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What's wrong with Paul Ryan budget plan?

WASHINGTON – The Washington Republican and conservative establishment is proclaiming Rep. Paul Ryan “the next Reagan” for his efforts at devising a 10-year spending plan that is billed as saving $6 trillion, so why is it not selling across America?

While some pundits are suggesting it’s too radical, the activist behind the “No More Red Ink” campaign says it’s because it’s too “timid and defensive.”

“Once again, well-meaning Republicans, trying to be ‘pragmatic’ and ‘reasonable,’ have painted themselves in a corner, misread the American public’s appetite for immediate progress in dealing with the debt and the failing economy and failed to recognize the power they have in Washington right now to deliver a blow to the tyrannical overreach of the federal government,” says Joseph Farah, WND editor and chief executive officer and the force behind the innovative, high-tech, grass-roots lobbying effort to freeze the debt limit.

A Rasmussen poll yesterday on Ryan’s proposal to tackle America’s fiscal crisis shows less than an enthusiastic reception to the plan – with only 26 percent approval ratings among likely voters with 27 percent opposition and 47 percent not knowing what to think.

Meanwhile, the plan is being denounced by Democrats as “extreme,” “a path to poverty” and “a death trap for seniors.”

“Obama’s aides are acutely aware of the danger if they are perceived as cutting too much from the entitlements at the heart of the [left’s] social-safety-net mandate.”

The problem is not that the package isn’t selling, says Farah. The problem is that the package is part of a misguided strategy that requires negotiations and bargaining with “responsible Democrats.”

“I don’t think Americans revolted in 2010 and sent Republicans back into power in the House because they want them to get down on their knees and beg Democrats to be reasonable,” says Farah. “They sent them there in the hopes they would use the power they have to affect radical change in the direction of Washington. There is only one way the Republicans can do that, and it is by uniting in opposition to more borrowing. They have 100 percent, complete control of whether the debt limit is raised or not. If they vote to freeze the debt limit where it is, the most dramatic cuts in the federal government in 100 years will be forced upon Barack Obama and Harry Reid, and there is nothing they can do about it. That, I believe, is what Americans want and expect from Republicans.”

Farah’s “No More Red Ink” campaign is designed to deliver that message.

So far it has delivered nearly 1 million red letter messages, personally addressed to each member of the House Republican majority and personalized with the name and address of the sender, with guaranteed Fed Ex delivery.

Farah says the evidence of the effectiveness is startling.

When the campaign began, Farah says he could identify only six Republican House members staunchly opposed to raising the debt limit. A head count taken a month ago showed 122 had moved to that position. Two weeks ago, a second head count showed 142 were opposed unconditionally to raising the debt limit.

The unique aspect of this issue, unlike most others, is that the House Republican majority has the final say. If 218 of the 241 House Republicans vote no, the borrowing-and-spending cycle in Washington stops, no matter what the Senate or White House want.

“This is the death star for unconstitutional, out-of-control government in Washington,” says Farah. “It’s all in the hands of the Republicans, but they are taking a business-as-usual approach to addressing the debt problem. This is one of the very few actions Republicans alone can take that will actually save this country from ruin. They can also block all attempts by Democrats to raise taxes. And that’s what they should do.”

Farah points out that acceptance of Ryan’s plan actually requires raising the debt limit – meaning more borrowing for the U.S. government for the next 10 years.

“I thought five- and 10-year plans went out with the old Soviet Union,” says Farah. “They’re a joke. They are never followed. They can be reversed by the next Congress.

“Republicans need to do something dramatic now, using the power they have now, and they will be rewarded big time in 2012 if they act boldly. This is no time for halfway measures.”

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