While appearing on Fox News Sunday, the morning of his forty-second birthday, Republican House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan gave scathing remarks of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address last Tuesday, and what the President will have to run on in 2012:
"The irony of this is the President’s policies do the exact opposite. We basically have this; the President can't run on his record, it’s a miserable record. He is not going to change his tune and moderate like say Bill Clinton did in 1996, because he’s really stuck with his ideology so he has no choice but to divide. So he is going to run a very divisive campaign for political gain and he has this concept of fairness and equality where he uses the kind of rhetoric we use, but the policies he's producing will result in crony capitalism, will result in more power in the government to supervise our lives, to give us a stagnant economy where the rich and the powerful are the ones who are picking it. So what I'm trying to say is he is giving us a future of debt, doubt, and decline."
Rep. Ryan told host Chris Wallace that he doesn't expect the President to follow through on introducing the 'Buffet Rule' to tax millionaires at a rate of 30 percent, a rule which Rep. Ryan would not agree is "fair" on the "simplest basis."
"If you oversimplify you could probably make that case," said Rep. Ryan. "I can get into the tax data, I can get into the fact that the effective tax rates that people pay at the higher end are still higher than everybody else, but lets just look at the math. All these tax increases that the President's talking about, they only cover eight percent of his proposed spending increases."
"What we have learned from the President time and again is that he is going to put some kind of a poll-tested line in the State of the Union address and have no follow up whatsoever," the Wisconsin Republican went on to say.
"We have learned already that the President, who's had three years to try and propose real solutions to fix our fiscal crisis, is ducking it," Rep. Ryan said. "He hasn't put a plan on the table yet. He formed commissions and super committees, so he sort of outsourced the leadership only to decry their results. So, we are not getting the leadership we need from the White House at a time when we need it the most."
Rep. Ryan noted that it appears that reducing the debt is off the table for 2012, as it has been 1,005 days since the Senate last passed a budget. The Wisconsin Republican said it is frustrating because there is am emerging bipartisan consensus about tax reform to close loopholes and lower rates, as well as Medicare reform, "but the President and his party leaders are out on the left, standing on the sidelines looking in."
"So what we clearly need is a new White House, and a new Senate," said Rep. Paul. "And then we can realize, this emerging bipartisan consensus on how to fix these problems."
Fox News notes that the budget passed by the GOP last year called for $5.8 trillion in spending cuts by 2021, eliminating $800 billion in tax increases by repealing President Obama's health care plan, eliminating deductions on tax returns while setting a top tax rate both for individuals and businesses of 25 percent and reforming entitlements like Medicare. It passed the GOP-led House, but died in the Democratic-led Senate.
"I and my members of the Budget Committee will write this budget in March and then we're going to bring it to the floor. We think we owe the country actual solutions based upon our founding principles to get this country on the right track," Rep.Ryan said.
While Rep. Ryan was stern in his criticism of the President throughout the interview, things closed on a happier note. Mediaite reports that Rep. Ryan was surprised with a large white sheet cake frosted with a massive green dollar sign at the interviews end. Unfortunately, the thankful Congressman noted that "I don't eat sweets."