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Paul Ryan's Political Views

Updated on May 2, 2019

Paul Ryan Biography

Paul Ryan is the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, a position he retired from after the 2018 Mid-term election. Ryan represented Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District and served as Mitt Romney's running mate during their unsuccessful campaign for the White House in 2012. Ryan has received a lot of attention in recent years for his plans for reducing the federal budget deficit. Ryan is currently the Chairman of the House Committee on the Budget, a powerful role that allows him to set the agenda for hearing and deliberations about federal spending. A rising star in the Republican Party, Ryan has been mentioned by many as a potential future candidate for President and/or House Majority leader because of his visibility and the media attention he has garnered in recent years. This hub will attempt to take an unbiased look at Congressman Ryan's beliefs on the key political issues being debated in Washington. It will also provide a comparison of his views with other GOP politicians like Marco Rubio, John Kasich, and of course, Donald Trump.

Paul Ryan on the Issues

1. Taxes and Budget Deficits: The federal budget deficit is far and away the issue that Ryan has spent the most time focusing on as a Congressman, as he has released a number of comprehensive plans for cutting the federal budget deficit through massive cuts to government spending. Most recently, in March 2012, Congress passed Ryan's plan for reducing the deficit, which cuts federal spending by $5.3 trillion over the next 10 years while reducing tax rates for most individuals, eliminating the alternative minimum tax, and dropping the top corporate tax rate to 25%. Ryan explained the reasoning behind his plan as follows: We have one of the most predictable economic crises in this country coming,” he said. β€œIt's a debt-driven crisis. And so we have an obligation – not just a legal obligation but a moral obligation – to do something about it." However, economists have pointed out that Ryan's budget plan may actually increase the structural federal budget deficit, as it relies on the assumption that tax cuts for wealthy Americans will inevitably lead to more economic growth, as this article from economist Tyler Cowen (a libertarian/non-partisan economist from George Mason University) explains. Additionally, Ryan voted against the comprehensive deficit reduction plan drafted by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission, a report which he later criticized President Obama for not adapting. In essence, Ryan criticized President Obama for not enacting the recommendations of a report that Ryan himself voted against.

2. Jobs and Economic Growth: Like many of his Republican colleagues, Ryan has called for decreased taxes and federal regulation as a solution to the current unemployment crisis and lack of economic growth being experienced in the United States. As Ryan explains on his website: "we need to lower tax rates, to encourage economic activity and to allow our businesses to compete on a level playing field against those in countries where business tax rates are much lower."

3. Health Care: Ryan is a strong opponent for the health care bill passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in 2009. Ryan has repeatedly called for the law to be overturned, and his latest budget calls for additional changes to Medicare and other current government health programs, including gradually phasing our Medicare reimbursements in favor of vouchers than seniors can use to purchase their own private insurance. Ryan has called for the U.S. to get back "to a market-based, patient-centered [plan] where we bring free-market principles to help control costs, improve care and reduce the debt."

4. Global Warming and Environmental issues: Ryan has generally voted against environmental protections, receiving a 10% rating from the league of conservation voters and decrying environmental issues as part of the overall culture of regulation in Washington. Ryan does not have a publicly stated position on his belief about global warming, but he has consistently voted against measures designed to combat the effects of climate change as a Congressman.

5. Foreign Policy: While Ryan has called for consistent reductions in federal spending by nearly every government agency, a big exception is the Department of Defense. In March 2012, Ryan stated that he believed that generals were not giving Congress "their true advice" when they supported President Obama's budget, which called for slight reductions in defense spending due to the end of the War in Iraq and the winding down of the war in Afghanistan. Ryan voted for declaring the war in Iraq as part of the war in terror and against declaring an end date for the war, he also has been a strong supporter of Israel, co-signing legislation which urging recognition of "unbreakable bond that exists between our country and the State of Israel."

6. Social Issues: Ryan is extremely conservative socially. He voted for the constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between a man and a woman and has a 0% rating from NARAL, indicating an extremely anti-choice voting record. Ryan called the Department of Health and Human Services's decision to require that some religiously based organizations provide contraception to employees who wanted them as an "affront to religious liberty" and a "contradiction to the core principles of our nation."

