Emmett Tyrrell

That same day, Ryan announced on YouTube: "Americans have a choice to make -- a choice that's going to determine our country's future. Will it be the future that looks like the America we know -- one of greater opportunity, greater prosperity -- or more of what we're seeing today, debt, doubt and decline?" That stress on choice is becoming a theme of Republicans, as opposed to President Barack Obama's entitlement state.

Choice of one policy over another policy. Choice over the government straitjacket. Choice is the natural consequence of a people that believes in personal liberty.

By making choices in public policy, one creates competition and all the benefits that come from competition. One creates better policies, policies suited for individuals' varying needs. One creates efficiencies in distribution and in design of policies. Ever since the New Deal, the nanny state mentality has been developing ever more intrusive policies to govern our lives and to limit our freedoms. The result is the entitlement state and the trillions of dollars of looming debt. Paul Ryan and his Republican colleagues think their budget could eventually eliminate the debt and get the economy growing again. Moreover, they believe that a sufficient number of Democrats are concerned about our freedom and the budget overhang to act in a bipartisan manner on at least some of the matters Ryan has taken up. We shall see, but for now, the Senate Democrats have not even attempted a budget in three years.

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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