Paul Ryan: Obama Speech 'Traditional Laundry List'

Wednesday, 13 Feb 2013 12:17 AM

By Todd Beamon

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Former GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan described President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech as “a traditional laundry list, from a liberal perspective, of new programs without talking about how much they would cost our economy.”

The Wisconsin congressman, who chairs the House Budget Committee, told CNN said that the president also underplayed the true work that lies ahead in reducing the nation’s $16.4 trillion deficit, “which is really threatening to our economy. We’re already a trillion in the hole.”

But Ryan complimented Obama’s comments on developing a comprehensive immigration plan.

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“That was pretty productive. When you’re in the legislative arena — and we’re trying to get a bipartisan agreement — the words he uses matters,” Ryan told CNN. “He used what I thought was a measured tone, which gives me a sense that he was trying to get something done.

“He used measured words that were productive. That’s an area where we have a good chance of getting something done.”

And, as for raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour, Ryan said: “I’ve never been a fan of that idea. I think it’s inflationary. You end up costing jobs to people who are at the bottom of the economic ladder.

“The goal ought to be getting people out of entry-level jobs and into better jobs, better-paying jobs,” Ryan added. “That’s better education. That’s a growing economy. Those are some of the things he talked about.

“I don’t think raising the minimum wage actually accomplishes those goals.”

Ryan added that Obama nixed the idea of genuine tax reform when he endorsed closing loopholes — saying that the savings would be used to finance entitlement programs.

“We want to make sure we have tax reform. Closing loopholes to spend more money, in Washington, means you’re denying the ability to do tax reform — because it is from these loopholes that you do tax reform.

“By closing loopholes, you can lower rates and do tax reform to create jobs and grow the economy,” he added. “That’s what we’re in favor of. Lots of Democrats agree with us.

“But if you take those loopholes for spending, then you’re making it virtually impossible to do tax reform.”

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