Will Paul Ryan Be a Worthy Successor to His Mentor, Jack Kemp?

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-OH) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-OH) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Paul Ryan recently, reluctantly, courageously, accepted the Speaker’s gavel in the House of Representatives. The terms on which he agreed to accept this very important post were his own, and dignified. His acceptance speech was impressive, promising to change the culture of the House in fundamental ways. Ryan, at his Kennedyesque best:

I often talk about the need for a vision. I’m not sure I ever said what I meant. We solve problems here—yes. We create a lot of them too. But at bottom, we vindicate a way of life. We show by our work that free people can govern themselves. They can solve their own problems. They can make their own decisions. They can deliberate, collaborate, and get the job done. We show self-government is not only more efficient and more effective; it is more fulfilling. In fact, we show it is that struggle, that hard work, the very achievement itself that makes us free.

Ryan promised the Freedom Caucus, and the Republican Conference, that he would return Congress to regular order and champion free market economic growth. All eyes are on him. Will he follow through?

In one of his first official acts Speaker Ryan convened the House Republican Steering Committee to elect a successor to the critically important chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee. A hot contest ensued for this post. Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) was contesting Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX).

Brady was the more senior, clearly the more conservative (by all the conservative report cards), and as I earlier noted here, was considered by supply-siders as having, as described by PutGrowthFirst’s Rich Lowrie, “the best pro-growth chops in the House” ….

According to Politico, Tiberi, who campaigned in part on being the K Street favorite, “was seen as the favorite going in.”

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You can read the full article at Forbes.com.

Ralph Benko, internationally published weekly columnist, co-author of The 21st Century Gold Standard, lead co-editor of the Gerald Malsbary translation from Latin to English of Copernicus’s Essay on Money, is American Principles Project’s Senior Advisor, Economics.