On his show yesterday, Hugh Hewitt interviewed Paul Ryan about his plans during the next Congress:
HH: In terms of the staff that you’ve got coming to Budget committee, out of the culture of Washington, they’re all kind of suspect. Where are you finding the people who are going to have sort of the immunity to the spending disease?
PR: Well, I just hired somebody from the National Review.
He knows his audience. But you don't need someone from NR to cut spending. We all know how to cut the spending that matters. We can all read Bowles-Simpson - a roadmap to fiscal sanity that Paul Ryan, unlike Tom Coburn, won't take. We all know we have to slash entitlements and defense and reform and raise taxes. We can do it now if we want. But Ryan does not want to tackle the debt now. He wants to play politics now:
"We're gonna be reducing all domestic discretionary spending. I can't tell you by what amount and which program, but all of it is going to be going down, and the aggregate amount will be back to 2008 levels before the spending binge occurred."
Before the spending binge occurred? You mean to say that the eight years of George "Deficits Don't Matter" Bush did not include spending binges? You mean to say that emergency spending for the worst downturn since the 1930s was seriously in doubt under any president of either party?
What Ryan is doing is pretty obvious. He is trying to frame fiscal irresponsibility as somehow solely about 2008 - 2010. He's lying about the Republican past and the recession. He has no serious plans to cut entitlements now (anyone only focusing on discretionary spending is a demonstrable fraud), no plans to cut defense, no plans to raise any taxes. And he has thrown away a chance to become a real fiscal conservative in Washington, able actually to tackle the problem rather than exploit it for partisan purposes.
He is the problem with Republicanism today, not its solution. If the debt is such a threat, why do you refuse to tackle it seriously now? Why reduce yourself to the tiniest sliver of the smallest part of the discretionary spending budget ... when you could claim a serious mandate to end the debt for good? Why, after the last campaign, are the Republicans still unserious about cutting spending?
Because they're frauds.
(Photo: Alex Wong/Getty.)