Paul Ryan received a standing ovation from the crowd of about 280 people gathered for his Greendale listening session on Friday.
He started the event with a 15-minute presentation about the threat of the debt crisis and reducing government regulations and spending. He then took questions from the crowd.
The crowd cheered and clapped whenever Ryan spoke against healthcare government regulation. He presented charts that displayed increasing U.S. debt projections by the end of the century, comparing them to European countries.
“Our debt levels are at that point of European level,” Ryan said. “Now the good thing for us and the reason we are not in a debt crisis right is that we are the world’s rerserve currency. We have the U.S. dollar. That buys us more time.”
Ryan stressed preventing an economic crisis. He also said the economy would shut down by the 2030s if spending continues in its current path.
Ryan listed five items to reform government spending:
- Control spending
- Cut corporate welfare spending
- A safety net that promotes upward mobility
- Patient-Centered Medicare Reforms
- Pro-Growth Tax Reform
He turned to welfare and food stamps as a way to make cuts that would make a more efficient safety net. He praised welfare reforms of 1996, saying it pushed people to get jobs and leave welfare.
“If we see this problem coming to our economy, if we see this threat to our seniors, if we see this threat to our kids, if we see this threat to our jobs or economy, we have a moral legal obligations to do something about it,” Ryan said.
One man asked what Republicans are trying to do to fix the problem.
Ryan answered, saying there are people in both parties that agree with some of the same reforms and mainly they are trying to “fix the problem before it gets out of hand.”
One man told Ryan that the biggest problem is healthcare.
“You talk about your plan ...that you are able to shop around and bring it down. My question is, we have a pool in this country of 370 million people. We are all in the pool and everyone gets healthcare, which is the right thing to do in this country. We shouldn’t have 50 million people without healthcare…why can’t we use this pool bring down the cost and make it across the board for everyone. I don’t want my children and grandchildren to be one pink slip away from healthcare.”
Ryan said that this country needs a better system where everyone should have access to healthcare, regardless of pre-existing conditions and employment status.
"Healthcare spending is the biggest driver of our debt," Ryan said.
Rayn said that if there is one big pool that would eliminate competition among insurance companies and people won't be able to shop around and won't have
"I really believe we can have a system where everyone has health insurance, including people who have pre-existing conditions, without having the government run the system."