In his closing statements before the House voted in support of his Path to Prosperity budget, Republican Congressman Paul Ryan described a predictable and unfolding financial disaster and a president 'unwilling to lead' America away from it.
"I remember one of the worst moments I had in Congress was the financial crisis of 2008," Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) began in his concluding remarks on the House floor on Friday. "It seems like it was yesterday. We had the treasury secretary, we had the federal reserve chairman coming in here and talking about crisis; talking about bank collapses. And what came out of that was really ugly legislation that we passed in a bipartisan basis that no one enjoyed. That crisis caught us by surprise. It was unpredictable. We didn't see it coming."
Mr. Ryan is the author of the Path to Prosperity, likely the debate blueprint of the 2012 election season. But Ryan's argument and his solution seek to go beyond one election season. The financial crisis, as Ryan sees it, is unfolding in a readily discernible manner.
"Let me ask you this," Ryan continued. "What if your president and your member of congress saw it coming? What if they knew why it was happening, when it was going to happen, and more importantly they knew how to stop it and they had time to stop it, but they didn't because of politics? What would you think of that person? Mr. Chairman, that is where we are right now. This is the most predictable economic crisis we've ever had in the history of this country, and yet we have a president who is unwilling to lead. We have too many politicians worried about the next election and not worried about the next generation."
The House passed Ryan's blueprint on Friday, with zero votes from Democratic Party members, as Politico notes.
While the Ryan plan is not predicted to make it past the Senate, Speaker John Boehner believes a $6 trillion cut in federal government spending remains a worthwhile topic for Congress to discuss.
“I think it’s important for our members to go home and talk about it, the crisis that we face,” Boehner said, according to Politico.
House legislators head home this weekend for a two-week recess, and it is likely a necessary break. The Atlanticdocumented the budget complexities congressional lawmakers face in the coming months in pie chart info-graphic.
Meanwhile, President Obama, coming off an unusually partisan speech on Wednesday, as the Christian Science Monitor observed, has begun the opening moments of his 2012 re-election campaign.
"The real question, then, is how long the nation can keep racking up debt without reaching that crisis point," Linda Feldman writes, in the Christian Science Monitor piece. "If you’re the president and you’re running for a second term, you can only hope it’s not before Election Day."