Tapper went on to ask Ryan about the president’s proposal to raise the minimum wage.
“I have never been a fan of that idea,” Ryan said. “I think it is inflationary. I think it actually is counterproductive in many ways. You end up costing jobs from people who are at the bottom rung of the economic ladder. Look, I wish we could just pass a law saying everybody should make more money without any adverse consequences.”
“The problem is you end up costing jobs from those who are just trying to get entry-level jobs,” he continued. “The goal ought to be, is to get people out of entry-level jobs, into better jobs — better-paying jobs. That’s better education. That’s a growing economy. Those are some of the things he talked about, and I don’t think raising minimum wage — and history is very clear about this — doesn’t actually accomplish those goals.”
As far as spending cuts and entitlement reform, Ryan said the president lacked specifics in his address.
“So here is the issue — we to want make sure that we have tax reform,” Ryan said. “He said two things. He wants tax reform and then he said, close loopholes. Well, closing loopholes to spend more money in Washington means you’re denying the ability to do tax reform because it is from these loopholes that we do tax reform. By closing loopholes you can lower rates and do tax reform that creates jobs and can grow the economy. That’s what we’re in favor of. Lots of Democrats agree with us. If you take those loopholes for spending, which is what I heard tonight, then you’re making it virtually impossible to actually get tax reform.”
“So what we want are smart spending cuts, not across the board like he is suggesting,” Ryan added. “We want entitlement reforms. And we want tax reform which, of course, means closing loopholes so we can lower tax rates to get economic growth. That’s the secret of success. That’s where there is a lot of bipartisan support for, but I didn’t quite hear that from the president tonight, and that’s a cause for concern.”