Ryan's Challenge

House Speaker Paul Ryan can remake his image and effect real change even if he is unwilling to help President Trump score successes on the policy goals of constructing a wall on the southern border, repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and overhauling the tax code.

Thus far, Ryan has yet to strike any offensive policy blows for the Republican base that elected him, President Donald Trump, and the majority of the members of Congress.  Standing as the passive leader of the House of Representatives, he has failed miserably at jumpstarting an American renewal.   

For the first six months of the Trump administration, under Ryan’s leadership, Republicans, along with Democrats, have chased phantom Russian boogiemen and balked at meaningful budget cuts while repackaging the redistributive ACA to benefit insurance companies. 

From the sidelines, the Republican congressional leadership has cowardly stood by while their newly elected President was grossly attacked by mainstream media, foreign governments, Democratic leadership, and celebrity personalities.

Rather than take the media to task for savaging the reputation of the  President of the United States, Ryan smugly, and very publicly, chastised  President Trump in June 2017 for his tweets which “are not appropriate.” 

When is there any substance to Speaker Ryan’s commentary? Is this really the leadership that Republicans thought they had elected?

Upon his reelection as Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ryan himself tweeted in November 2016, ”Now, it’s time to go big.”

A quick check of the top stories on the speaker’s website in July 2017 shows a current agenda that is neither bold nor big: flood relief for Wisconsin, a pay raise for the military, a Q & A session on human trafficking, and a ‘Made in America’ marketing campaign.

On the cusp of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s failure to shepherd an ACA ‘repeal and replace’ bill through the Senate, there may be a small opening for Ryan to immediately resurrect his reputation by putting forth a big and bold, full repeal of Obamacare, as promised.

Repealing ACA

The upside of actually repealing ACA, terrible legislation passed in the dead of night on Christmas Eve without the support of a single Republican senator, is that the tattered reputation of a governing party that has failed in its most important, constitutional function of establishing an annual budget, will be on the mend.

To sell the repeal to moderate Republicans, Ryan can promise subsequent legislation that will grant funding, equal to or in excess of current ACA appropriations, to all fifty states for the express purpose of paying for healthcare, without any strings attached.

Repealing ACA effective January 1, 2018, will result in new insurance carriers jumping into state markets, existing plans continuing without a single change, high-risk pools becoming more solvent as states enroll more members, clinics filling the void for the underserved and new kinds of products rolling out onto the market, once again offering Americans choice and freedom over their most basic, personal health insurance needs.

Naturally, the likelihood of Congress adopting this repeal/grant-making scheme is slim. 

In February 2017, former House Speaker John Boehner, Ryan’s mentor and predecessor, predicted that a full repeal and replacement of Obamacare “is not going to happen.” 

However, if ACA is not repealed, in full, there will be retribution. A party of sham politicians will be revealed to the public who will then reject incumbent officeholders in the voting booth during the next primary season. 

Worse, Speaker Ryan will have managed to inject even more uncertainty into the economy and hasten the insolvency of everyday Americans.

Patient voters, who reasonably expected change after putting a new political party into power, will have to, finally, acknowledge Capitol Hill’s serious principal-agent problem that precludes members from voting in the country’s best interest. 

Fair Treatment of All Americans Act

Staking out his own populist stance, Speaker Ryan could put forth new legislation that puts Americans first, living up to the U.S. Constitution’s requirement for equal treatment of all citizens.  

With a catchy name such as the Fair Treatment of All Americans Act, Ryan could solicit a string of amendments from 218 congressman eager to sponsor legislation that could actually have a meaningful impact on Americans.

For example, private sector employees should not be contributing to Social Security while federal employees pay into a separate, gold-plated pension system. 

Closed recruitments for vacant positions in the federal government should be prohibited. Congress could make every new job open to every single American who would like to apply for a federal position. 

A Community Impact Statement (CIS), similar to an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that protects endangered species, could be required to protect the communities of American citizens before waves of new immigrants and refugee populations are dumped into their neighborhoods.

Counting only U.S. citizens in the census taken every ten years would prevent the number of legal and illegal aliens from determining how many seats each state will have in the House of Representatives. 

A nondiscrimination clause could be written that prohibits discrimination in hiring, employment, admissions and benefits solely on the basis of American citizenship by employers, universities and government agencies.

Conceivably, the Fair Treatment of All Americans Act would become so popular with the general public that every Congress would have their version and political candidates would fall over themselves dreaming of ways to cater to every American in their platform statements.

Creative Problem-Solving

Alas, where is the creativity in congressional legislation? 

A $30 trillion debt problem, massive waves of third world immigration, and a rapidly deteriorating culture have not gotten the attention of Congress. 

What is leadership waiting for? 

Speaker Ryan pretends to be a great budgeteer, but having neither passed an annual budget nor balanced one, nor provided transparency in federal spending, one wonders how he gained this reputation.

If Speaker Ryan will not bring sanity to the legislative budget process, the public must be the voice of reason to break the stranglehold of the federal bureaucracy, which is bolstered by a genuine lack of congressional oversight and over-flowing coffers. 

There is still time for Speaker Ryan to slash the crippling debt, lower the tax burden and rid the country of the scourge of illegal migration. But if he cannot, for personal and private reasons, go on the offensive, can he at least not squander this miracle of one-party rule to deliver some meaningful defensive propositions that will help Americans reclaim their country?

Dr. Marguerite Creel is a professional public administrator who seeks to restore adherence to the rule of law and fiduciary responsibility in America’s bureaucracy.

