RUSH: Paul Ryan yesterday went over to the Heritage Foundation to deliver a speech about conservatism, Obama, and class warfare. We have three sound bites. It was a terrific speech, and I think Congressman Ryan is one of the leading intellectual lights in elected Republican circles for defining modern-era conservatism.
RYAN: The president has opted for divisive rhetoric and the broken politics of the past. He’s going from town to town impugning the motives of Republicans, setting up straw men and scapegoats and engaging in intellectually lazy argument as he tries to build support for punitive tax hikes on job creators.
RUSH: He continued.
RYAN: Instead of appealing to the hope and optimism that were the hallmarks to his first campaign, he has launched his second campaign by preying on the emotions of fear, envy, and resentment. This has the potential to be just as damaging as his misguided policies. Sowing social unrest and class resentment makes America weaker, not stronger.
RYAN: Pitting one group against another only distracts us from the true sources of inequity in this country. Corporate welfare that enriches the powerful and empty promises that betray the powerless.
RUSH: He’s right. The whole speech was superb. There was a Q&A afterward. The moderator was the president at Heritage, Ed Feulner. He said, “What do you make of Elizabeth Warren’s comments that successful people are successful only because of the things government provides and that confiscatory taxation is justified because it’s not really their success?”
RYAN: This is what I call “the fatal conceit of progressivism.” It’s upside down. It’s the presumption that money and wealth made and created in America is the government’s unless they benevolently expend it back to people.
RYAN: No one is saying we don’t need good schools and roads and infrastructure as a basis for a free society and a free enterprise system. But the notion that the nucleus of our society is the government and not the individual — the family, the entrepreneur — is, to me, just completely inherently backwards.
RUSH: You know, he also made a great point that the regime and the American left, the Democrat Party, have attempted to demonize private sector entrepreneurs and conservatives by accusing them of being pro-business; and Ryan said there’s a big difference in being pro-business and pro-markets. Pro-business and pro-free markets. If the focus is on free markets and allowing them to do what they do, that is the benefit. That’s where private sector growth takes place; that is where the rising tide lifts all boats, and support for free markets does not mean blanket, blind support for business. Every institution has its bad actors and bad guys, and the left — I was just talking about it in the first hour. Look at their enemies list and look at who they demonize, and it’s everybody in business who happens to do well in a free market, because it challenges the authority and the size — the scope, the reach — of government. Now, just to refresh your memory about what the question was about Elizabeth Warren. She’s running for the Senate in Massachusetts against Scott Brown. Back in September, she was doing what she called her “walking tour,” and this is what she had to say about you and class warfare and if you have made it, what that really means.
WARREN: I hear all this, “You know, well, this is class warfare. This is whatever.” No! There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody! You built a factory out there? Good for you! But I want to be clear: You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You, uh, were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory and hire someone to protect against this because of the work the rest of us did.
RUSH: So here is Elizabeth Warren trying to equate the noncontributory existence of the freeloaders to the successful. That if it weren’t for the freeloaders, the successful wouldn’t have been successful, that the successful didn’t do it on their own, the bridges and the roads to get to your factory that the rest of us paid for, as though the business owner had no role in paying for it, didn’t pay any taxes or any of that. Popular thinking on the left, and this is the question Feulner asked Ryan, “What’s your reaction to it?” and he said the fatal conceit of progressivism, it’s upside down. It’s the presumption that money and wealth made and created in America is the government’s unless they benevolently expend it back to people. It’s exactly right. This has been a point that I’ve been making since the early nineties. The left, the Democrat Party, all money is theirs, all money is government’s. You end up with what you have based on their decision, their benevolence toward you. If you’re wealthy it’s only because government has permitted it. It’s only because government made it possible. You had nothing to do with it.