7. Immigration Policy: Ryan has called for comprehensive immigration reform, but has stated that any immigration reform should not allow for amnesty for citizens who have been in the U.S. illegally for many years (even if those citizens pay taxes and are law-abiding). Ryan also expressed opposition to the DREAM Act, which would have provided conditional residency to certain illegal immigrant of good moral character who graduate from U.S. high schools, arrived in the United States as minors, and lived in the country continuously for at least five years prior to the bill's enactment, as well as creating paths for citizenship to illegal immigrants who joined the U.S. military.


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      thease are all wonderful things to say

    • profile image

      jacob hines 

      7 years ago

      legalize pot it is the best thing we can do for this country. it makes us a whole lot more money and it makes the illigal drug immagration dissapear and we can package it tax it and sell it

    • JON EWALL profile image

      JON EWALL 

      7 years ago from usa

      concerned citizen

      8/25/12 An update on the 2012 election.

      Paul Ryan on 'Hannity'

      vision for the future


      Obama chief strategist David Axelrod

      Live and uncut, scare tactics?

      Hope and Change is coming?

    • profile image

      concerned citizen 

      7 years ago

      If you know your history, one cannot blame ONLY the president of the recent past. Also, if I do recall the time that the economy decided to tank under Bush, there was a Democratic Congress. The government is not just the president. Many people do forget this.

      As for the money issue....

      less taxes does give more money to the rich BUT there are benefits.

      For example, the wealthy can do three things with their money

      1. create more jobs (ideal but does not always happen)

      2. they spend it on themselves (money is still getting pumped into the economy since they are buying from businesses.)

      3. They can sit on their money and invest it into companies.

      Either way... it helps the economy.

      As for taxes go... I believe that more should go to the state than the federal gov. People's needs in Florida are much different than those in Montana. Should there be some federal tax? ... yes BUT that is only to protect me from other countries.

      As for social programs... I believe that the church is at fault. If the church was doing their job and taking care of those who need it, the gov. would not have to do it. Also since the family unit is falling apart, people are not as likely to take care of their parents when they get older. They think it is the government's job. I don't. I know what is better for my family since I have lived with them. Therefore, I would like my money so that I could do this.

      Health care... look at the other countries! It has failed in Canada, and the UK. Why should the gov. decided what is best for me when they don't even know me? I have different needs than those in other parts of the country. Therefore private healthcare is best suited for me.

      Should other people get these benefits?

      I think right now, people are taking things for granted and they think they have the right to certain things and they don't. It is just how life is. It sucks sometimes, but requiring and complaining that it is another person's job to take care of you is irresponsible. We are greedy after other's money and we think that life should be the same. Sometimes we have to grasp the concept that life is not fair and we have to keep moving forward and not dwell on what someone else has and you don't. Work with what you have and be glad for every blessing.

      As for environmental issues....

      HAHA well It is the people's job to take care of the Earth. Not the government's. Personally, I believe we have to take care of the Earth, but do I truly believe in global warming. I am still researching, but honestly I don't. I believe it is a political scandal to get the public worried. Research has shown that even the surface of Mars is getting warmer and well there are no people on Mars to warm it up. haha Some scientists believe that the spots on the sun are getting hotter but there is nothing really to worry about.

      Gay right?......

      Please lets just focus on fixing our problem rather than point fingers. WHO CARES if they believe in it or not.

      Lastly Immigration.

      I hate the fact that illegal immigrants can get benefits when some of them don't pay taxes. I believe that nothing in this world is free except maybe a hug once in a while (hehe)

      Do I think this country can be fixed in 8 years? NOPE! History shows us that it takes time and we cannot blame it on ONE thing and ONE person. Sorry "Me" but you need to open your history book.

      Has every Republican president been perfect? HECK NO!

      Has every Democratic president been perfect? HAHAHA NOOOOO!

      BUT we are human and nothing is perfect.

      I do believe Ryan is on the right track and that is why he will be getting my vote in November.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Good thing it worked so well with Bush and all. Oh wait that's the reason the economy is in the state it's in

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      If they're sitting on billions of dollars why did they need bailout recently in 2011? While you may be right about lower private-sector taxs may not fix a lot of the problem it will ecourage economic within the private sector. They'll be able to afford more jobs. There is a reason why so many companys have laid people off and cut back raises and such.

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      Sondra Rochelle 

      7 years ago from USA

      I applaud Ryan's hard work, but I find his thinking on many issues indefensible. It has already been proven, for example, that corporations will not provide more jobs if they pay fewer taxes. They are sitting on billions of dollars in cash right now, but are not hiring. Ryan's thinking is skewed and I pray he never gets to the political top.


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