Jonathan Alter has a column arguing that Paul Ryan’s budget cuts are un-Republican, citing everything from Lincoln-era Hamiltonian internal improvements to Ronald Reagan signing on to a few tax increases:
The idea of using government money to invest in the future hardly died with Lincoln. Theodore Roosevelt built the Panama Canal; Dwight Eisenhower constructed the interstate highway system; and Republicans have voted for smaller such investments repeatedly over the years.
Even in 1964, when Republicans nominated conservative Barry Goldwater for president, the party platform made it clear that the tax cuts it promised would only materialize “as fiscal discipline is restored.”
Reading Alter’s column, you would get no sense of the national debt crisis that motivates Ryan’s budget, the little-bitty problems with Fannie and Freddie, or the fact that Solyndra is in many respects a more representative contemporary government “investment” than the interstate highway system.
When a liberal columnist chides the Republican Party for not following the principles of Eisenhower, Goldwater, and Reagan, run away.