Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Spin Cycle

This week's edition of the Sunday Spin Cycle is going to be brief, not only because I have other time obligations, but because all the Sunday shows were in virtual lock-step today. With the exception of CBS Sunday Morning, which did an episode inexplicably devoted entirely to islands, all the shows focused on the debt limit and the Paul Ryan Plan vs. the Simpson-Bowles Plan.

In a nutshell, Washington is poised for another budget battle when it comes to spending limits. The Democrat argument is that if Republicans would agree to raise the debt limit, then the debt wouldn't matter. The Republican argument is that spending limits wouldn't need to be raised if spending could be brought under control, and the debt absolutely matters. The Democrat counter-argument is, "La-la-la-la!"

Moving on to budget plans: if you are a Democrat, then Simpson-Bowles = Good while Ryan Plan = Bad. If you are a Republican...well, you can figure it out. Here's the nasty little secret, the two plans are ostensibly the same. Yes, there are big differences about what budgets need to be cut and where, but both plans plainly acknowledge the well-known truth that we are not going to tax our way out of the debt crisis. This is important because that is pretty much the one idea that the White House is banking on for reelection: tax the rich. Congress has already given up on that idea, as evidenced by the two biggest budget proposals floating around.

So, what are the differences? Truth be told, both plans get tinkered with constantly, so I can't paint a real clear picture of them. But in broad strokes, the Simpson-Bowles Plan takes more aim at Republican sacred cows, such as defense, while the Ryan Plan takes its aim at Democrat pets, such as entitlements. From that information alone, I would argue that the Ryan Plan cuts to the chase better than the alternative, simply because it is entitlement spending--not defense or any other basic government function--that has gone completely out of control.

Of course, a number of leftist pundits attack the Ryan Plan (and on Meet the Pressed, who had Ryan as a guest, the man directly) saying it will end the social programs "as we know them." If you read last week, you'll know that my head exploded at that moment.

An interesting thing to note, the panel on ABC's This Week was perhaps the most pessimistic bunch ever assembled on live television. Basically, half the table agreed that, regardless who gets elected and who controls the congress this fall, nothing will get better. Obama and the Democrats can't save us, and neither can Romney and the Republicans. Personally, I think this is the last argument the left has in favor of reelecting Democrats. "Nothing can save us, so don't take it out on me!" Sort of a bizarre "don't change horses" strategy. If this is indeed the case, the Democrats don't have a prayer in November. The electorate is, even in the worst of times, unabashedly optimistic. In hard times, it is that attitude which needs to be played to for the win.


rlaWTX said...

I hope your head had has come back together appropriately after the explosion...

tryanmax said...

The explosions are a regular thing. I'm on medication which is supposed to make them happen less, but I continue to aggravate the problem by listening to liberals.

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