…. is from Rep. Paul Ryan’s op-ed int today’s WSJ “A Better Way Up From Poverty“:
Like many of the challenges we’re facing, the tipping point we’re approaching is the result of a liberal progressive mindset that seeks a larger, more active government and lets bureaucrats decide what’s best for everyone instead of allowing citizens to govern themselves. Its response to every social problem is more government, more bureaucracy and more taxpayer money.
This government-centered approach is at the core of modern-day liberalism and the Obama administration’s policy decisions.
Have a high unemployment rate? Pass a $787 billion spending bill. Got an energy crisis? Dump millions of taxpayer dollars into a boondoggle like solar-cell maker Solyndra. Need to lower health-care costs? Hand over decisions to a bloated bureaucracy in Washington, D.C.
Now, the problem isn’t bad motives; it’s bad ideas. All of these policies stem from an ideology that favors coercion over collaboration, that puts faith in government instead of in a free people. And the results speak for themselves.
Fortunately, there is an alternative: the Founders’ vision, which puts individuals, their families and their communities—not government—at the center of American life.
What does this vision look like in action? For starters, it favors choice and competition over government-run solutions.
It would make health care a true market with transparent prices and more choices. It would empower Americans to make their own health decisions. Instead of top-down price controls imposed by bureaucrats, we’d have bottom-up competition driven by millions of consumers. That won’t just lower health-care costs; it will improve the quality of care.
The vision would promote pro-market policies that benefit consumers instead of pro-business policies that favor the wealthy and well connected. It would roll back regulations that serve no purpose except to stifle enterprises, big and small. That will encourage competition and innovation, and get our economy growing so that people can start working again.
And instead of managing poverty, we’d actually be fighting it. Today, we’re spending almost $800 billion on 92 federal antipoverty programs—and yet we have the highest poverty rate in a generation. That’s because the solution can’t be found in a federal bureaucracy; it lies within individual Americans and the community that surrounds and supports them.
As it stands, we’re not empowering people; we’re overseeing them. That’s got to change. We need to see an individual’s problems and potential. Our goal shouldn’t be to simply meet their needs; we should help them tap into their talent and achieve their goals.