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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

 12:05 PM 

Ryan says trade one area president 'doing some good'

MILWAUKEE -- U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, says trade is "is the one area where ... the president is finally breaking out and doing some good."

Ryan, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, said yesterday at Marquette Law School that a strong role in global trade has bipartisan support in Washington, D.C, and lawmakers need to take advantage sooner than later.

"The global economy is here, it's going to stay and it's going to shape us," Ryan said during an appearance for the "On the Issues with Mike Gousha" series. "So the question is, are we leading and shaping the global economy, or is it being done to us?"

Ryan denounced what he calls President Obama's idea of "envy economics," an economic doctrine that seeks more government control of the economy and divides people on class and income.

"I don't think that's who we are, or who we ought to be," the Janesville Republican said.

Ryan said he believes in a philosophy where America could grow the economic pot.

He also said that instead of worrying about what others have, citizens need to be worried about large, special interest groups who try to "rig the rules."

"I call that cronyism, and both parties do that," Ryan said. "Let's go after cronyism, which today you see powerful interests, like big government or big businesses, joining in a common cause ... to try and deny other would be competitors."

Ryan said the country isn't doing as well as it could economically, even with 58 months of private sector job growth and the best private job sector growth in the last 17 years.

Ryan said that the labor participation rates aren't high enough for him to be satisfied with the economy. He also said employment growth has to be more than 3 percent to get the economy growing at the pace it needs to grow to get the average income higher

"We cannot accept as a new normal 2.6, 2.7 percent economic growth," Ryan said.

Ryan, the 2012 vice presidential candidate for Republicans, announced earlier this year he wouldn't run for president in 2016. But he was appointed chair of the Republican National Committee presidential trust.

Ryan also added some insight into why he decided against a presidential bid.

"I'm 45 years old," he said. "I can always do these things later if I want. I'm just not one of these people who thinks it's now or never."


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