By: AIF Staff
This week, along with 17 scholars, Paul Ryan and Angela Rachidi published American Renewal: A Plan to Strengthen the Social Contract and Save the Country’s Finances. The book contains a comprehensive set of policy solutions to stabilize our debt, modernize our social safety net, revitalize our economy, and restore the promise of upward mobility. The authors believe that by applying conservative principles to our nation’s major fiscal and economic challenges, we can write the next great chapter in American history.
Former Speaker Ryan did a series of interviews and engagements to discuss the aims and objectives of the policies detailed in the book. A brief recap follows.
American Renewal is available for download here.
Video: Paul Ryan discusses new book with ABC News
In an exclusive interview with ABC’s Jon Karl on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, former Speaker Paul Ryan talks about the importance of the policy proposals contained in his new book.
Ryan said in part: “The purpose of putting out this book is to offer a conservative plan to help this country get over its enormous challenges in the 21st century. We have an unsustainable debt. We’re on an unsustainable debt trajectory…. But we’re going to have to make these programs work better. We’re going to have to reform these programs so you and I and the X Generation and generations on down actually have something. That’s the kind of conversation we have to elevate our debate to in our federal and national politics. I think we can because America has always gotten it right at the end of the process, but it has to go through a lot of political machinations.”
Speech: Launching a New Conservative Policy Book with Paul Ryan and Angela Rachidi
With our mediating institutions fraying, debt soaring, and inflation rising in the post-pandemic era, now is the time for policymakers to act—to renew the social contract and place our government programs on strong fiscal footing. Ryan and Rachidi’s book offers policymakers a sweeping set of proposals to ensure long-term prosperity and fiscal health. After offering an overview of the project’s motivation, Ryan and Rachidi are joined by AEI’s Robert Doar to discuss the volume’s proposals in greater depth.
Op-Ed: Wall Street Journal: A Plan to Save our Nation’s Finances
The federal government is making promises to citizens that it can’t keep. The social contract to help the neediest is at risk, as is the implicit promise of the American dream—that each generation will have the chance to do better than the previous one.
The bad news is that our politics are fundamentally unserious. The good news is that a fiscal crisis is still avoidable. But the window of opportunity to prevent it is closing. We are not powerless. Holding off catastrophe is a matter of summoning the will. In “American Renewal: A Conservative Plan to Strengthen the Social Contract and Save the Country’s Finances,” Angela Rachidi and I, along with 18 center-right scholars, outline how leaders can couple reforms to our social safety net with economic growth.
Interviews: In conversations with reporters, Ryan discussed the book and the news of the day. Among the interview highlights….
ABC News: Ryan once again charts his path forward for GOP
[Ryan] said he’s not done trying to find solutions to America’s problems. He’s out with a new book: “American Renewal: A Conservative Plan to Strengthen the Social Contract and Save the Country’s Finances.”
“In this book, we offer very granular solutions to the big problems confronting America,” Ryan said. One of his major concerns, he said, is what he called the unsustainable debt trajectory that America is on. He said his book offers “a conservative plan to help this country get over its enormous challenges.”
Ryan acknowledged that Americans want health and retirement security, but he believes the current programs are unsustainable in the 21st century. “Medicare trust fund goes bankrupt in this decade,” Ryan said. “The Social Security trust fund goes bankrupt in 2032.”
But Ryan, the self-proclaimed optimist, believes these problems are solvable. “There are changes that you can make to the Social Security system today that [guarantees] people counting on this program will always have those benefits,” he said. “We’re going to have to reform these programs so that you and I and the next generation on down actually have something. That’s the kind of conversation we have to elevate our debate to I think in our federal, national politics, and I think we can because America has always gotten it right at the end of the process.”
The Dispatch: A Conversation with former Speaker Paul Ryan
Ryan: The point of the book is to help raise the level of debate to get America to confront its big policy challenges, so we can have another great American century. If we’re going to be able to compete with the likes of China, and if we’re going to be able to fulfill the legacy of leaving the next generation better off, then we’ve got some serious internal challenges that we have to overcome to make good on this promise. And that should be measured against the fact that if we do nothing, we will walk ourselves into a debt crisis, under which you’ll then have to commit to really ugly austerity economics.
