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Some Politically Incorrect Answers for Paul Ryan’s Survey

This essay as a vote of no confidence. Mr. Ryan may take whatever solace it's worth in that the feckless Mr. McConnell in the Senate is held in less regard. I can rant and rail, but it won't change the fact that the two of them are presently off hobnobbing with the Republican fat cats on how to subvert the voters' will in the primary process.

Does Paul Ryan have any clue that we, the voters, are outraged and enraged?  That we are very, very angry?  That we feel betrayed by our party, patronized by our party leaders, and helpless because the alternative is so much worse?

The Illusion of RepresentationAnd where stands our suicidal party?

I received an email dated 8 March from Paul Ryan titled “**Urgent** Survey.”  One paragraph from the letter reads:

As Speaker of the House, I am depending on folks like you to provide me with the feedback needed to guide our Republican House Majority – I want to be certain that our agenda and political platform address the pressing needs of the American people.

The survey is found here.  It has nine questions.  The first seven are offensive no-brainers.  The eighth asks, “Do you approve of the job Speaker Paul Ryan is doing in Congress?”  Options are “Yes,” “No,” and “Not sure.”  I initially answered “Not sure.”

The ninth question asks, “What should be the top priority for our House Republican Majority?”  There are eight specific buttons with a ninth button of “Not sure” and a tenth of “Other,” with room for a very short (105 characters) response.

The first of the eight specific buttons is “Keep taxes low.”  Are they kidding or stupid?  Is this a Democrat list?

“Keep taxes low” is a clarion call to maintain the status quo.  The status quo is why we are so incensed.  The status quo means anemic growth of one or two percent.  It means stagnant wages and increasing poverty.  It means a slow drift into socialism.  Why not short-circuit the process and simply elect Bernie?

Oath of Office by ALL Public Officers

Oath of Office by ALL Public Officers

“Keep taxes low” assumes that taxes are low.  Taxes are not low; they are much too high, and they are stifling the economy.  Taxes need to be cut.  The tax code needs to be redone from scratch (three pages is a good goal – hat tip: Carly Fiorina).  Inequities and loopholes need to be eliminated.

Second button, “Repeal job-destroying regulations,” sure.

Third button, “Defend the Right to Life,” absolutely.

Fourth button, “Border security,” necessary but far from sufficient.  We need strong security particularly along our southern border.  A yuge wall, I don’t care who pays for it, would be a good start.  Given the wall and the proper personnel and technology to go along with it, we will be able to reduce to a trickle the flow of illegal immigrants and the flow of smuggled goods, particularly the heroin that is so dreadfully prevalent today.  Once the border is secure, we can address the rest of the immigration problems.  We need to review and restructure our overall immigration system. We should re-examine our legal immigration criteria with the goal of increasing the number of skilled applicants granted entry.  In addition, we need to be able to screen out applicants who are unable or unwilling to adapt to our laws and customs.  For example, in an appearance on Fox, Dr. Ben Carson said:

A Muslim who believes in all the tenets of Islam, including Sharia, would have a very difficult time embracing our Constitution and our values because they’re at odds with each other.

This leads to what is termed voluntary apartheid, and that has occurred in European countries such as France, Britain, and Sweden.  Americans glory in our shared cultures based on the Judeo-Christian values epitomized by The Golden Rule.  We welcome others to join us, and we expect, indeed demand, that they respect and share our values.  This is not a religious test; it is a cultural test.  Americans are willing to make accommodations for the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” but not to the extent of abandoning our heritage and our culture.

Fifth button, “Cut federal spending” – OK, and wave the flag and honor motherhood.  How about some specific spending cut goals with a commitment for a balanced budget and actual reduction (not just a reduction in the rate of growth) in the federal debt supported by a realistic schedule?

Sixth button, “Investigate corruption,” ho-hum.

Seventh option, “Stop Obamacare,” déjà vu all over again.  How has this worked out for us so far?  Do you mean to repeal Obamacare?  If so, show us the alternative and the cost analysis.  Do you mean to improve the existing law?  If so, tell us how and show the cost analysis.

Eighth button, “New energy policies.”  Are we advocating Republican Solyndras?  Do we plan to eliminate coal and shrink-wrap West Virginia?  Maybe we’ll turn Nevada into a solar panel?  Or perhaps turn Wyoming into a wind farm?  Dare I mention Barack Obama as secretary of energy?  The Democrats are replete with “new energy policies” that threaten the economy, and we Republicans need to differentiate ourselves from them.  We need energy independence, and this in turn requires at least short-term acceptance of fossil fuels.

And then there are the selections Mr. Ryan doesn’t offer us.

