Come next Congressional term, Speaker Paul Ryan will no longer serve in the House of Representatives. Disregarding his reasoning for leaving, Ryan’s tenure as speaker can simply be described in one word: failure.
I still recall my relatives describing Ryan when he was only beginning to rise the ranks in the House. The combination of Ryan’s young, blue-eyed face and verbal support for family values caused them, along with millions, to admire him. He was viewed as a possible moderate and a nice conservative. Ryan created a reputation for himself as someone who understood normal people.
On top of that, Ryan’s fiscal-conservative ideals, which sought to slice a large chunk of the country’s debt, aided him drastically in rising to power. He was seen as the “numbers guy.” In 2013, when he was the chairman of the House Budget Committee, Ryan created a 10-year plan that sought to improve the country’s deficit.
Ryan was seen as an effective, bold lawmaker, something uncommon for politicians to be viewed as. He was golden in so many’s perspective, but now, as the Speaker is spending his last months on Capitol Hill, his actual effect on America has been counter to everything he claims to uphold.
Under Ryan’s leadership, Republicans were only able to pass one major piece of legislation: their tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. This bill is projected to implode the country’s deficit.
In view of that fact, Ryan has not had a single achievement in his time as Speaker. The tax cuts he gave away to the rich certainly cannot be looked at as one; it is sinking the country when it comes to the national debt, while barely helping rank-and-file employees.
According to Newsweek, only 4.3 percent of workers will receive a one-time bonus or pay bump from the bill. Moreover, according to an official from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), foreigners will ultimately receive a large majority of the tax bill’s economic gains.
When then-candidate Donald Trump won the 2016 election, I was frightened. I thought that with control of both the Executive and Legislative branches, Republicans will surely pass streams of bills. I presumed that, with Ryan’s leadership, the GOP would gut programs that aid the poor and ensure reproductive rights for women.
But, as I see now, that is not what came about. The Speaker’s incumbency has been everything the Democrats could have dreamt of. Ryan was unable to pass a vast majority of his agenda — even with Republicans controlling all of D.C.
To the Speaker: I express my gratitude. His frail captaincy is the reason many conservative ideals, which attempt to disadvantage women, the poor and minorities, are not intact. Let us only hope that a future Republican Speaker will be as fruitless as he was.