"Every year we get a slightly different version of the same old [Paul Ryan budget proposal], and every year we have to waste entire man-years of analysis in order to make the same exact points about it. And the biggest point is that his budget would force enormous, swinging cuts in virtually every domestic program, especially those for the poor. If this bothers Ryan, he’s had plenty of time to revise his budget roadmap to address it.
But he hasn’t. He knows perfectly well that his budget concentrates its cuts on the poorest Americans. It’s been pointed out hundreds of times, after all. If he found that troublesome he’d change it. Since he hasn’t, the only reasonable conclusion is that this is exactly what he intends. Let’s stop pretending otherwise."
— Kevin Drum and I are in agreement. Stop making excuses for Ryan. Stop calling him “serious” or “wonky.” He’s neither. He simply puts an unachievable yet comfortingly numerical face on the GOP broader policy goal. Namely, reduce taxes on rich to as close to zero as can be achieved in a single go-round. Then make a show of balancing this huge deficit driver by a) failing to name any substantive tax reforms and but also specify that you’re going to be relying on extensive, substantive tax reform —and— b) cutting all programs for the poor to the bone or entirely. Can’t have a safety “hammock” after all.
When this still fails to balance the budget, you are free to go after Medicare, which was the plan all along. While there, may as well functionally end Social Security; even though it’s not a deficit driver, you’ve got huge constituencies and the MSM convinced that it is so why the Hell not? Then you call it a day and can efficiently sand the gears against putting any of it back in place even if you find your party in the legislative minority for decades. Huzzah for democracy.