August 12, 2012


Ryan's Charge Up Entitlement Hill : The GOP's fiscal leader explains why House Republicans will vote to reform Medicare and why the public is ready to listen. (PAUL GIGOT,  February 19, 2011, WSJ)

Senate Democrats like Chuck Schumer issue almost daily press releases attacking Mr. Ryan, Paul Krugman is obsessed and demeaning, and even President Obama can't stop mentioning him. Only this week, the president justified his own failure to tackle entitlements in his dud of a 2012 budget by saying that "the chairman of the House Republican budgeteers didn't sign on" to the final report of Mr. Obama's deficit commission.

What are they all so afraid of?

"Did he really say that?" asks Mr. Ryan about the president, sitting in his House office this week after another day of the hearings he now runs as chairman of the House Budget Committee. "I'm actually flattered." Perhaps they're worried, he says, "because we put out more than just bromides and platitudes. We put out specifics."

He certainly has done that, most famously with his "Road Map" that is the full monty of conservative tax and entitlement reform. Mr. Ryan knows it won't pass, not even in the current GOP House, but he drew it up in 2009 to start a debate and show that a future of limited government was still possible. He adds that he opposed the Obama deficit commission report because it failed to do anything serious about health-care entitlements, and he proposed an alternative that the commission rejected. Mr. Obama has never proposed his alternative.

Has the president ever called him to talk? "Never once," he says, notwithstanding Mr. Obama's many public statements that he wants "aggressive" conversations with Republicans, especially Mr. Ryan. "He keeps saying that," says the Wisconsin native, but "they don't talk to us. It just doesn't really happen. I don't know what else to say."

So goes the reality of today's Washington, especially after Mr. Obama dropped his budget this week that does almost nothing about everything. To call it a punt is unfair to the game of football. That abdication makes Mr. Ryan, by dint of his expertise and his influence with other Republicans, the most important fiscal voice in Washington. As supply-siders used to say--and Mr. Ryan came of political age as a protege of Jack Kemp--Mr. Ryan is now the man on the margin. He says he's determined not to waste the opportunity, notwithstanding the huge political risks.

All this time spent wondering how Mr. Romney decided on Paul Ryan, when all you have to do is look at the polling:

Next, how important a priority should each of the following issues be for the next president -- extremely important, very important, somewhat important, or not that important. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]? July 2012 results

MORE: Democracy Corps' House Battleground: Is Medi-Scare Working? (Topline Translator, 8/07/12)

[I]n its analysis, Democracy Corps declares, "Ryan budget barely gets popular support" (pg. 35). What they choose to ignore is that the question they are referencing shows support for the Ryan budget at 52 37% -- a +15% margin.


POLLSTER: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research for Democracy Corps

DATE: Conducted 7/21-26/2012; Released 8/1/2012

SAMPLE: Sampled 1,000 Likely 2012 Voters in 54 Republican-held Battleground Districts; MoE ± 3.1%


@ToplineReport Democracy Corps' House Battleground: Is Medi-Scare Working? #tcot

Posted by at August 12, 2012 8:56 AM

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