Ryan talks debt ceiling
July 20th, 2011
03:33 PM ET
9 years ago

Ryan talks debt ceiling

Editor's Note: CNN's Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger will have more with Congressman Paul Ryan Wednesday on "The Situation Room" with Wolf Blitzer.

Washington (CNN)
– With the debt ceiling negotiations stuck in a circular loop, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan remains steadfastly opposed to the so-called 'Gang of Six' budget plan-despite the fact that it partly resembles his own budget proposal.

"The virtue of their proposal is that they say you need to lower tax rates for economic growth," Ryan told CNN's Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger. "The Gang of 6 [plan] is five pages of talking points, it's not an actual plan, what we're looking at as we get into the numbers is – they're not adding up.

"It's a big plan, it's a big idea, we shouldn't cut deals like this in a back room," he said. "We should do it in public, with committee hearings, and amendments…instead of rushing something through in 48 hours which will completely remake all of these plans in government."

Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman whose proposal has become a target for Democrats, made it clear he does not object to closing tax loopholes.

The issue, he said, is you need to close those tax breaks at the same time congress reforms the tax code.

"We've always said let's close loopholes in order to get tax code more competitive. The problem is if you just take away the loopholes without doing tax reform, then you take away the fiscal space to do tax reform," Ryan said.

"You never do tax reform and then you don't get economic growth. See here's what we're trying to focus on – we want to get this economy growing and get people back to work, and we want to deal with the problem which is spending."

Ryan's view that spending is the culprit is shared by his Republican counterparts-and it's the essence of the debate that has kept the parties from any agreement on raising the debt ceiling.

The GOP view is simple: if you raise revues (that is, taxes) you reduce the need to cut spending. And according to Ryan, Congress needs that pressure.

"Spending has grown – we're seeing spending at rates which we haven't seen since WWII, and so we want to focus on that," Ryan said. "When we go down the tax increase route, you're taking the pressure off of the need to deal with spending," he said.

The House passed a bill on Tuesday that promised to cut and cap spending-with a promise to balance the budget without relying on tax increases.

"We had a 'Gang of 234' members of Congress put legislation on the floor," he said, acknowledging that the measure is not going anywhere in the Senate.

"If we gauge ourselves by, 'will it go anywhere or will it not go anywhere?,' then we'll never get anything done," he said. "I think it's important to put up ideas and put up plans."

And so far, that's all congress has done.

Filed under: Congress • Debt • Deficit • Paul Ryan
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Lisa P

    "If we gauge ourselves by, 'will it go anywhere or will it not go anywhere?,' then we'll never get anything done," he said. "I think it's important to put up ideas and put up plans."

    It's important to put up ideas and put up plans - as long as it's Paul Ryan's plan, which seems to be pretty much all about Paul Ryan. Where were the hearings for your plan, Paul? Your objections to the Gang of Six plan are so flimsy and self-contradictory that it's laughable. The very last thing you want is a workable solution to the deficit problem because who would give you the slightest attention then?

    July 20, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  2. Video Guy

    The best thing to happen in debt talks is for Ryan to go back to cheese land and keep his mouth closed.

    July 20, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. king

    you got to realize that the repugs refuse to do nothing that will benefit this president. they yell, scream and holler about the debt and now we have an opportune time to shave off alot of money off our debt and because the repugs thinks that obama will get some credit they said no. this does not make any sence at all. theyve been holding this country hostage for the last 2 years and will not do any thing to help this country because obama might get some credit. when will the american people wake up and see the crap that these repugs are shovelling.

    July 20, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  4. marty

    Mr. Ryan, let me express the same comments offered by persons like yourself, who are always lamenting that ,you want to keep your money, that you 'worked hard' for that money and you do not want anyone to interfere, control or take any of it.
    Using the same logic, keep your hands off of Social Security. Americans have paid into that system for years, it has been a lifesaver to many decent hard working Americans. The same applies to Medicare and Medicaid....hands off, mind your own business, and perform your duties for ALL Americans and adhere to your oath of office, not your silly pledge to G. Norquist.

    July 20, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. vic , nashville ,tn

    Paul Ryan please say it loud

    Best gift democrats ever had

    July 20, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. kyle

    These GOP Clowns start two wars at the same time,( one unnecessary) and then give tax cuts to the rich, and then say spending has grown, lets blame Obama. Who ever heard of unfunded wars.

    July 20, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. SecedingfromTexas

    "If you raise revenue you reduce the need to cut spending"
    How appropriate. I'm no financial guru, but it soudns to me like he is saying, if we have the money, we will not be able to control ourselves and will spend it. They lost control over spending beginning in 2001 which caused the debt
    ceiling to be raised for seven years. It seems to me that by the third or fourth year it would dawn on them what they
    were doing to the deficit and begin pulling back then. It was obvious the Bush tax cuts were not helping, the
    unfunded wars, hidden as supplemtals had to be in the back of their minds, etc etc But now we are supposed to
    believe the Teacans have all of the answers, by using the same methods that got us here. Only
    difference is, they take no responsibilty in their greed, dumped it on President Obama, blame him and now are going
    to ride in on white horses and save the day. Tax cuts still in place, budgets for Congressmen to buy cokes,
    drapes for their offices, free postage (franking), pay off student loans for employess, travel, eat three square
    meals a day, etc on taxpayer money still in place. Their health care, life insurance, still in place. Sharing the pain
    is nowhere on their agenda. Never trust a weasel.

    July 20, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  8. rhumba

    He wrote his plan alone. He has a lot of nerve saying that a bi-partisan group shouldn't be writing a proposal behind closed doors. At least they talked to one another. Ryan's plan is his own baby, no one else's. He didn't consult with democrats at all. What a hypocrite and liar he is. He and the other two "young guns" need to get off of their little gen X high horses and learn to play nice with others.

    July 20, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. once upon a horse

    I wondered why Republicans were polling at a 28% favorability as of this week and after seeing what Ryan is talking about, the antics of Tea Party and Eric Cantor et al, and then reading some of the ludicrous stuff posted by right wing defenders on this forum it all makes sense to me now. Americans may finally be waking up from the fog we were in November 2010 and see what is really going on out there.

    July 20, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  10. Democrat Class Warfare & Race Baiting - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    keep your hands off of Social Security. Americans have paid into that system for years, it has been a lifesaver to many decent hard working Americans. The same applies to Medicare and Medicaid....hands off, mind your own business,
    Yes, you've paid into it. BUT what you are expected to TAKE OUT OF IT IS FAR GREATER. Government tax money is used to make up the difference. The Democrats, in their usual incompotent fashion, constructed a failure that has not withstood the test of time and the changes to medicine and life expectency. In its current form, it is unsustainable. Would you rather nothing be done and have it ALL go bankrupt. Under the original guidelines and life expectency, you only collected SS if if EXCEEDED the average life expectency at the time. NOW people retire decades BEFORE their life expectancy due to many factors. Stupid Democrats never thought people might live longer than they did in the 1930's.

    July 20, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
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