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Paul Ryan discusses the benefits of new tax plan

He sat down with Charles Benson in D.C.
Charles Benson interviews Speaker Ryan in D.C.
Posted at 2:52 PM, Dec 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-21 12:34:38-05

Will he or won't he run for reelection. Speaker Paul Ryan won't say for sure. But he tells TMJ4's Charles Benson he won't be in Congress forever.

After Tuesday's big tax cut victory, Ryan likes where he is right now.

He loves talking about tax cuts in the House and back home.

Ryan: I was in Beloit last weekend at a Volleyball Tournament.

Benson: You’re talking about this (tax cuts) at a volleyball tournament?

Ryan: Yeah yeah, wherever I go I get this.

The Janesville Republican has been chasing tax reform for nearly 20 years and he’s feeling good about the GOP tax cut victory.

"I feel like I'm in a great place to make a huge difference for Wisconsin and a huge difference for the country," said Ryan. 

He was first elected to Congress back 1998 when he was 28 years old.

Ryan says speculation he might be leaving office after next year is just that, speculation.

Entitlement reform is still on his agenda, passing it will not be easy. But what if Republicans win on that front in 2018?

Benson: Does Paul Ryan say after that: Mission Accomplished. Thanks for the memories, I'll see you later? 

Ryan: (Laughs) Look that's not my plan. 

In 2014, after the Romney-Ryan ticket defeat and before he became speaker, Ryan told a National Journal reporter, "I'm not going to be in Congress 10 years from now. I can be definitive about that.”

Benson: That's three years ago.

Ryan: That's in seven years - so I can say I am not going to be here seven years from now.

But Ryan knows historical headwinds will fight him to hold onto the Speaker's job. Here's why. Midterms elections for a first-term president are usually not good for the party in power and that could be problematic for Republicans

"Surely we are worried about the historical trend but that's why I want this to be a historical congress," said Ryan. "That's why passing generational defining tax reform, like we haven't done since 1986, I think that's how you break the odds. "

Democrats hope history is on their side.  Milwaukee Democrat Gwen Moore believes her party is winning the messaging battle over the tax cuts.  

She believes giving permanent tax cuts to corporations but not middle-class taxpayers is unfair.

"They (GOP) are hoping that people will settle for 35 bucks extra on their paycheck and they will forget that 83 percent of the benefit of this bill goes to the top one percent," said Moore.