Earlier today, rumors surfaced from a particular left-leaning website of fair renown in the mainstream media, suggesting that Paul Ryan is on the way out of Washington, D.C. It would be something that is easy to believe, too; he’s had a hard time, and the constant fighting with Democrats (and even some Republicans who don’t care to vote for Republican proposals) to try and move any piece of legislation through the House is challenging. He’s also sitting on the edge of one of the great achievements that he has been talking about since first he became the Speaker of the House, and tax reform seems to be within his reach. There’s only one problem.
Paul Ryan, who is the Congressman representing Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District, is not interested in stepping down from his position, and has made no such statements. Indeed, it would seem that mainstream rumors that he is preparing to step down after spending eighteen years in the House of Representatives are completely without substance.
Indeed, Paul Ryan already seems to have plans for the 2018 legislative session. He seems to have set his sights on another long-held target for reform; entitlements. That is not the kind of target that someone seeks to reform if they are preparing to leave the political world. Indeed, Ryan says that “Next year is the year we work on getting people where they need to get in life, in better jobs, an actual career, closing the skills gap.” That doesn’t sound like the words of a man prepared to leave politics.
Ryan is also looking to utilize criminal justice reform as well as job training programs in order to shrink entitlement spending and hopefully maintain it at a lower level in the future after explosions in entitlement enrollment and spending during the Obama years. According to Ryan, “When we have tens of millions of people right here in this country, falling short of their potential not working, not looking for a job or not in school getting a skill to get a job, that’s a problem.” Yet again, this does not sound like the talk of a man who has lost his lust for the process or the work that is necessary to make America great again.
This is in direct opposition to claims made by outlets such as Politico, which suggests that over three dozen members of the Ryan cabinet and his close friends and staff are making statements suggesting Paul Ryan wants to leave after the 2018 election. Again, this does not seem like reality for a legislator who is already talking about a very aggressive legislative program for 2018, and claims from ‘unnamed’ sources about the goings-on in government are generally not worth a grain of salt.
While rumors may be enough to set Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California to begin to salivate over the prospect of becoming the next Speaker of the House (as well as being second in line for the presidency), there is nothing to suggest that Paul Ryan has had enough yet.
Ryan is ready with a welfare-to-work proposal, and though left-leaning outlets like to paint the job of reforming entitlements and welfare as a monumental one, the only thing that made it so difficult in the past was the willingness of Democrats to use promises of ‘free’ stuff to essentially ‘buy’ votes. Only time will tell, but it would be surprising to see Paul Ryan leave the house, especially with so much on his plate. He does not usually seem like the kind of leader to leave a battle half-fought, after all.
This should serve, if nothing else, as a cautionary tale to take what you read, especially without a statement from the person focal to the article, with a grain of salt. It should also serve as a reminder to us all that when reading articles that rely heavily on ‘anonymous’ or ‘unnamed’ sources that claim to be ‘close’ to a powerful politician or celebrity, it behooves us to keep our guard up and be critical of the article, no matter what it states.
Paul Ryan may not be the kind of guy to die in his seat in Congress, but that does not mean that Ryan, who is only 47 years of age, is going to be leaving the House anytime soon. He still has wide support (much more so than Boehner, who left in disgrace and was generally disliked even by his own party), and it is likely that 2018 will see him achieving conservative goals that have been talked about for decades.
Remember this; just because it is written, does not make it so. Always take the time to confirm stories, especially those that sound outlandish.