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Roll Call: Ryan’s Budget: ‘Means to an End’ Not ‘Root Canal Economics’

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Washington, March 12, 2013 | comments
By David M. Drucker


House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan introduced his committee’s fiscal 2014 spending plan Tuesday and amid all the focus on the fact it would balance Washington’s books in 10 years, in part by repealing the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare), I was struck by a phrase the Wisconsin Republican repeated several times in his morning news conference: “means to an end.”

There is little difference between Ryan’s 2014 budget and the two previous proposals offered by the House GOP majority. But politically, the emphasis and messaging have been altered significantly. This new blueprint might appear to be about balanced budgets, tax reform and overhauling Medicare. In fact, many House Republicans will still focus on these items — it’s why they came to Congress. But what does Ryan want Americans to think about his budget? That it will make their lives better.

“We want people to know that this isn’t simply an accounting exercise, that this is an exercise in making a better country, and helping people who are in need, in getting a growing economy that produces more opportunity and upward mobility,” Ryan told CQ Roll Call after he unveiled his budget. “That’s why we’re doing what we’re doing. It’s not an accounting exercise; it’s not root canal economics, it’s pro-growth economics that gets people the kind of opportunity that they’ve always known about in America growing up.

“So many people are beginning to believe that the American dream is so far out of their reach,” Ryan continued. “This budget helps restore the kind of economic vitality that places that American dream within reach of everybody. And that’s why we’re doing this. So we think it’s really important to emphasize why we’re doing what we’re doing, what our goal at the end of the day is.”

Read the full story at Roll Call.
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