Paul Ryan — Afraid to lead

The Washington Times Daily - - FROM PAGE ONE - BY CHARLES HURT Charles Hurt can be reached at churt@wash­ing­ton­ and on Twit­ter by @charleshurt.

The thing peo­ple like about House Speaker Paul D. Ryan is that he is a se­ri­ous guy who is ca­pa­ble of think­ing big and has an am­bi­tious agenda to sal­vage our un­govern­able fed­eral bu­reau­cracy. He was never the smoothest com­mu­ni­ca­tor or slick­est politi­cian. Se­ri­ous, smart and hon­est has al­ways been his cur­rency.

So now the ques­tion is, Mr. Speaker, where is your big, bold agenda?

This coun­try is at a po­lit­i­cal cross­roads that only comes around once or twice in a cen­tury. Con­gres­sional Repub­li­cans are to­tally blow­ing it.

Right now the GOP com­fort­ably con­trols both cham­bers of Congress. In the Se­nate, they are even poised to pick up seats in next year’s elec­tions — a nearly im­pos­si­ble feat for the party in power dur­ing midterm races.

Down Penn­syl­va­nia Ave., there is a Repub­li­can pres­i­dent in the White House who is starv­ing for ma­jor leg­isla­tive ac­com­plish­ments. The guy would lit­er­ally sign any­thing he could be con­vinced is good for the coun­try.

The only op­po­si­tion Repub­li­cans face in dra­mat­i­cally over­haul­ing the bloated fed­eral bu­reau­cracy would come from the squea­mish and fickle Supreme Court. But history has shown that Repub­li­cans al­ways win in po­lit­i­cal show­downs with the fed­eral courts.

Per­haps best of all for Repub­li­cans right now is that the de­ranged me­dia is com­pletely ob­sessed with all sorts of ridicu­lous things that no­body — and I mean NO­BODY — cares about. Repub­li­cans could start ram­ming through big, se­ri­ous leg­is­la­tion gut­ting the fed­eral bu­reau­cracy, and the me­dia would not even know it. Un­less they could some­how pin it on Russia.

So, Mr. Speaker, where is your bill to abol­ish the fed­eral De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion? That should be done on Mon­day.

By Tues­day, start the process of abol­ish­ing the fed­eral De­part­ment of La­bor. De­fund the en­tire In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice while you are at it.

Long about Thurs­day, you can get to work abol­ish­ing the De­part­ment of En­ergy. As for the loose nu­clear waste that de­part­ment has for­ever failed to deal with, store every last ton of it on Harry Reid’s ranch in Search­light, Ne­vada.

The next week, ap­prove fund­ing to im­plode each of the mon­strous Soviet-style fed­eral build­ings along the Mall that pre­vi­ously housed the de­part­ments of Ed­u­ca­tion, La­bor and En­ergy.

Gather the me­dia, det­o­nate ex­plo­sives, re­move rub­ble, re­turn the foot­prints of these mas­sive build­ings to na­tive, nat­u­ral swamp­land. This should thrill en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists, per­haps eas­ing the blow later that week when you pass another bill abol­ish­ing the EPA.

Then pass another law slash­ing bud­gets given to every mem­ber of Congress. There is no rea­son a con­gress­man needs a staff of more than one per­son. And they can share an of­fice like the rest of us.

If you re­ally want to shrink the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, Mr. Speaker, you have to start at home.

Of course, none of this will truly tame the fed­eral gov­ern­ment with­out so-called “en­ti­tle­ment re­form.” Some­thing, Mr. Speaker, you have al­ways cham­pi­oned in a con­vinc­ing way.

So get af­ter it. Pass leg­is­la­tion to get the fed­eral gov­ern­ment out of the busi­ness of wel­fare. Re­turn all of that to the states.

Sure, maybe the pres­i­dent re­fuses to sign some of these things. But you owe it to him, your party and your coun­try to give him that op­tion. It might be another 100 years be­fore we get another op­por­tu­nity like this.

Paul D. Ryan

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