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The Urgent Need to Chart a New Course

Ranking Member Paul Ryan guest hosts CNBC’s Squawk Box - Video Highlights

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Washington, July 13, 2010 | comments

Let's get a grip on gov't spending

We are doubling down on this borrow and spend mentality. We are going in completely the wrong direction with our fiscal policy.

I put myself in the Chris Christie camp. States need to take this moment to finally fix their budget mess. Washington shouldn't continually bail them out and postpone the inevitable budget changes that need to happen. We're having this great debate about the 1930s -- and a lot of revisionist history is occurring. Hoover started with the stimulus spending. Hoover gave us tax increases, then FDR finished up and did the same thing.

What happened in the 1930s, I would argue, is higher tax rates, protectionism, demagoguing business with bank populism, and then more uncertainty in the economic climate, more uncertainty among economic producers and small businesses as to what's coming ahead. What do you think we're doing right now? We're doing all of those things. We're repeating the same mistakes that took a tremendous crash and a recession and turned it into the Great Depression.

What I worry about here is because of government policy, State and Federal, we may get our own lost decade scenario just like the Japanese got. Because of the carry trade, because of the Fed, and because of all of the dangerous fiscal policy -- higher taxes, more regulations, explosion in spending -- we could have our own slow-growth, no-growth, managed-decline lost decade scenario.

The response to the crisis, this $862 billion stimulus, didn't work. It was supposed to keep unemployment under 8%. It was supposed to create 3 to 4 million jobs. I think we would have been better off with entitlement reform to show we are getting our fiscal house in order. We would have better off with lower tax rates -- not an assault on capital; not an assault on producers; and not this takeover of health care, this takeover of financial regulation, this takeover of energy.

When you look at every major sector of the economy, one theme occurs: the government is inserting itself as the dominant player in the marketplace and that makes economic actors less confident to go forward and invest. What I really believe is government is doing now is making matters worse. That's the problem.

Look at the sovereign debt crises that are popping up around the world. What we are seeing is welfare states are sort of on their last legs. Welfare states don't work, they are economically unsustainable, and you eventually run out of other people's money to spend.

We see this when we look at Europe and our current government is doubling down in the same direction. That is scaring people. That is scaring businesses. That is scaring the economy. That to me is what is wrong with the current direction of government policies and all this so-called "stimulus" spending.


Alice Rivlin and Paul Ryan discuss the need to tackle the debt threat

A Choice of Two Futures and the Urgent Need to Act


Paul Ryan on the need to engage in the world economy, and spur jobs in America

If you're standing still in a global economy -- that means you're losing and slipping behind.
Colombia is a no-brainer. We already give them open access to our economy. We don't have open access to their economy -- this agreement would achieve that. These trade agreements give us a better deal relative to where we are today. That will help us export our products. 97% of the world's consumers live outside the United States. We've got to be able to make things in America and export them abroad if we are going to have a prosperous economy.

Is Washington's borrow-and-spend economic agenda working?

Paul Ryan and Jan Schakowsky debate Washington's failed economic policies.

Paul Ryan: We've lost 3.6 million jobs since the stimulus passed. Unemployment's hovering around 10 percent. This isn't working.

The budget we're living under, last year's Obama budget because we don't have one this year, doubles the debt in five years and triples our debt in ten years. More debt is accumulating under this administration than George Washington to George Bush combined.

We're on a tear here and it's going in the wrong direction. We're looking at Europe, and we're going farther in the direction that they've been going.

If it's not working, we shouldn't keep going in the same path. Let's give businesses certainty. Let's have low tax rates, sound money, predictable and transparent regulations: those are the kind of things that ought to be giving us real economic growth.


A Roadmap For America's Future


Small Businesses: Washington's Economic Policies are "scaring us to death"

Bill Dunkelberg, National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Chief Economist

Future tax hikes, costs of the health care overhaul, "the deficits scare us to death" - everything Congress is doing - or thinking about - is not helpful for small business or the economy. This isn't "stimulus" - it's just drawing resources out and deploying them in the government sector not helping the private sector.

Stop scaring us to death with all this stuff that's going on. It really worries ordinary folks that the government isn't even going to have a budget, that they're just spending money, and we're worried where that is going to take us.




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