We are in the midst of the kind of crises that can do nations in. It is pleasant to chirp, as Speaker Paul Ryan does, of “choice” and “competition” and an end to “paternalistic” thinking on health care. Is it responsive to the moment? Or does it sound like old lyrics from an old hymnal?
I close with Tucker Carlson’s Wednesday night Fox News interview with Mr. Ryan. It cut to the political heart of the matter.
Mr. Carlson questioned the new bill’s elimination of a tax on wealthy investors. “Looking at the last election, was the message of that election really, ‘We need to help investors?’ I mean, the Dow is over 20,000. Are they really the group that needs the help?”
Mr. Ryan answered that the tax had been imposed by ObamaCare. “The trillion-dollar tax cut that this bill represents—that is part of the trillion-dollar tax increase that was in ObamaCare to finance ObamaCare.” It deserves repeal: “It’s bad for economic growth.”
Mr. Carlson: “But the overview here is that all the wealth, basically, in the last 10 years, has stuck to the top end. That’s one of the reasons we’ve had all the political turmoil, as you know. And so, kind of a hard sell to say ‘Yeah, we’re gonna repeal ObamaCare, but we’re gonna send more money to the people who’ve already gotten the richest over the last 10 years.’ I mean, that’s what this does, no? I’m not a leftist, it’s just—that’s true.”
“I’m not that concerned about it,” Mr. Ryan replied. Republicans promised to repeal ObamaCare, and they are.
Maybe he should be concerned.
Read the whole thing. If you want to see this particular part of the exchange between Carlson and Speaker Ryan, fast-forward to the 5:30 mark.
When you have the most famous hymnodist of the Reagan Era telling you that it’s time to change the tune, for heaven’s sake, you would have to be an idiot not to listen.