Saturday, August 17th, 2019

Finding optimism with Paul Ryan


Over at the MacIver Institute, I reviewed Congressman Paul Ryan’s book, “The Way Forward.” The book is part memoir, part political program. As we follow Ryan’s career he tells a number of cautionary tales where conservative missteps actually made things worse. Not because conservatives were wrong on the policy goals, but because the tactics were so bad. From my review,

Ryan explains in his book how conservatives looking for purity in the legislative process actually made the auto industry bailout worse. Instead of a bad bill that would at least have taken the money from a renewable energy program to fund a bailout, conservatives in Congress opted for no bill. The auto industry bailout was then paid for out of the TARP program.

“The bailout still happened, but it cost more money and set a dangerous precedent. The whole affair was a good reminder that votes that look “pure” can really pave the way for a more harmful policy. That outcome is anything but a victory for our party, our country, or our people.”

Finally the book returns us to Detroit where Ryan finds a bit of hope for the future but only if we chart a new course for the American Idea. In Detroit, Ryan finds some people who are starting the process for that once great city. Maybe America will follow.

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