Wednesday, April 13, 2011
- That Looks 'Balanced' To Me
Here is Yuval Levin with the definitive takedown of the Obama speech:
Obama offered a kind of “Robert Bork’s America” description of the Ryan budget, filled with ludicrous distortions, and then argued that he could achieve the same fiscal goals by different means. What means? Apparently there are four: First, discretionary spending cuts that amount to an extension of the cuts in this year’s budget. Second, defense cuts that will be decided after yet another review. Third, health-care cost reductions that will be achieved by giving even more power to the panel of experts created by Obamacare to make one-size-fits-all rationing decisions and by assigning that panel even more ambitious goals than the ones that the actuary of Medicare and Medicaid says the panel is already very unlikely to meet. And fourth, greatly increasing taxes.
There is so much really awesome stuff here that it's touch to post an extract. But this is too good to leave out:
And yet, for all of its profound inadequacy—its dearth of self-awareness and excess of self-righteousness, its distortions of facts, its contortions of language (“spending reductions in the tax code”? really?), its lack of specificity, its unseriousness—this speech is on the whole a good sign. I fully expected the Democrats to respond to the Ryan budget by simple undiluted demagoguery—that is, with the “Paul Ryan’s America” part of this speech alone. And some Democrats in Congress have certainly done that, with all the usual preposterous dishonesty of the Democrats’ Medicare playbook. But this speech did not limit itself to that. Its demagoguery was diluted some. It accepted Paul Ryan’s definition of the fiscal problem, and it accepted more or less his broad outline of what a solution would look like in fiscal terms—in terms of deficit and debt reduction. And so it defined the debate going forward as a debate about how best to achieve the Republicans’ fiscal goals.
Click on the text to read the whole awesome thing.