Congressman Paul Ryan brought out the FY2015 version
of his "Path to Prosperity" budget earlier this week.
President Obama deemed it a "stinkburger"
or a "meanwich". (Unconfirmed reports claim that he
also said Congressman Ryan was a "poopyhead" with "cooties".)
Many on our side were negative as well, because Ryan's budget increases near-term spending while relying on future Congresses to make cuts necessary to bring the budget into balance in 10 years. Big Government gathered thumbs-dows quotes from a host of Tea Party stalwarts. Mark Kevin Lloyd, a "Virginia Tea Party activist" is on point:
"The sad fact is that the promised reductions never come," Lloyd said. "Future congresses are not bound by the dreams, schemes, and chicanery of previous congresses. These people think the American people are stupid, and the fact that we keep letting them get away with it makes me believe they might be right."
And Sarah Palin, equally unimpressed, deemed Ryan's PtoP "a joke". But not an actually funny one.
However, the scorn was not unanimous. Keith Hennessey looks on the bright side, which is easy to do when you use his methodology: comparison with President Obama's budget. He also sees the Ryan budget as a possible potent component of the 2014 GOP election strategy: it (at least) projects budget balance at some point, while Obama's budget does not, ever.
And, as seems to happen more often that not, Kevin D. Williamson makes the most sense to me: Ryan's budget is (a) far from ideal; but (b) probably the best we can do right now; and (c) totally unlikely to pass, because the American people won't buy it.
My pessimism is rooted in my belief that there is not in reality a very large market for meaningful fiscal conservatism. People tell pollsters that they support balanced budgets and that they believe that our entitlement programs need to be reformed, and they tell them even more strongly that they oppose virtually all of the measures necessary to balance the budget or to reform entitlements.
What our side needs is more convincing spokespeople. Unfortunately, I see nobody on the horizon.
The Amazing Geraghty
So what do progressives really want? If, as I suspect, the currency of progressivism isn’t policies or results, but emotions, what does that approach build? What kind of a country do you get when political leaders are driven by a desire to feel that they are more enlightened, noble, tolerant, wise, sensitive, conscious, and smart than most other people?
Answer: you get a bunch of people whose first and last reaction is: "If you disagree with me, you must be a dumb bigot. Also, you hurt my feelings."
Speaking of which…
<voice imitation="professor_farnsworth">Good news, everyone!
</voice>You can win a lunch date with Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Elizabeth Warren.
Allegedly you can enter without giving them money. I couldn't get that to work. But I'll keep trying because I would dearly love to give them a piece of my mind.
I wish Gwyneth Paltrow were as smart and
level-headed as… well, Pepper Potts. But
no. In a recent interview with E!
(which I pronounce "Eeeee!") she revealed how tough it is
for celebrities to be parents.
Dean Norris is probably not as well known as Gwyneth, but he chimed in:
Totally understand Gwyneth Paltrow. Watching my wife take care of our kids is so much harder as an actor than a regular dad— dean norris (@deanjnorris) April 1, 2014
I became very impressed with Mr. Norris's acting skills during my recent Breaking Bad marathon. Now I'm kind of impressed with his sense of humor. Because I also found:
What do Congressman do on April Fools day? Truth pranks? Just wondering— dean norris (@deanjnorris) April 1, 2014