I must admit I feel somewhat vindicated personally. When I wrote my article about "Ryan's opening pitch" for The American Spectator back in February, I concluded with this:
(C)onservatives would do well to give Paul Ryan the benefit of the doubt when it comes to budget cuts and not to assume that the first swing of the axe was intended to make the deepest cut.
Comments to the article included:
- "Ryan has already surrendered on the budget."
- "This is the same Paul Ryan that voted for TARP, NCLB, extending unemployment benefits, the medicare package of $400 Billion?"
- "With regards to the first swing. It stinks."
- And my favorite: "Ross, you are acting like the battered wife who continues to make excuses for her husband. It's time to admit that Paul Ryan was always the cheating louse your girlfriends complained he was, and he will never change."
With his budget proposal on Tuesday, Ryan surpassed the budget-cutting expectations of every significant pundit and politicians I've read in recent months.
The Cato Institute's Chris Edwards, who doesn't take a back seat to anyone on desire for a minimal federal government, wrote, "In sum, Paul Ryan has proposed a fiscal reform structure that should win broad political support... Political leaders keep saying that we need an "adult conversation" on federal budget reforms. Republican Ryan has started that conversation, and now it is up to Democrats to put aside their childish rants about "extremism" and offer up their own plan to avert the coming fiscal disaster."
The Heritage Foundation also comes down in favor of the plan: "House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-WI) budget proposal, for the first time in recent memory, sets our nation on a different and better path."
And perhaps the best endorsement of all comes from the opposition to Ryan's plan by the anti-liberty, anti-capitalist, and fundamentally anti-American Center for American Progress, whose Michael Linden writes, "Far from a real tax plan, his approach is made up of obfuscation, misdirection, and pure assertion."
Maybe someone should remind CAP that the Democrats didn't even offer us that much, totally abandoning their responsibility to craft a budget in the final year of their recent and short-lived majority in the House of Representatives.
Other excellent "known by your enemies" responses include the AARP calling the budget "indefensible" and Chris Van Hollen, the man who presided over the re-election of House Democrats with such resounding success (not!) in November, who said that Ryan "essentially end(s) Medicare as we know it", as if that's a bad thing. Somebody ended Bernie Madoff as we knew him, too. Don't hear much complaining about that.
Although the talk for the rest of this week will be about a possible government "shutdown" starting this weekend (I'm hoping there is one), Ryan's budget is the blockbuster news of the day, the week, the month, and perhaps the year.
Paul Ryan can hold his head high...and I feel just fine about saying "I told you so" to those well-intentioned but aggressively erroneous commenters who said that my faith in Paul Ryan was somewhere between misplaced and stupid.
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