The Paul Ryan Position

I’m fond of a lot of people who are saying hell, no right now. But I think Paul Ryan is making responsible sense, as a legislator who actually will have to cast a vote one way or another. 

The Wisconsin Republican is arguing to his colleagues: Stop the January tax hikes. The House Republican’s fall agenda and the Boehner campaign theme was so much about jobs. Ryan worries if Republicans kill the tax deal, Republicans are responsible for creating uncertainty for job creators — which has been their beef with the Obama administration for two years. Ryan argues: Pass the stop-the-tax-hikes bill, imperfect as it is — and fight the omnibus outrage. 

(Ryan talks about it with Bill Bennett here.)

One conservative GOP aide explains that Ryan reasoning to me further: 

This is the best deal we are going to get to prevent increased tax withholdings from hitting all American paychecks on January 1 — not to mention dividends and capital-gains tax hikes, which could send markets diving. And we were probably going to do unemployment anyway — yes, it would be much, much better if that spending were offset dollar for dollar in this bill, but we are going to go after spending very hard in other venues, first by fighting against this omnibus bill tooth and nail, then by bringing rescission bills with real cuts to the floor of the House once a week when we take the majority back.

I don’t know how any Republican who claims to have any connection to this November’s tea-party message could vote for the pork-laden omnibus.

This session is lame and I look forward to the new majority at work in the new year. Meanwhile: Please limit the damage.  

That omnibus is an insult to American voters. 

Kathryn Jean Lopez — Kathryn Jean Lopez is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and an editor-at-large of National Review. Sign up for her weekly NRI newsletter here. This column is based on one available through Andrews McMeel Universal’s Newspaper Enterprise Association.

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