[VIDEO]: Paul Ryan and the Road to Recovery

“After two months of drastic interventions, has hope replaced fear, and confidence pushed aside uncertainty?” – Rep. Paul Ryan

I like to keep tabs on some of the younger members of the house caucus, cats like Rep. Aaron Shock of Illinois and Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, just because as we try to introduce conservative principles to a new generation of voters, it helps to have younger faces making the case why we’re right and the Democrat Party is wrong.

(And before the comments start, yes, we all know aboot how George Bush did this and George Bush did that and blah, blah, blah, yackity schmackity.)

At the top of my list, and a guy I wished had run for Minority Leader this year, is Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. As far as sound fiscal policy goes, his credentials are near impeccable (minus a few recent votes), and being under forty years old (he lists Metallica as one of his favourite bands), he’s the perfect spokesman to usher in a new generation of conservatives.

He introduced some of his alternatives to the Obama budget plan in a recent “Wall Street Journal” editorial. These are some of there alternatives the MSM claims we don’t have…

On a pro-growth policy: Rather than raise the top marginal income tax rate to 39.6%, it should be dropped to 25%. The lower tax brackets should be collapsed to one 10% rate on the first $100,000 for couples. And the top corporate tax rate should be lowered to 25%. This modest reform would put American companies’ tax liability more in line with the prevailing rates of our competitors. We’ve seen 10 years of growth in our equity markets wiped out in recent months, while 401(k)s, IRAs and college savings plans are down by an average of 40%. The administration and congressional Democrats want to raise capital gains tax rates by a third. Instead, we should eliminate the capital gains tax. It supplies about 4% of federal revenues, yet it places a substantial drag on economic growth. Individuals already pay taxes on income when they earn it. They should not be socked again when they are saving and investing for their retirement and their children’s education…

On guaranteeing sound money: I believe the best way to guarantee sound money is to use an explicit, market-based price guide, such as a basket of commodities, in setting monetary policy. A more politically realistic path to price stability would be for the Fed to explicitly embrace inflation targeting. Transcripts from recent meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee meetings suggest that the Fed may already be moving in this direction. This would be an improvement over the status quo: It could help combat near-term deflation concerns while also calming the market’s longer-term inflation fears…

On fixing the financial sector: The underlying structural problem at our financial institutions is the toxic assets infecting their balance sheets and impairing their operations. In order to help purge these assets from the system, we need a government-sponsored, comprehensive solution, but one that is transparent and temporary, and which leverages — rather than chases away — private-sector capital. The general idea is to establish an entity or fund to purchase troubled assets from financial institutions and then hold them until they could be sold once the market has recovered. The Treasury has announced its intention to use capital from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, along with financing from the Fed’s soon-to-be operational Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, to set up such an entity. It will be a tall task to get all the details and incentives right, but the administration’s general strategy appears to be sound…

On getting a grip on entitlements: With $56 trillion in unfunded liabilities and our social insurance programs set to implode, we must tackle the entitlement crisis. I have proposed legislation, called “A Roadmap for America’s Future,” that would bring permanent solvency to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. By transforming these open-ended entitlements into a system with a defined benefit safety net for the low-income and chronically ill, in conjunction with an individually owned, defined contribution system for health and retirement, we can reach the goal of these programs without bankrupting the next generation. It would also show the world and the credit markets that we are serious about our debt and unfunded liabilities…

I highly suggest reading the entire editorial, where he goes into each area in more detail, as well as check out the website for his “Roadmap for America’s Future.”

UPDATE: This is why sound fiscal policy is important.

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