From “Paul Ryan’s budget: Social engineering with a side of deficit reduction,” Ezra Klein, Washington Post:
“Here is Paul Ryan’s path to a balanced budget in three sentences: He cuts deep into spending on health care for the poor and some combination of education, infrastructure, research, public-safety, and low-income programs. The Affordable Care Act’s Medicare cuts remain, but the military is spared, as is Social Security. There’s a vague individual tax reform plan that leaves only two tax brackets — 10 percent and 25 percent — and will require either huge, deficit-busting tax cuts or increasing taxes on poor and middle-class households, as well as a vague corporate tax reform plan that lowers the rate from 35 percent to 25 percent.
“But the real point of Ryan’s budget is its ambitious reforms, not its savings. It turns Medicare into a voucher program, turns Medicaid, food stamps, and a host of other programs for the poor into block grants managed by the states, shrinks the federal role on priorities like infrastructure and education to a tiny fraction of its current level, and envisions an entirely new tax code that will do much less to encourage home buying and health insurance.
“Ryan’s budget is intended to do nothing less than fundamentally transform the relationship between Americans and their government. That, and not deficit reduction, is its real point, as it has been Ryan’s real point throughout his career.”
“The problem is that these ideas are not, on their own, popular. In fact, they’re deeply unpopular, and considered quite radical. That’s why Newt Gingrich rejected Ryan’s initial budget as ‘right-wing social engineering’…. But presented on their own, Ryan’s plans scare people.
What Ryan has found is that the way they’ll get a hearing is if they’re presented as necessary, prudent measures to forestall an even more dramatic debt crisis.
“But whether these are good or bad ideas, they are not, under any reasonable definition of the term, necessary ideas.”
We’ve got Paul Ryan using phony scare tactics on the budget, and Rand Paul doing the same on the drones. When I think of the GOP today, I think, “Garbage in, garbage out.” We have neither a debt nor a drone crisis. How can we solve our real problems when one party is so focused on imaginary ones?