Ezra Klein of the Washington Post seems to have changed his mind about U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican from up the road in Janesville, as we see HERE.
Just over a year ago, I wrote a column praising Rep. Paul Ryan’s Roadmap. I called its ambition “welcome, and all too rare.” I said its dismissal of the status quo was “a point in its favor.” When the inevitable backlash came, I defended Ryan against accusations that he was a fraud, and that technical mistakes in his tax projections should be taken as evidence of dishonesty. I also, for the record, like Ryan personally, and appreciate his policy-oriented approach to politics.
So I believe I have some credibility when I say that the budget Ryan released last week is not courageous or serious or significant. It’s a joke, and a bad one.
For one thing, Ryan’s savings all come from cuts, and at least two-thirds of them come from programs serving the poor. The wealthy, meanwhile, would see their taxes lowered, and the Defense Department would escape unscathed. It is not courageous to attack the weak while supporting your party’s most inane and damaging fiscal orthodoxies. But the problem isn’t just that Ryan’s budget is morally questionable. It also wouldn’t work.
UPDATE: It says HERE that Republican lawmakers have good cause to be very nervous about the Ryan budget plan.
UPDATE II: Michael Kinsley DEMOLISHES Ryan’s plan.
Right or wrong, it is said, Ryan has at last set the stage for an honest debate about government spending and the federal deficit.
But he hasn’t. The Path to Prosperity purports to be something that’s been missing since Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural address in 1981. For 30 years, Republicans have demanded a balanced budget without producing one, even on paper. What would it look like? Whose ox would be gored? Whose chickens would come home to roost? Whose goose would be cooked? Ryan continues the long GOP tradition of evading these unpleasant questions.