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Gregg Jarrett:The Obama Administration is throwing down the gauntlet here saying that President Obama will not sign any bills that break the terms of their summer debt deal.

Martha McCallum: I spoke with Congressman Paul Ryan just a little while ago and got his reaction to that from the White House….

Congressman Ryan: Morning, Martha. How are you doing today?

Paul_Ryan_112th_CongressMartha McCallum: I’m doing just great. I want to read something to you that came out from the White House yesterday which is a response, really, to your budget proposal, and here’s what that letter to the House of Representatives and Senate leaders says: “Until the House of Representatives indicates that i will abide by last summer’s agreement, the President will not be able to sign any appropriations bills, so that pretty much lays it out there.” What’s your reaction to that?

Congressman Ryan: What we’re simply trying to do is get spending under control. The Budget Control Act has a ceiling on spending, and we propose to go about $19 billion below that ceiling. We’re not going to have a government shutdown. We’ll get ourselves to compromise at the reasonable levels of spending, but here’s the deal: we can’t keep spending all this money we don’t have. We’re borrowing 40 cents on the dollar and what we’re trying to show is a little fiscal prudence and discipline. Unfortunately, the President is more interested in playing politics than anything else.!

Martha McCallum: Understood, but they’re going to say that the deal that was made to raise the debt ceiling, and it had those subsequent sequestration parts of that built in, that if they didn’t meet that deal that everybody agreed on, then certain cuts would kick in naturally. They’re saying you and the budget you presented that’s obstructionist.

Congressman Ryan: Not only are we going along with the deal that we struck before, we’re cutting spending elsewhere in a smart way instead of just accrue it across the board way which will happen in January if we do nothing. The problem is the President’s not showing what he would do to prevent this across the board cut from happening. the Senate announced again yesterday they’re not going to do a budget again for the third year in a row, so we’re showing leadership on how we will specifically prioritize spending in order to conform to the Budget Control Act. We propose to do it in a smart way instead of this across the board way or just ignoring it which is what we think the White House is doing. they’re not preparing for the sequester as if it will happen, we think we should be honest and show how we will prioritize spending cuts instead of letting this sequester cut across the board. That’s what we’re doing right now.

Martha McCallum: So the President was speaking about this in Ohio yesterday and, of course, all of this gets intertwined with election year politics as well, so he says basically, we tried it the republican way, and it didn’t work. Here’s what he said.

President Obama: Instead of moderating their views even slightly, you now have Republicans in Washington, the ones running for President proposing budgets that shower the wealthiest Americans with even more tax cuts, for folks like me who don’t need ’em. We’re looking for ’em.

Martha McCallum: Your reaction?

Congressman Ryan: I think the President doesn’t have a record he can run on. He’s going hard to the left in these last two years. He didn’t moderate, didn’t compromise, and so he has no choice but to divide the country, and unfortunately, it’s very un-presidential but that’s what we’re seeing. On tax reform, we’re saying take away the loopholes that wealthy people use in order to lower everybody’s tax rates.

Guess what? A lot of Democrats agree with us. Erskine Bowles and the Fiscal Commission – this is what they proposed. What we’re showing is there’s consensus on how to best fix these problems. The problem is it’s with moderate Democrats and the President is way out there on the left. The trouble is the President’s trying to shift blame, and that’s more of this campaign rhetoric we’re going to have —  so it’s going to be a long six months, I’ll just tell you that.

Martha McCallum: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference has also come out and said they don’t like what the plan entails when it comes to cutting food stamps and also a child credit for illegal immigrants. What do you think about that?

Congressman Ryan: Well, we’ve always said we should not be giving tax credits to people who are not here legally. That is just following through on policy that’s been pretty well responded to on a bipartisan basis. These are not all the Catholic bishops, and we just respectfully disagree. We think that quadrupling spending in this area has not succeeded to get people out of poverty. One in six people are in poverty today. Poverty is at the highest rates in a generation under the President’s failed policies so what we’re trying to do here is get people from welfare to work just like we succeeded in doing when we reformed welfare in 1996.

We want to take those ideas and reform these other welfare programs so we don’t keep people on welfare, but we get people from welfare to work, opportunity, prosperity. Getting people out of poverty. That’s what we’re focusing on in our budget -attack the root causes of poverty instead of simply treating symptoms and makes it easier to cope with and that’s what we fear the President’s policies have done. The results are we have the highest poverty rates we’ve had in a generation.

Martha: As I said before all of this becomes in this season intertwined with the 2012 presidential politics, and last night on “Special Report” Kirsten Powers had this to say about your alignment on the campaign trail and with your budget plan with Mitt Romney. Here’s what she said: In terms of the stark choice, yes. I think democrats are really salivating, frankly, at the opportunity to go up against the Paul Ryan plan. I think that they see a lot of fertile ground there for them to go after.

How do you feel about the fact that your name may be associated with some of the attacks coming from the left against the candidate of your party?

Congressman Ryan: I‘m kind of getting used to it to be honest with you. Look, we think we owe the country a choice. If we have a debt crisis in this nation – which the President is bringing us to and the Senate’s inviting by not even budgeting for three years – the people who get hurt are the people who need government the most, the poor, the sick, the elderly. We want to prevent that, and that’s what our budget does.

We want this debate because we think the country should decide what do you want America to be, what kind of people do you want us to be? Do you want to go down this path that the President’s taking us down – a path of debt and decline – or do you want to get our spending and debt and deficits under control and stop this growth of government where government sees its role as picking winners and losers in if our society? That’s not the American idea. We want to restore the American idea, and get those principles that made us exceptional in the first place reapplied to the problems of the day.

Yes, it is a choice of two futures, and Mitt Romney is very clearly giving the country that choice. Do you want President Obama’s government-centered society, or do you want the opportunity society with a safety net that works? That’s the choice here, and we’re happy to have this debate.

Martha McCallum: Do you have any indication from the Romney camp that they want to do anything other than embrace this plan, continue to have you out on the campaign trail with them right next to him?

Congressman Ryan: I’ve campaigned with Mitt a lot; we’ve done a lot of traveling in Wisconsin. We’re still working together and yes, he’s put out throughout his primary campaign tax reforms and budget reforms that clearly resemble what we’re trying to do. If you believe in free enterprise and limited government, upward mobility, then you’ll have a budget that looks like this.

We can’t keep borrowing and spending and taxing like we are because we’ll ruin the economy, and everybody will get hurt if that happens. Put aside the hysterical rhetoric, all the name calling the President is doing in a very un-presidential way – because the country has got a chance here, a window to prevent a debt crisis, and we need to take advantage of that.

Martha McCallum: Paul Ryan, always a pleasure to have you in “America’s Newsroom.” Thank you very much. we’ll see you soon, sir. Take care

SOURCE: Paul Ryan