Liberals, Tea Partiers, Democrats, and Sarah Palins all dislike the budget proposal released on Tuesday by the House Budget Committee (which is the long way of writing "Paul Ryan"). Which is fine, because, as in years past, it wouldn't be approved by the Democratic Senate or signed into law as-is anyway. Politics!
We'll start with Sarah Palin, because Sarah Palin. In a post on Facebook Tuesday night, Palin called Ryan's budget "the definition of insanity." The proposal "really IS a joke because it is STILL not seeing the problem;" she wrote, "it STILL is not proposing reining in wasteful government overspending TODAY, instead of speculating years out that some future Congress and White House may possibly, hopefully, eh-who-knows, take responsibility for today’s budgetary selfishness and shortsightedness to do so." What Palin would prefer, apparently, is that Ryan say the deficit will be gone next year by cutting everything and have that not pass instead of saying here is our eventual plan to reduce the deficit by cutting things and have that not pass. We will note that Palin, who is not running for office and has no constituents, wouldn't have to field angry calls from people whose Social Security was cut.
Tea Partiers agree with Palin, of course. Her Facebook post linked to a post at Breitbart, which interviewed some of them. One from Virginia lamented the "sad fact" that "the promised [budget] reductions never come." Which isn't actually true, since the deficit continues to shrink. Another, from the Nashville Tea Party, used the same line that Palin (and the liberals) used on April 1: "On this day when we celebrate fools, we are once again presented with a budget by Republicans and asked to believe it is something more than a political document."
Of course Ryan's Democratic opposition on Capitol Hill disagrees with the budget; that's their job. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid didn't even bother attacking Ryan himself about it. Instead, he went after his favorite target, the Koch brothers, as Politico reports. "It’s a blueprint for a modern… how would we say this? Koch-topia. Yes, that’s it," Reid said. "We might as well call it the Koch budget because that’s what they’re doing, protecting the Koch brothers." Focus, Harry. Focus.
Liberals elsewhere hit a little closer to the target. Over the weekend, New York's Jonathan Chait pointed out that Ryan was backtracking from him long effort to position himself as doing something for the poor. Among the Ryan proposals was a large tax cut, which, in order to balance the budget, means significant cuts elsewhere in the budget. Since Ryan, unlike Palin, has to run for reelection (and maybe something else in two years' time), he also doesn't want to cut Medicare and Social Security, programs close to the heart of older Republican primary voters. And he can't cut military spending, or, at least, he won't. What's left? Social programs, as Slate notes. And that doesn't sit well with the left.
Again: It doesn't really matter. The Senate isn't planning on producing a budget for 2015, and certainly won't adopt the House's. Ryan's proposal is of course a political document, contrary to the fever dream of that Nashville Tea Partier. But it's a doomed proposal from a guy who wants to run for president. What do you expect?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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