How Credible Is The Paul Ryan Budget?
My view is that Ryan is far preferable to the total fraudulence of phony fiscal conservatives like Glenn Reynolds or Sarah Palin or the Tea Party "Government Out Of Medicare!" Movement. At least it opens up a more honest debate in a way the propagandists and opportunists on the right fail to do. Bruce Bartlett explains why, even though he sympathizes with the goals of Ryan's plan, he finds it inherently unserious:
The Ryan plan is, of course, politically ludicrous. It would be impossible to get Congress to even implement one of its major provisions, let alone all of them simultaneously. And I say this as someone who in principle supports many of the ideas in his plan. For example, I believe we must raise the retirement age, and it's hard to see how we can meaningfully reform the health system to reduce cost inflation as long as health insurance is free of taxation. But I don't delude myself that it is possible to implement such changes absent a major transformation in political attitudes or conditions that do not now exist.
...That is why I think tax increases will be the default position when a Greece-like fiscal nightmare hits, which is inevitable if current tax and spending trends continue. Those that are adamantly opposed to any tax increase to deal with this inevitability must--I repeat, must--be willing to support cuts in Social Security and Medicare of the magnitude proposed by Rep. Ryan, and they must begin working to implement those cuts today.
In other Paul Ryan news: he says Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism helped convince him to vote for the TARP bailout and Ryan's budget is too optimistic about revenues.