House Speaker Paul Ryan can remake his image and effect real change even if he is unwilling to help President Trump score successes on the policy goals of constructing a wall on the southern border, repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and overhauling the tax code.

Thus far, Ryan has yet to strike any offensive policy blows for the Republican base that elected him, President Donald Trump, and the majority of the members of Congress.  Standing as the passive leader of the House of Representatives, he has failed miserably at jumpstarting an American renewal.   

For the first six months of the Trump administration, under Ryan’s leadership, Republicans, along with Democrats, have chased phantom Russian boogiemen and balked at meaningful budget cuts while repackaging the redistributive ACA to benefit insurance companies. 

From the sidelines, the Republican congressional leadership has cowardly stood by while their newly elected President was grossly attacked by mainstream media, foreign governments, Democratic leadership, and celebrity personalities.

Rather than take the media to task for savaging the reputation of the  President of the United States, Ryan smugly, and very publicly, chastised  President Trump in June 2017 for his tweets which “are not appropriate.” 

When is there any substance to Speaker Ryan’s commentary? Is this really the leadership that Republicans thought they had elected?

Upon his reelection as Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ryan himself tweeted in November 2016, ”Now, it’s time to go big.”

A quick check of the top stories on the speaker’s website in July 2017 shows a current agenda that is neither bold nor big: flood relief for Wisconsin, a pay raise for the military, a Q & A session on human trafficking, and a ‘Made in America’ marketing campaign.

On the cusp of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s failure to shepherd an ACA ‘repeal and replace’ bill through the Senate, there may be a small opening for Ryan to immediately resurrect his reputation by putting forth a big and bold, full repeal of Obamacare, as promised.

Repealing ACA

The upside of actually repealing ACA, terrible legislation passed in the dead of night on Christmas Eve without the support of a single Republican senator, is that the tattered reputation of a governing party that has failed in its most important, constitutional function of establishing an annual budget, will be on the mend.

To sell the repeal to moderate Republicans, Ryan can promise subsequent legislation that will grant funding, equal to or in excess of current ACA appropriations, to all fifty states for the express purpose of paying for healthcare, without any strings attached.

Repealing ACA effective January 1, 2018, will result in new insurance carriers jumping into state markets, existing plans continuing without a single change, high-risk pools becoming more solvent as states enroll more members, clinics filling the void for the underserved and new kinds of products rolling out onto the market, once again offering Americans choice and freedom over their most basic, personal health insurance needs.

Naturally, the likelihood of Congress adopting this repeal/grant-making scheme is slim. 

In February 2017, former House Speaker John Boehner, Ryan’s mentor and predecessor, predicted that a full repeal and replacement of Obamacare “is not going to happen.” 

However, if ACA is not repealed, in full, there will be retribution. A party of sham politicians will be revealed to the public who will then reject incumbent officeholders in the voting booth during the next primary season. 

Worse, Speaker Ryan will have managed to inject even more uncertainty into the economy and hasten the insolvency of everyday Americans.

Patient voters, who reasonably expected change after putting a new political party into power, will have to, finally, acknowledge Capitol Hill’s serious principal-agent problem that precludes members from voting in the country’s best interest. 

Fair Treatment of All Americans Act

Staking out his own populist stance, Speaker Ryan could put forth new legislation that puts Americans first, living up to the U.S. Constitution’s requirement for equal treatment of all citizens.  

With a catchy name such as the Fair Treatment of All Americans Act, Ryan could solicit a string of amendments from 218 congressman eager to sponsor legislation that could actually have a meaningful impact on Americans.

For example, private sector employees should not be contributing to Social Security while federal employees pay into a separate, gold-plated pension system. 

Closed recruitments for vacant positions in the federal government should be prohibited. Congress could make every new job open to every single American who would like to apply for a federal position. 

A Community Impact Statement (CIS), similar to an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that protects endangered species, could be required to protect the communities of American citizens before waves of new immigrants and refugee populations are dumped into their neighborhoods.

Counting only U.S. citizens in the census taken every ten years would prevent the number of legal and illegal aliens from determining how many seats each state will have in the House of Representatives. 

A nondiscrimination clause could be written that prohibits discrimination in hiring, employment, admissions and benefits solely on the basis of American citizenship by employers, universities and government agencies.

Conceivably, the Fair Treatment of All Americans Act would become so popular with the general public that every Congress would have their version and political candidates would fall over themselves dreaming of ways to cater to every American in their platform statements.

Creative Problem-Solving

Alas, where is the creativity in congressional legislation? 

A $30 trillion debt problem, massive waves of third world immigration, and a rapidly deteriorating culture have not gotten the attention of Congress. 

What is leadership waiting for? 

Speaker Ryan pretends to be a great budgeteer, but having neither passed an annual budget nor balanced one, nor provided transparency in federal spending, one wonders how he gained this reputation.

If Speaker Ryan will not bring sanity to the legislative budget process, the public must be the voice of reason to break the stranglehold of the federal bureaucracy, which is bolstered by a genuine lack of congressional oversight and over-flowing coffers. 

There is still time for Speaker Ryan to slash the crippling debt, lower the tax burden and rid the country of the scourge of illegal migration. But if he cannot, for personal and private reasons, go on the offensive, can he at least not squander this miracle of one-party rule to deliver some meaningful defensive propositions that will help Americans reclaim their country?

Dr. Marguerite Creel is a professional public administrator who seeks to restore adherence to the rule of law and fiduciary responsibility in America’s bureaucracy.