Congressman Paul Ryan offered a Republican response to the Obama speech. He was gracious in admitting the current deficit was the result of both political parties. Actually, he is incorrect. President Bill Clinton turned over to George Bush a budget that showed a SURPLUS of over $300 billion. Within a year Bush proposed a budget that had over a hundred billion dollar DEFICIT. In 1980, Ronald Reagan inherited a national debt of about $2 Trillion. When he left office it was closer to $5 Trillion. George Bush inherited a national debt of $5 Trillion. When he left office it was over $10 Trillion. Congressman Ryan claimed the Stimulus did not create jobs. Most economists estimate it saved over 2 million jobs. Congressman Ryan argues the new health care bill will cost hundreds of billions of dollars. The independent Congressional Budget Office estimates it will SAVE $250 Billion. Fiscal responsibility is the promise of Republicans. Yet, Republicans in Congress overwhelmingly voted to support the invasion of Iraq which has cost at least a Trillion dollars and will eventually cost two Trillion dollars. Some fiscal responsibility!
Throughout his speech, Ryan argued for “limited government” and claimed that was how historically the American government functioned. Let’s look at the record”
1. Thomas Jefferson instituted the national road.
2. Thomas Jefferson is responsible for the Louisiana Purchase even though there is nothing in the Constitution that allows such purchases.
3. State governments helped to subsidize canal construction and early railroad construction.
4. Under Abraham Lincoln, the government subsidized construction of the Intercontinental Railroad.
5. Under Abraham Lincoln, the first Income Tax was passed.
6. The Republican party pushed for creation of the Interstate Commerce Commission.
7. Republican Theodore Roosevelt led the fight to break up trusts and regulate business.
8. Under Theodore Roosevelt the US government subsidized creation of an airplane industry.
9. Under Theodore Roosevelt came child labor laws and regulation of safety in factories.
10. Theodore Roosevelt and most Republicans supported the Income Tax Amendment –as did Democrats.
11. President Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s created the modern national highway system.
12. The Supreme Court declared unconstitutional state segregation.
13. The Internet was developed by the federal government.
and, so on and so on.