Paul Ryan is the scourge of Democrats everywhere. His mere existence they find bothersome. That he has wide access to both sober thoughts and computer keyboards causes them acute dyspepsia. The bleating rose to a feverish pitch Tuesday after Mr. Ryan released The Path to Prosperity, a mildly ambitious blueprint for preventing Greek-style economic collapse.
The Path to Prosperity tackles drunken binge spending and a tax code that penalizes entrepreneurial activity. It is not perfect, as the other Paulites (of the Ron genus) will tell you. It does not resurrect the 10th Amendment. Nor does it simplify our federal tax code with the enthusiasm of Herman Cain and Steve Forbes. But it does smack socialism upside the head, and for that it deserves conservative support.
The Left responded as if Mr. Ryan poured salt on their pet slugs. White House spokesman Jay Carney called the plan “aggressively and deliberately ignorant”. The shrill Ezra Klein blogged that it “funds trillions of dollars in tax cuts, defense spending and deficit reduction by cutting deeply into health-care programs and income supports for the poor”. (Credit for the Orwellian use of the verb “funds”, as in letting you keep your own money is now deemed an expenditure). The New York Times observed that “his plan could hardly be more bleak”. And the Daily Kos whined that The Path to Prosperity “invokes a slash and burn mentality to programs that millions of Americans depend on from their government”. The scalier the liberal, the more pathetic the response.
I do credit Democrats on their fidelity to tax-and-spend policies. At least you know where they all stand. Back in the 1980s about seventeen Democrats embarrassed by Walter Mondale making new taxes central to his wildly unsuccessful presidential bid formed the centrist Democratic Leadership Council. Master triangulator Bill Clinton briefly served as the DLC president until he became the President. But by 2010 conservative Democrats went from Endangered Species to the extinct list, and in 2011 the DLC archives were acquired by the Clinton Foundation for its “Curiosities” exhibit.
Before writing this blog I perused no fewer than a dozen liberal columns and blogs looking for some sign of intelligent discourse on Mr. Ryan’s plan. Perhaps a creative proposal to save Medicare. Maybe a plan to eliminate the national debt for our children and grandchildren. Or an idea to simplify our tax code to encourage capital formation and its corollary, job and income growth for all. I’m sorry to report, none, nada, zilch. Just the familiar screeching against tax cuts for the rich and spending cuts for government dependents.
On Tuesday CBS News committed what Rush Limbaugh would call a random act of journalism. In news parlance, this is not exactly what is referred to as a scoop: “In 3 Years, Obama Creates More Debt Than Bush.” Even so, this begs the question as to who gave the mainstream media smelling salts. Expectations raised, I now anxiously await “Obamacare To Cost Billions in New Taxes” and “Democrat Policies Favor The Lazy.”