Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, gave a talk and took questions this morning at an event organized by the American Council on Capital Formation. In his opening remarks he restated his basic, familiar position: the recovery is slower than it should be, and the country's longer-term economic prospects are blighted, because of bad economic policy. Good economic policy, he said, means four things.
First, get government spending and deficits under control, to restore fiscal certainty and allay fears of higher taxes down the road. Second, tame the regulatory state. Third, increase tax revenues through higher growth. (Especially, stop putting US firms at a disadvantage with higher taxes than their international competitors face.) Fourth, ensure sound money. (He said he was worried about the scale of the Fed's recent interventions and where they might lead. He drew from his wallet his portable collection of worthless hyperinflated currency from Zimbabwe, Weimar Germany, and other bankrupt nations, given to him by voters he has met.)
Then he was asked about the current talks over raising the debt ceiling.
Republicans have ruled out simply raising it without conditions, which is what the Treasury wants. But recently the two sides have been moving towards a deal. This could involve another "down payment" on spending cuts; agreement on caps or targets for future deficits or spending; and commitment to some kind of automatic action if those caps are breached. President Obama mooted something of the sort in his recent speech on budget policy.