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Amid a Congress of baby steps, Paul Ryan strides like a giant.
In a party of timidity, hand-wringing and hesitation, Michele Bachmann roars like a lioness.
Together, Ryan and Bachmann are the core of the new, young Republican Party in the making, rising — as Gingrich did in 1994 — from the ashes of the discredited establishment.
Rep. Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget blueprint is a thing of beauty. Stepping boldly on the third rails of our politics, he outlines a vision for a return to free enterprise and limited government that would have made Thomas Jefferson’s heart proud. His proposal to block-grant Medicaid and turn it over to the states breathes new life into federalism and gives us back the 10th Amendment. If courageous governors like Scott Walker of Wisconsin, John Kasich of Ohio, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Rick Scott of Florida can wrest education from the control of the labor unions and Ryan can free Medicaid from the feds, we can have state government again in America. His proposal to let the states determine eligibility and benefits and to let them experiment with Health Savings Accounts uses the laboratory of federalism to test solutions to our healthcare crisis — the opposite of the one-size-fits-all socialism of ObamaCare.
No less significant is Ryan’s plan to return non-defense discretionary spending to below its 2008 levels, reducing the cost and, inevitably, the power of Washington. By repealing ObamaCare, reining in the Environmental Protection Agency and rolling back the stimulus spending, he would scrub the budget clean of the scars of the Obama presidency.
His Medicare proposal repeals the $500 billion of cuts in healthcare to the elderly over the next 10 years that financed ObamaCare and implements vast savings in the program a decade hence. Any cuts in the federal budget over the next decade are, of course, conjectural. When one goes further out, it is fanciful. But Ryan shows us how to do it when we get there.
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