This morning, Speaker Ryan joined CNBC’s Squawk Box to discuss how a unified Republican government will tackle issues ranging from tax reform to repealing and replacing Obamacare. Below are excerpts from their conversation:
Obamacare Is Failing
“This law is getting much worse. It is what actuaries say is entering a death spiral—high, high premium increases, high deductibles, no choices. So we have to fix this problem. . . . This law is just failing very, very quickly. We’ve got to replace this law. And we will have a transition period so that we don’t pull the rug out from people.”
A More Competitive Tax Code
“The plan that we wrote is revenue neutral. We now take into account economic effects of tax changes—they call it dynamic scoring, I call it reality-based scoring—and we will use that so that we make sure that we maximize the economic growth potential. The last thing we want to do is not write tax reform where we’re not thinking about how to maximize growth. So our tax reform is going to be focused on maximizing growth and competitiveness of American businesses, and we will do that in a way where we will make it revenue neutral. That means you have to plug loopholes—tax expenditures—so you can lower rates. And so it’s really going to come down to as to how low we can get [the corporate tax] rate. We believe we can do it at 20 percent right now. If we can squeeze the numbers and plug more loopholes and get us to 15 percent—great. The lower the better as far as I’m concerned.”
We’re Going to Hit the Ground Running
“We spent all of 2016 getting ready for the possible opportunity of having a unified government in 2017. The House went through the entire exercise—every committee working, every member of the House Republican conference working. . . . We’ve been working on our tax-reform legislation for over a year. We’ve been working on our welfare-reform legislation, on our health care legislation, on our regulatory agenda, on our energy policy. So it’s not just talking points and pablum. Our committees—what I told our committees a year ago, our members is: Assume we get the White House and Congress. And then, come 2018, what do you want to have accomplished for the country to get this country back on the right track. What does that look like? Plan now. This is your plan. So for the next year—this is 2016, back at the end of 2015—do everything you need to do to get ready to do that. So this is exactly what Congress and the House have been working on for the last year—getting everything ready to basically rock and roll in 2017 and get working."