1. Yuval Levin, a very credible domestic policy analyst, is more favorably disposed to the Perry plan than others have been. In particular, he notes that Perry's approach to entitlement reform is bold, if vague, and that Perry's support for a premium-support model of reforming Medicare (along the lines of what Paul Ryan has proposed) is welcome:
...a fundamental reform of the payment system into a premium-support model, along the general lines of the Ryan budget (or perhaps something like a reform I've written about here) would make a huge difference. It's very significant that Perry has put himself on the side of such reform, which is quickly becoming the standard conservative view of the matter, and rightfully so.
Levin might be a little off-track, however, in suggesting that Perry's out in front of Mitt Romney in supporting a Ryan-style approach to Medicare reform. He writes, "[i]f Mitt Romney did the same, rather than voting present on the most significant fiscal challenge our country confronts, he could finally be taken seriously on budget issues too." Romney has in fact expressed support for Ryan's Path to Prosperity, and has promised his own plan along similar lines.
2. Howard Gleckman of the Tax Policy Center, however, thinks Perry is simply telling people exactly want to hear:
Perry, whose campaign has been foundering, has put all his policy chips behind what seems to be a remarkable free-lunch-for-all plan. An old boss of mine used to measure political candidates against what he called his pander-meter. For GOP primary voters, this one rates a 10-with a bullet.
TPC doesn't yet know enough about Perry's plan to model it. But at least at first glance it looks like an attempt to be all things to all people-big tax cuts combined with a promise to balance the budget with- this being campaign season-huge unspecified cuts in spending.
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