Friday, April 06, 2007

Paul Ryan: Competing Visions

Wisconsin 1st District Rep. Paul Ryan writes in Human Events:

'Contrasting Budgets Highlight Competing Visions'

[...]Last week, as the House of Representatives debated the Fiscal Year 2008 budget resolution, it became clear that this was much more than a simple discussion about budgetary priorities over the next few years. In fact, it was a much larger debate about our governing philosophies, about what kind of society we envision, and about the kind of country we want to leave for future generations.

The budget the Democrat leadership proposed, which the House approved by a narrow majority vote, is true to their philosophy. They believe that more government is better government, and that the best way to solve the myriad problems we face in this country is to spend more and more and to tax our people more and more to pay for that spending.

The Democrats’ budget reflects this philosophy by calling for the largest tax increase in American history, coupled with immense new spending and postponement of critical entitlement reform for at least another five years.

Washington does not have a revenue problem -- it has an overspending problem.

In contrast to the vision embodied by the Democrats’ budget, conservatives believe that more taxation equals less freedom. We believe that the best America is one where citizens are free from the shackles of big government. We believe that the nucleus of our society and the engine of economic growth in this country is the individual, not the government. The American dream is the story of the person who, regardless of race, religion, gender, or income level, reaches their God-given potential by making the most of the franchise of liberty. We realize that the more we tax this individual, the less freedom he will have, and the less freedom his family will have. [...]

Engaging in this debate is critical, because if we choose the wrong direction today -- if we fail to set priorities and make reforms -- those who believe that our society is founded on freedom, on equality of opportunity, and on the individual will have lost. Then we may become the first generation to sever that precious American legacy of leaving a better standard of living for future generations. It is up to us to defend this legacy and argue for smaller, more effective government.

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