WH field reax to Ryan plan 

Late yesterday afternoon, the White House put out a statement responding to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity budget plan, including: “The President believes that dramatically reducing America’s long-term deficit is essential to growing our economy and winning the future.  ... But while we agree with his ultimate goal, we strongly disagree with his approach.  Any plan to reduce our deficit must reflect the American values of fairness and shared sacrifice.  Congressman Ryan’s plan fails this test.”

These are strong words considering that under the president’s own budget, by 2014 net interest payments on our debt will surpass the amount spent on education, transportation, energy, and all other discretionary programs outside defense combined. Over the next decade, if we were to follow the only plan the president has had the audacity to put his name on, every citizen would be paying more than $2,500 a year in interest alone. Now that is a plan that fails to meet American values.

The unabated explosion of federal spending, and the record deficits it has and will cause, was the defining issue of 2010 and will be again in 2012. While all of the 2012 GOP nominees offered supportive words for Ryan’s plan yesterday, none fully endorsed it. That it passable for now. None of the potential candidates wrote the Ryan plan so they can’t be expected to own every detail. But Ryan has now set the bar high. Each candidate is going to have to issue their own plan and the Ryan plan is now the gold standard by which they all will be judged. Reactions from every White House hopeful we could find below:

MS Gov. Haley Barbour: “Rep. Ryan's budget recognizes the problem with government: Too much spending without fiscal responsibility.” [Barbour also co-signed a letter from the RGA which included: “On behalf of Republican Governors, we applaud the bold FY 2012 budget proposal you announced today. … Medicaid reform is welcome and the Republican Governors overwhelmingly support the creation of a Medicaid block grant program.”]

IN Gov. Mitch Daniels: “The House budget resolution is the first serious proposal produced by either party to deal with the overriding issue of our time. The national debt we are amassing threatens the livelihood and the liberty of every single American, and in particular the life prospects of our young people. Anyone criticizing this plan without offering a specific and equally bold program of his own has failed in the public duty to be honest and clear with Americans about the gravest danger we are facing together.” [Daniels did not co-sign the RGA letter mentioned above]

Former AR Gov. Mike Huckabee: “I have been reviewing the document since its release – and so far, several of Congressman Ryan's ideas, are ideas that I have been advocating for many months. I am especially pleased that the proposal provides for streamlining many government agencies and REPEALING OBAMACARE. [emphasis in original]
It’s doubtful the House’s proposal will be passed in its current form, and it’s unlikely that this one proposal will be the ultimate solution to all of our economic problems.  But Congressman Ryan's proposal is certainly a start – one that I support as a small step to restoring fiscal sanity and reducing the size of government.”

Former AK Gov. Sarah Palin: “There is hope! Serious & necessary leadership rolls out serious & necessary reform proposal. Good start (from Dec. http://on.wsj.com/eP0Kwo) [link to Wall Street Journal op-ed titled: Why I Support the Ryan Roadmap]

Former MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty: “Thanks to Paul Ryan in Congress, the American people finally have someone offering real leadership in Washington. President Obama has failed to lead and make tough choices his entire time in the White House. While the budget is going to be debated for several months to come, the more immediate issue we face is President Obama’s plans to raise the debt ceiling next month. That’s a really bad idea. With over $14 trillion debt already, we should not allow Washington’s big spenders to put us further in the hole. We must get our fiscal house in order with real spending cuts and with real structural reforms that stop the spending spree before it bankrupts our country.”

Former MA Gov. Mitt Romney: “I applaud Rep. Paul Ryan for recognizing the looming financial crisis that faces our nation and for the creative and bold thinking that he brings to the debate. He is setting the right tone for finally getting spending and entitlements under control. Anyone who has read my book knows that we are on the same page.”

Former Sen. Rick Santorum: “I commend Chairman Ryan’s long-term budget proposal that tackles entitlement programs, particularly his proposed reforms of the Medicaid program. As one of the principal authors of the 1996 Welfare Reform bill that greatly utilized the block grant system to reform that entitlement, I have seen firsthand the success that can occur by using conservative policy foundations to empower individuals and save a failing program. I also believe the Republicans’ approach to reforming Medicare is right on target to streamline the program, reduce waste and allow future Medicare beneficiaries to have more of a say in the needs of their benefits with a market driven approach. And with over $6 trillion in spending cuts, Congressional Republicans are making the tough choices in the short and long-term to bring the Federal budget under control, and I urge the American people to stand with them in the face of Democratic party obstructionism.”

Must Reads:

  • WI Gov. Scott Walker tells NRO he is using IN Gov. Mitch Daniels as a model for dealing with government unions.
  • The head of the largest federal government union said he will sue if a shutdown occurs.
  • According to Pew, 57% of Americans now believe the Unites States has o clear goal in war in Libya.
  • The Los Angeles Times has an in-depth feature challenging Pawlenty’s fiscal record as Minnesota governor.

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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