David Frum is making sense:
When reviewing the Ryan budget plan
. Frum has been off the reservation for some time now, and almost sounds like a Canadian socialist, or something.
The real message of the Ryan plan is: Upper-income tax cuts now; spending cuts for the poor now; more deficits now; spending cuts for middle-income people much later; spending cuts for today’s elderly, never.
Jobs first, deficit later is actually the right timing of priorities. But the upper-income tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 markedly failed to translate into higher incomes for ordinary Americans. The Ryan plan offers no reason to hope that another round of the same medicine will deliver better results.
As politics, the message is even worse than the economics. Cut Medicaid and Medicare to fund tax cuts? Isn’t that the issue that returned Bill Clinton to the White House in 1996? Don’t all the polls show that Medicare and even Medicaid are popular, and that more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans are not? Isn’t this a formula for a GOP bloodbath in 2012? And if the plan did somehow become law, is it not a formula for an economy in the 2010s that will underperform for most people in the same way that the economy of the 2000s underperformed for most people?
Tax the rich.
Oh and cut military spending. Why are we involved in Libya, some asked? Because military power is our only foreign affairs solution. When the only tool you have is a hammer, ever
problem looks like a nail.