Paul Ryan: ‘We Should Stop Playing Identity Politics'

By Melanie Arter | April 16, 2018 | 3:47 PM EDT

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) (Screenshot)

( – House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that he believes in “inclusive aspirational politics” that unite people, and he warned against “playing identity politics.”

When asked if he believes the other side is an enemy of the American people, Ryan said, “I don't, and this is the one thing that I-- and I say that when I speak to young groups all the time. Do not fall for identity politics. That's what I always tell young people not to do, and here's the problem. Identity politics I think was a craft of the Left for a while.”

Identity politics is “now a practice on the right,” Ryan said, adding, “we should stop playing identity politics. I believe in inclusive aspirational politics that's bring people together.”

When asked to respond to Sen. Bob Corker’s (R-Tenn.) assertion that Congress and the Trump administration “will go down as one of the most fiscally irresponsible administrations and Congresses that we ever had” because of the trillion dollar deficits it approved in the spending bill, Ryan said, “That was going to happen.

“The baby boomers' retiring was going to do that. These deficit trillion dollar projections have been out there for a long, long time. Why? Because of mandatory spending which we call entitlements. Discretionary spending under the CBO baseline is going up about $300 billion over the next 10 years. Tax revenues are still rising. Income tax revenues are still rising. Corporate income tax revenues,” he said.

“Corporate rate got dropped 40%, still rising. Mandatory spending which is entitlements, that goes to $2 trillion over the next decade. Why does it go to $2 trillion? Because the boomer generation is retiring, and we have not prepared these programs. So really, that's where the rubber hits the road,” Ryan added.

“I think the most irresponsible Congress is the one that created brand a new entitlement. That to me is, is the big mistake, and we can fix these programs and still meet the mission for them, but the way they've been designed in the 20th century doesn't work,” he said.


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