Paul Ryan Promises More Bold Action on Entitlements

Kevin Glass

2/7/2012 12:43:00 PM - Kevin Glass
Paul Ryan is prepared to make sure that the momentum built last year in favor of entitlement reform continues through 2012, and insists that bold action is still yet to come.

After the release of last year's "Roadmap to America's Future," Rep. Ryan became a major power player in the Republican party, and has no plans on slowing his full-throated attack on the coming entitlement tide of red ink. "We only have two or three years before we get into a very, very ugly debt crisis," he said on a conference call today.

In a preview of his upcoming CPAC speech, Ryan laid out how his vision contrasts with President Obama's. Ryan said that he will "make a full-throated defense of our founding principles and of upward mobility."

Obama has given us "debt, doubt and decline," Ryan said. "We believe in opportunity, we believe in prosperity, and we believe in growth... the President is all too happy to transform us to what I would call a European-style social democracy."

After teaming up with Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden last year in releasing a new, seemingly smaller-scope plan for Medicare reform, Ryan denied a charge of timidity on the issue. "There's an emerging consensus on how to fix these problems," he said, "the purpose of Ryan-Wyden was to advance the cause of premium support." Ryan has long favored an approach that moves Medicare to a premium-support model, and said his work with Wyden advances the notion that this approach is the best medicine.

Addressing the GOP presidential race, Ryan noted that both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich had endorsed some sort of hybrid premium support/fee-for-service model that Ryan-Wyden codified into legislation.

Ryan addressed the current GOP frontrunner's health care history, saying that Romney's Massachusetts plan contained "seeds" of Obamacare, but that "Mitt Romney's done a pretty good job of suggesting that he wouldn't do this at the federal level... he's clearly against Obamacare."