Sunday, August 21, 2011

WSJ: Editorial: Paul Ryan should run

The Wisconsin State Journal's Editorial in full.
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan keeps saying "no."

We add our voice today to the many Americans who keep urging the Republican from Janesville to say "yes!"

Ryan, 41, one of the smartest and most creative and courageous members of Congress, should run for president of the United States in 2012.

The Republican field for president feels adrift, with tea party firebrand U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota winning the Iowa straw poll last weekend.

Ryan would jump into the mix as a young, gutsy leader from the heartland, willing to tackle America's most daunting financial problems while effectively communicating the dire need for reform.

Ryan is a man of ideas.

"He's brilliant," former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., told the State Journal editorial board last fall.

Feingold won't be endorsing Ryan for president - that's for sure. Yet Feingold's praise of Ryan's intellect is telling. So is Ryan's work with Feingold to curb wasteful earmarks.

Ryan, in his seventh term representing southeastern Wisconsin, has offered serious and detailed proposals for sustaining Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security while expanding health insurance and simplifying the tax code.

And unlike so many politicians in Washington, including those in the progressive caucus, Ryan isn't afraid to submit his work to the Congressional Budget Office for independent analysis - even if the numbers don't always come out his way. Ryan just goes back and retools his ideas to work better.

Ryan has been fiercely and unfairly targeted by the left for supposedly seeking to "end" Medicare - even though his plan would preserve current benefits for every American 55 and older.

Something big has to happen soon to slow the soaring cost of entitlements. Our nation is graying fast, with fewer younger workers to pay rapidly increasing medical bills. Ten-thousand baby boomers will retire every day for the next two decades.

Ryan might be a long shot for the GOP nomination. He'd be entering the contest late and would need a surge of support and campaign donations to fuel his message of American restoration.

But stranger things have happened in American politics, especially in recent years. And the race for the GOP nomination is wide open.

Ryan wouldn't have to give up his seat in Congress to run. And even if he didn't win the nomination, he'd do the nation a big favor simply by sharpening the focus of the presidential-year debate on substantive issues and solutions.

Ryan doesn't have all the answers, and sometimes his partisan edge gets the best of him.

But he's prepared and capable and knowledgeable - more so than most of the GOP pack.

Run, Paul, run for the White House!

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