Paul Ryan Says Farewell. The Fight for America Continues.

Below are two viewpoints of the same speech given by Paul Ryan. The two authors agree that Ryan’s speech was a farewell speech, and that seems to be the end of any common ground. At least, from the surface. However, if you look beneath the tip of the iceberg there is another commonality. There is unfinished business and the problems are complex. “We all know what needs to be done,” Ryan continued. “Strong economic growth, which we have now, and entitlement reform, to address the long-term drivers of our debt.” He goes on to say “our problems are solvable if our politics will allow it.” ,(ALAN FRAM , 2018). Entitlement reform.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2018/12/19/paul-ryans-farewell-address-we-have-kept-our-promises/

http://www.startribune.com/in-farewell-ryan-sees-solutions-if-politics-will-allow-it/503101342/

Entitlement reform refers to legislative efforts to make changes in the benefits paid from government-administered funds to citizens who meet a certain requirement and are therefore entitled by either right or legislation to receive that benefit  (Wikipedia, 2018).  Dicitonary.com defines entitlement to be 1) the act of entitling 2) the state of being entitled and 3) the right to guaranteed benefits under a government program, as Social Security or unemployment compensation (Dicitonary.com, 2002).   Who do the faces-of-money belong to who meet the certain requirements and are therefore entitled by either right or legislation to receive a benefit. Depending on your understanding, you may say the people on welfare are the entitled faces-of-money receiving the benefit.  Medicare, social security, unemployment compensation people are in fact receiving benefits.  Faces always frown when you mention these programs like the people are committing a crime.  Yet, entitlement programs, if you put the marketing spin on it, also includes tax cuts for the rich and like legislation and government spending on “non-entitlement” government programs that spend money without limits.  These programs, which put just as much strain on our country’s resources are seen as positive pieces legislation and are not referred to as nasty government programs that people benefit from. 

Example, an excerpt taken from some random blogger’s site identified by a google search.  He is very clear about his opinion “In the year 2000 over one trillion dollars were spent on welfare and that amount has steadily increased since then. Right now, about 11% of American citizens are on welfare and that number is likely to continue to increase even further due to the economy. Add into this that 40-50% of Americans do not pay taxes because they fall into the lower income bracket. This means that 30-40% of our population are neither helping nor hindering, 11% are draining our country’s funds, while the so called rich, who are often looked down on for being such, are the 50-60% of our population who are contributing to society by paying taxes. They are the ones who go to work and have a large chunk of their pay taken out so that we have public education, a police force, politicians, and yes, welfare. What happened to the American Dream? The dream that no matter who you are you can make it big here by hard work and determination”, (Oaks, 2009).   These comments are seen in yahoo comment posts, heard during political commentary from different media outlets, and you hear similar positions around the watercooler at work.   Do you hear about, how tax cuts for the rich and other “unofficial” government entitlement programs are hurting the economy and driving up national debt?  The Office of Management and Budget said this month that it had revised its forecasts from earlier this year to account for nearly $1 trillion of additional debt over the next decade — on average, almost $100 billion more a year in deficits, (Tankersley, 2018). No, you don’t hear about these programs, and I’ll tell you why.  One, like Oaks said, we dream in America.  Many citizens dream about becoming rich and do not want to disturb the environment because they want the same perks when they make it big. So there is not stink made about them. Two, the people enjoying the benefits probably don’t see the practice as being wrong, because they enjoy the benefit, and why would they speak out against something that benefits them?

So, when Paul Ryan says, “entitlement reform”, he isn’t just talking about the poor people in America.  I agree with Ryan that America has an entitlement problem.  There is a need for entitlement reform at all levels.  It is the sense of “entitlement” that separates rich from poor, and brother from brother. Paul Piff argues that great wealth and higher levels of social class can lead people to have a greater sense of entitlement and that sense can lead to narcissism (Markman, 2014). The name of our country is The United States of America.  Personal agenda will always be present in politics, however, open-mindedness is something that needs to return.  The opposing forces are easily seen in “new” politics. Ryan says that ” we all know what needs to be done.” Knowing the problem is not the issue. Einstein offered a simple solution when he said that you can’t solve a problem with the same mentality that created it.  Who’s right Who’s wrong? Only time will tell. To get a better idea of the faces behind the money, read Dark Money, by Jane Mayer-“The Rise of the Radical Right”.



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References

ALAN FRAM . (2018, December 19). Retrieved from StarTribune: http://www.startribune.com/in-farewell-ryan-sees-solutions-if-politics-will-allow-it/503101342/

Dicitonary.com. (2002). Dictionary.com. Retrieved from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/courage?s=t

Markman, A. (2014, January 16). Rich, Entitled, and Narcissistic. Retrieved from Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/ulterior-motives/201401/rich-entitled-and-narcissistic

Oaks, J. (2009, October 26). Obama’s National Debt. Retrieved from BlogSpot.com: http://aninconvenientdebt.blogspot.com/2009/10/does-welfare-contribute-to-our-debt.html

Tankersley, J. (2018, July 25). How the Trump Tax Cut Is Helping to Push the Federal Deficit to $1 Trillion. Retrieved from New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/25/business/trump-corporate-tax-cut-deficit.html

Wikipedia. (2018, October 11). Entitlement reform. Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entitlement_reform

Dicitonary.com. (2002). Dictionary.com. Retrieved from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/courage?s=t

Markman, A. (2014, January 16). Rich, Entitled, and Narcissistic. Retrieved from Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/ulterior-motives/201401/rich-entitled-and-narcissistic

Oaks, J. (2009, October 26). Obama’s National Debt. Retrieved from BlogSpot.com: http://aninconvenientdebt.blogspot.com/2009/10/does-welfare-contribute-to-our-debt.html

Tankersley, J. (2018, July 25). How the Trump Tax Cut Is Helping to Push the Federal Deficit to $1 Trillion. Retrieved from New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/25/business/trump-corporate-tax-cut-deficit.html

Wikipedia. (2018, October 11). Entitlement reform. Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entitlement_reform

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