Ryan enjoys bantering about dusty novels, but it’s not really his bailiwick. Philosophy, he tells me, is critical, but politics is about more than armchair musing. “This gets to the Jack Kemp in me, for the lack of a better phrase,” he says — crafting public policy from broad ideas. “How do you produce prosperity and upward mobility?” he asks. “How do you attack the root causes of poverty instead of simply treating its symptoms? And how do you avoid a crisis that is going to hurt the vulnerable the most — a debt crisis — from ever happening?”Ryan appeals to the moral authority of the pope as a deficit and debt hawk to justify the "expansionary fiscal austerity" of his conservative plan "to empower the poor."
....Kemp, he says, was a congressional voice who connected conservatism to the empowerment of the poor. He wants to do the same.
Ryan cites Light of the World, a book-length interview of Pope Benedict XVI, as an example of how the Catholic Church takes the global debt problem seriously. “We are living at the expense of future generations,” the pope says. “In this respect, it is plain that we are living in untruth.” Ryan takes those words seriously. “The pope was really clear,” he says.Ryan also appeals to the principle of subsidiarity, a bedrock principle of Catholic social and political philosophy that should inform law and government.
Ryan’s budget, which was passed by the House earlier this year, cuts spending and reduces taxes. It also reforms Medicare and Medicaid, he says, in order to keep them solvent for future generations. But to Ryan, his plan is more than a fiscal document, meant to tinker with the bloated federal bureaucracy: It is part of a push to return money and federal power, as well as certain services where feasible, to the people.
Ryan mentions the Catholic principle of subsidiarity as an influence on his thinking. He believes that the best government is a government closest to the people. He is a strong believer in the power of civil society, not the federal government, to solve problems. Community leaders and churches, he says, can often do more for the poor than a federal bureaucrat who scribbles their names on a check, sustaining dependency.
Ryan’s goal, with his budget and future projects, will be to “combine the virtues and principles of solidarity,” which stresses the benefits of the common good, with subsidiarity.National Review
(h/t John Carney)
(h/t John Carney)