NBC News ran a piece on the issues of most importance to voters.  Republicans list Terrorism (34%), Jobs and the Economy (26%), Immigration (13%), and Health Care (10%).  Democrats list Jobs and the Economy (29%), Health Care (17%), the Environment (15%), and Education (13%).  Very significant differences.

Mr. Ryan’s priorities ignore Terrorism and Jobs and the Economy and provide only partial definitions of both the Immigration and Health Care issues.

To defeat terrorism, we must first and foremost acknowledge that global jihad represents an existential threat to the United States.  We must call it by name: radical Islamist terrorism.  We can unilaterally beat ISIS on the battlefield, but any resulting peace will be short-lived.  A lasting peace requires the Sunni Arab nations of the Middle East to unite and, with the help of the United States, defeat ISIS and establish a peaceful Middle East by reforming aspects of the autocratic governments that prevail in the area.

We live in dangerous times. We face conventional threats from Russia, China, and North Korea.  We face asymmetrical threats from the global jihad, including ISIS.  The current administration has emasculated our fighting forces and purged our military leadership of competent warriors.  Restoring our military should be one of our very top priorities.

The voters’ number-two concern is Jobs and the Economy.  One approach is for the federal government to simply get out of the way, but this isn’t a panacea.  The federal government’s tax policy, trade policy, and environmental policy have roles to play in growing the economy and creating jobs.

There are many other issues Mr. Ryan neglected to include in his listing.  They include entitlement reform, trade deficit reduction, domestic spying by the government, public unions, federal land management, and our relationship with Israel.  By the way, whatever happened to Mr. Ryan’s promise to restore order to the congressional budgetary process so as to avoid the obscene yearly omnibus sellouts?

The list of priorities defined by Mr. Ryan could easily be mistaken for a Democrat platform except for the explicit abortion point and the fuzzy Obamacare point.  Is Mr. Ryan more comfortable with his congressional colleagues Ms. Pelosi and Ms. Blabbermouth Schultz than with his supposed constituents?

Once I had recovered my equilibrium after reading the list, I changed my answer on “Do you approve of the job Speaker Paul Ryan is doing in Congress?” from “Not sure” to “No.”

This essay as a vote of no confidence.  Mr. Ryan may take whatever solace it’s worth in that the feckless Mr. McConnell in the Senate is held in less regard.  I can rant and rail, but it won’t change the fact that the two of them are presently off hobnobbing with the Republican fat cats on how to subvert the voters’ will in the primary process.

Grrr.

Mike Johnson is a small government conservative and a live-free-or-die resident of New Hampshire.  He is the author of John Kerry & PCF-44.  E-mail mnosnhoj@comcast.net.

Does Paul Ryan have any clue that we, the voters, are outraged and enraged?  That we are very, very angry?  That we feel betrayed by our party, patronized by our party leaders, and helpless because the alternative is so much worse?

And where stands our suicidal party?

I received an email dated 8 March from Paul Ryan titled “**Urgent** Survey.”  One paragraph from the letter reads:

As Speaker of the House, I am depending on folks like you to provide me with the feedback needed to guide our Republican House Majority – I want to be certain that our agenda and political platform address the pressing needs of the American people.

The survey is found here.  It has nine questions.  The first seven are offensive no-brainers.  The eighth asks, “Do you approve of the job Speaker Paul Ryan is doing in Congress?”  Options are “Yes,” “No,” and “Not sure.”  I initially answered “Not sure.”

The ninth question asks, “What should be the top priority for our House Republican Majority?”  There are eight specific buttons with a ninth button of “Not sure” and a tenth of “Other,” with room for a very short (105 characters) response.

The first of the eight specific buttons is “Keep taxes low.”  Are they kidding or stupid?  Is this a Democrat list?

“Keep taxes low” is a clarion call to maintain the status quo.  The status quo is why we are so incensed.  The status quo means anemic growth of one or two percent.  It means stagnant wages and increasing poverty.  It means a slow drift into socialism.  Why not short-circuit the process and simply elect Bernie?

“Keep taxes low” assumes that taxes are low.  Taxes are not low; they are much too high, and they are stifling the economy.  Taxes need to be cut.  The tax code needs to be redone from scratch (three pages is a good goal – hat tip: Carly Fiorina).  Inequities and loopholes need to be eliminated.

Second button, “Repeal job-destroying regulations,” sure.

Third button, “Defend the Right to Life,” absolutely.

Fourth button, “Border security,” necessary but far from sufficient.  We need strong security particularly along our southern border.  A yuge wall, I don’t care who pays for it, would be a good start.  Given the wall and the proper personnel and technology to go along with it, we will be able to reduce to a trickle the flow of illegal immigrants and the flow of smuggled goods, particularly the heroin that is so dreadfully prevalent today.  Once the border is secure, we can address the rest of the immigration problems.  We need to review and restructure our overall immigration system. We should re-examine our legal immigration criteria with the goal of increasing the number of skilled applicants granted entry.  In addition, we need to be able to screen out applicants who are unable or unwilling to adapt to our laws and customs.  For example, in an appearance on Fox, Dr. Ben Carson said:

A Muslim who believes in all the tenets of Islam, including Sharia, would have a very difficult time embracing our Constitution and our values because they’re at odds with each other.

