As he rolled out his 2013 budget on Tuesday, Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, correctly said that he and his fellow Republicans were offering the country a choice of two very clear futures. The one he outlined in his plan could hardly be more bleak.
I thought the ed board made a strong point here regarding vagaries vs specificity:
[The budget] vows to balance tax cuts for corporations and the rich by closing loopholes, but never lists the loopholes. It is, however, quite specific about cutting Medicaid by about 45 percent, leaving 19 million people without care, and eliminating plans to provide health insurance for 33 million who lack coverage now.
Mitt Miller—always worth reading, btw—hits on the simple, undeniable intersection of demographics—aging boomers—and the role of government in retirement security. You can’t get there from the R’s budget.
Dana Milbank and the WaPo ed board also weigh in.
Milbank quotes Rep Ryan on how safety net programs “drain the will” of the poor and “demean” them.
To protect poor Americans from being demeaned, Ryan is cutting their anti-poverty programs and using the proceeds to give the wealthiest Americans a six-figure tax cut.
Apparently, spending programs demean the poor, but tax cuts strengthen the moral fiber of the rich.
The WaPo ed board tends to be a lot more hawkish on budget matters than I am, but they hit hard on the Ryan budget, opening their editorial with an assertion that should be very familiar to OTEers:
THERE IS NO credible path to deficit reduction without a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases.
OK—enough for now with this budget. It’s not going anywhere, but it will remain an influential guidepost in the forthcoming debate about the role of government in our lives. This is YOYO on steroids, and given that, like it or not, we’re actually in this together, the R’s budget must remain a strong marker of what not to do.