Hugh Hewitt: Hugh talks with former Speaker Paul Ryan about AEI’s new book, American Renewal
Ryan: What we’re trying to do with American Renewal is make it a “call to arms” for conservatives to get ahead of the fiscal and economic challenges in this country. And thank God we have the House so we can start putting our feet in the right direction… First of all, in the House, you can stop bad ideas from making it into law like Build Back Better and that’s a good accomplishment because it’s going to be helpful to the economy and the country. But then you can also start curating policies and ideas to take to the country and give them a really clear, affirming choice of which direction they want to go as a nation.
And so, I’m a think tank guy now. I’m over at the American Enterprise Institute. We put this big book together with 19 scholars and specifically, it’s meant to really get the debate going.
How do you get American Renewal? How do you get people out of poverty, restore upward mobility, keep liberty and freedom alive? And how do you avoid debt crisis in this country? This is the direction we’re on. We’re heading towards that place. We know it and so what can you do to prevent that from happening? What can you do to make sure that the dollar is the world’s reserve currency?
And so, that’s what this book lays out. It lays out program by program, reform by reform, how we would use conservative principles and apply them to these problems.
Deseret News: Is there still room for Paul Ryan’s ideas in the Republican Party?
In 2022, the members of Congress elected as part of the GOP’s “thin” Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives will need to decide if they are going to go the way of Trump or Ryan as they choose what policies they want to try to tackle before the 2024 elections.
Ryan is betting the GOP is still open to his small-c conservative message. He just helped write a book, along with 18 mostly American Enterprise Institute scholars, titled American Renewal. They make the case that conservatives should rein in spending in Washington D.C. — including by making changes to Medicare and Social Security.
“America emerged from the 20th century as the world’s sole superpower. We created a material prosperity that the world had never seen before,” he said at the book launch event at the institute on Thursday. “But we are now facing enormous political and economic challenges, both from within and without.”
Real Clear Politics: Ryan: Entitlement reform ‘not as toxic’ as it used to be
Barely a week after Republicans historically underperformed in the midterm elections, Ryan reports that he remains “optimistic,” even calling himself “a happy warrior.” In an interview with RealClearPolitics, he said that federal fiscal problems are “totally and utterly solvable.”
America need not suffer “a lost generation” of anemic growth and stagnant prosperity, according to Ryan and more than a dozen center-right scholars. They have a plan: A book of white papers “to strengthen the social contract and save the country’s finances.” To avoid the aforementioned Armageddon, Ryan told RCP, the country just needs to “summon the political will and know how to get over this hump…..”
“I’m not too worried about the politics of entitlement reform. What people should be worried about is the politics of ducking entitlement reform,” he said, “and then precipitating a debt crisis, where you have ugly austerity economics on top of those entitlements.”
Leaving these programs as they are, he said, “is the irresponsible thing.” Proposing reforms that “make these programs work better and make this social contract more durable and reliable,” he added, “is not a hard sale.”
For a policy wonk like Ryan, who brought graphs and spreadsheets to press conferences, that kind of salesmanship comes naturally. Three years removed from Congress, the Wisconsin Republican says “the country is yearning for something better.” Now a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, he said that “this is the perfect time for the center-right movement to get back into the ‘Ideas Factory’ and start curating ideas and policies to take to the country, to win a mandate, and to solve our problems.”
Fox News: Ryan Policy Volume: US must catch up to China’s digital currency capability in order to ‘lead the world’:
“American Renewal: A Conservative Plan to Strengthen the Social Contract and Save the Country’s Finances” outlines solutions to America’s emerging fiscal crisis that is “entirely of its own making.” It features policy prescriptions from 19 scholars, mostly from the American Enterprise Institute, and is aimed at pushing concrete solutions that Congress can enact before the country is engulfed in a “debt catastrophe.”
Ryan, R-Wis., told Fox News Digital in an interview ahead of the book’s release that it was “designed to prevent America from going down the path of a debt crisis and losing the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.”
“If we lose the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, it will massively inflict fiscal and monetary damage to our country. It will make it harder for us to finance our government, our social safety net and our economy, frankly, because interest rates will be much higher,” he said. “The fiscal policies in this book are proposals designed to fix these programs so that they’re reliable and solvent and that they don’t go into a debt crisis….”
“If America wants to maintain its place as the keeper of the reserve currency of the world, which gives us huge privileges and advantages as a country, then we too should digitize our dollar so that we have the attributes of a digital dollar, which is frictionless money, which is much more efficient money,” he told Fox News Digital. “But more importantly, show the world how a free society should handle this challenge by having a two-tier system which guarantees the government has no role in the management of our money. Because the Chinese, the way they will manage money, violate privacy and liberty.”