This leads to what is termed voluntary apartheid, and that has occurred in European countries such as France, Britain, and Sweden.  Americans glory in our shared cultures based on the Judeo-Christian values epitomized by The Golden Rule.  We welcome others to join us, and we expect, indeed demand, that they respect and share our values.  This is not a religious test; it is a cultural test.  Americans are willing to make accommodations for the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” but not to the extent of abandoning our heritage and our culture.

Fifth button, “Cut federal spending” – OK, and wave the flag and honor motherhood.  How about some specific spending cut goals with a commitment for a balanced budget and actual reduction (not just a reduction in the rate of growth) in the federal debt supported by a realistic schedule?

Sixth button, “Investigate corruption,” ho-hum.

Federalist 58 Madison

Federalist 58 Madison

Seventh option, “Stop Obamacare,” déjà vu all over again.  How has this worked out for us so far?  Do you mean to repeal Obamacare?  If so, show us the alternative and the cost analysis.  Do you mean to improve the existing law?  If so, tell us how and show the cost analysis.

Eighth button, “New energy policies.”  Are we advocating Republican Solyndras?  Do we plan to eliminate coal and shrink-wrap West Virginia?  Maybe we’ll turn Nevada into a solar panel?  Or perhaps turn Wyoming into a wind farm?  Dare I mention Barack Obama as secretary of energy?  The Democrats are replete with “new energy policies” that threaten the economy, and we Republicans need to differentiate ourselves from them.  We need energy independence, and this in turn requires at least short-term acceptance of fossil fuels.

And then there are the selections Mr. Ryan doesn’t offer us.

NBC News ran a piece on the issues of most importance to voters.  Republicans list Terrorism (34%), Jobs and the Economy (26%), Immigration (13%), and Health Care (10%).  Democrats list Jobs and the Economy (29%), Health Care (17%), the Environment (15%), and Education (13%).  Very significant differences.

Mr. Ryan’s priorities ignore Terrorism and Jobs and the Economy and provide only partial definitions of both the Immigration and Health Care issues.

To defeat terrorism, we must first and foremost acknowledge that global jihad represents an existential threat to the United States.  We must call it by name: radical Islamist terrorism.  We can unilaterally beat ISIS on the battlefield, but any resulting peace will be short-lived.  A lasting peace requires the Sunni Arab nations of the Middle East to unite and, with the help of the United States, defeat ISIS and establish a peaceful Middle East by reforming aspects of the autocratic governments that prevail in the area.

Syrian-refugees-UNHCR-photo-50b2c6a94ff5e18544096047b0de69dd84b73f71We live in dangerous times. We face conventional threats from Russia, China, and North Korea.  We face asymmetrical threats from the global jihad, including ISIS.  The current administration has emasculated our fighting forces and purged our military leadership of competent warriors.  Restoring our military should be one of our very top priorities.

The voters’ number-two concern is Jobs and the Economy.  One approach is for the federal government to simply get out of the way, but this isn’t a panacea.  The federal government’s tax policy, trade policy, and environmental policy have roles to play in growing the economy and creating jobs.

There are many other issues Mr. Ryan neglected to include in his listing.  They include entitlement reform, trade deficit reduction, domestic spying by the government, public unions, federal land management, and our relationship with Israel.  By the way, whatever happened to Mr. Ryan’s promise to restore order to the congressional budgetary process so as to avoid the obscene yearly omnibus sellouts?

The list of priorities defined by Mr. Ryan could easily be mistaken for a Democrat platform except for the explicit abortion point and the fuzzy Obamacare point.  Is Mr. Ryan more comfortable with his congressional colleagues Ms. Pelosi and Ms. Blabbermouth Schultz than with his supposed constituents?

Once I had recovered my equilibrium after reading the list, I changed my answer on “Do you approve of the job Speaker Paul Ryan is doing in Congress?” from “Not sure” to “No.”

This essay as a vote of no confidence.  Mr. Ryan may take whatever solace it’s worth in that the feckless Mr. McConnell in the Senate is held in less regard.  I can rant and rail, but it won’t change the fact that the two of them are presently off hobnobbing with the Republican fat cats on how to subvert the voters’ will in the primary process.

Grrr.

Mike Johnson is a small government conservative and a live-free-or-die resident of New Hampshire.  He is the author of John Kerry & PCF-44.  E-mail mnosnhoj@comcast.net.

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