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Ryan: Rather than Exploit Anxiety & Fear, Let’s Address It, Let’s Heal It.

Paul Ryan On MSNBC's Morning Joe

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Washington, November 3, 2011 | comments

Earlier today, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan joined MSNBC’s Morning Joe to advance principled, pro-growth reforms, and express disappointment at the President’s failed policies.

On President Obama’s Inability to Defend His Record

“Look, I think [the President] can’t run on his record because the results are fairly dismal…I’m very concerned that his rhetorical shift has turned away from being a uniter toward more of a divider - preying on resentment and envy, pitting people against each other. And to me, I just reject the premise of his view that one person’s gain necessarily must come at the expense of another person’s loss. And what it does is it stokes resentment within our society.  This also hurts jobs. I can’t tell you how many businesspeople lately have come up to me saying - in Wisconsin – ‘all this class division discussion just scares me and it hunkers me down and I’m not going to invest.’ That - combined with the bad policies of uncertainty, of tax increases - to me, the President is using this rhetorical shift because he doesn’t have a good record to run on, and he’s not willing to adjust his policies to reflect the realities of our time.”

“There is a legitimate fear and anxiety out there. We shouldn’t be exploiting it, we shouldn’t be encouraging it. We should try and heal it. And we should be focusing on economic growth, on prosperity, on social mobility, on upward mobility. Your earlier discussion about people worrying whether their kids are going to be better off than they are - that’s a real fear in America today. A lot of people are out of work. We have six million people who haven’t had a job for over six months. So we have real economic anxiety. And we should not be preying on that or exploiting that. We should be addressing it. And the quote that you cut off before, I was going to say: Let’s get after corporate welfare; Let’s get after that crony capitalism; Let’s stop subsidizing the wealthy; Let’s stop subsidizing their health and retirement benefits; Let’s stop picking winners and losers in the tax code up here based on who’s powerful and who has good connections. Those are the things we should be dealing with as we try and get this debt and deficit under control and get this economy growing.”

On Leading With Policies and Ideas, Not Empty Promises and Divisive Politics

“We don’t agree with the direction the President has taken the country, and if we don’t agree with his policies it’s not just enough to criticize, we need to offer principled alternatives and show the country how we would do things differently. And that’s precisely what we’ve done with our budget, with our tax proposals, with our energy proposals, with the 15 bills that we’ve passed [in] the House to send over to the Senate to create jobs and economic growth. So, we’re not just criticizing, we’re proposing alternatives. And to me, I think that’s the obligation you have up here as leaders and that’s precisely what we’re doing.”

On The 15 Job Creation Bills Passed by the House, Sitting in the Senate

“Instead of talking about this record, or lack thereof, we’re getting this horrible rhetorical broadside, which just fuels division within America and we shouldn’t be doing that. We should be talking about – we should have legitimate policy debate about our different ideas.  And we’re not having that legitimate policy debate. We’re having what I call scapegoat, blame-game, straw-man arguments where you’re affixing positions to your political adversaries that they don’t have to try and win the debate by default; by trying to nullify the notion that there’s no other alternative. We’ve passed alternatives. We’ve got 15 bills sitting in the Senate right now to create jobs that are just sitting there.”

For the latest from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan:

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