recall if the plant was re opened or not )…. So he is voting for his people in his area. They want the house in order, but to have a bone tossed to them every so often when needed, and as much as I or you or any other person want to admit…. trap one was needed.

watertown on August 11, 2012 at 7:01 PM

and as much as I or you or any other person want to admit…. trap one was needed.

watertown on August 11, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Freudian slip that reveals the deep truth. ;)

honsy on August 11, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Do you even know of the area Ryan is from? He is the rep for the south east part of the state. you know how it is in that area? Highly union. In fact…. GM is there or was ( I cant recall if the plant was re opened or not )…. So he is voting for his people in his area. They want the house in order, but to have a bone tossed to them every so often when needed, and as much as I or you or any other person want to admit…. trap one was needed.

watertown on August 11, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Spin and rationalize. Spin and rationalize. Some of us, though, have standards and principles.

Dante on August 11, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Some of us, though, have standards and principles.

Dante on August 11, 2012 at 7:23 PM

LOL!!!! You owe me a new screen! A Leftoid with standards . . . and principles? LOL ! ! ! !

honsy on August 11, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Any military strike Obama does will be portrayed as valiant. Quite the opposite of the response Mitt would get or GW got.

Steveangell on August 11, 2012 at 2:40 PM

My God. I agree with you on this point.

Tenwheeler on August 11, 2012 at 8:17 PM

Not even an anti-union President like Bush could let the industry die- taking down Ford with it. The nation’s center would have been economically devastated, perhaps beyond repair, if the industry had died.

bayam on August 11, 2012

Jeebus, the nation’s center IS devastated. The life has been sucked out of it and the northeast manufacturing this nation’s industry was built on by the unions and Congress’ collusion.

Did you miss the last 35 years?

Tenwheeler on August 11, 2012 at 8:22 PM

I was afraid that Romney would select Ryan, but now I have to say that I am totally convinced he is the right person. I do think that he will succinctly express what the problem is and what the solutions are.

I read an article today that said that the debt in the U.S. is over $700K PER PERSON. That is just unforgiveable. I have to believe that when Ryan explains something like that, even the old folks in Florida will be ashamed that they are leaving that to their children and grandchildren. This election is the last chance this country has to get it right. Ryan is the man.

COgirl on August 11, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Some of us, though, have standards and principles.

Dante on August 11, 2012 at 7:23 PM

As you have so ably demonstrated, multiple times, your standard includes the principle that everyone must agree with you or they are ignorant non-thinkers.

How convenient for you. You are a real team builder. Thanks coach.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on August 11, 2012 at 11:05 PM

Our national debt, fueled by our rapacious entitlement programs, is perhaps the most utterly predictable, self-inflicted, and calamitously far-reaching problem in modern history. Honestly, it’s so painfully laughable when people accuse free enterprise of fueling human greed, when big government is so clearly what allows the negative aspects of greed to flourish. If you haven’t picked up on this yet (tee hee), freedom and free markets are pretty much my political guiding lights: Their penetrating power to solve all manner of material ills, without coercion or affectation, is unparalleled.

Very well written piece Erika Johnsen.She has it correct as well. The debt thoroughly overwhelms anything else that the regime has tried to do as far as the destruction of America goes.
Leaving a legacy of 6 trillion dollars added to an already enormous debt overwhelming total debt left by most past presidents is a legacy that should be pointed out hourly by our side.
It will and should be a winning issue.
How can anyone run on collapsing a capitalist society by introducing socialism and near insurmountable debt.And, who better to describe and destroy the left for doing so then Paul Ryan. Excellent choice and I am confident now that our side will triumph in Nov.

rodguy911 on August 12, 2012 at 8:55 AM

Not even an anti-union President like Bush could let the industry die- taking down Ford with it. The nation’s center would have been economically devastated, perhaps beyond repair, if the industry had died.

bayam on August 11, 2012

Great. And give Obama another four years. He’ll to the rest of the economy what he did to the auto industry.

He’ll tear up article 15 of the constitution that says owners of debt have first preference to recovery funds.

He’ll hand 7 billion dollars over to unions to refund their pensions and the American people will still be owning 44 billion dollars in worthless debt. Remember tearing up article 15.

He’ll eliminate the pensions of non-union management.

He’ll throw 40,000 people out of work through the elimination of dealerships.

Help like that I’ll be happy to vote against.

itsspideyman on August 12, 2012 at 11:36 AM

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