If you missed Ezra Klein’s piece on the Ryan budget, give it a read. It’s as accurate a take as you’ll find.
[T]he real point of Ryan’s budget is its ambitious reforms, not its savings. It turns Medicare into a voucher program, turns Medicaid, food stamps, and a host of other programs for the poor into block grants managed by the states, shrinks the federal role on priorities like infrastructure and education to a tiny fraction of its current level, and envisions an entirely new tax code that will do much less to encourage home buying and health insurance.
Ryan’s budget is intended to do nothing less than fundamentally transform the relationship between Americans and their government. That, and not deficit reduction, is its real point, as it has been Ryan’s real point throughout his career.
Conservative’s Wonder-Boy has lost much of his luster after a failed vice-presidential campaign in which he lied and denied his way through much of the budget talk. And now Ryan comes back with a slightly-tweaked version of his first two budget proposals which, similar to its predecessors, has no realistic chance of making it through the Senate or White House. So what’s the point?
John Cassidy provides a possible answer.
About the only argument you can make for Ryan’s budgets (or roadmaps, or pathways) is that they aren’t budgets at all: they are political manifestos. A few years ago, well before he was chosen as a Vice-Presidential candidate, I asked Grover Norquist, who knows a thing or two about Republican politics, what function Ryan performed in the G.O.P. and why, even then, he was taken seriously by pundits and party elders. “Ryan’s role is to point to the Promised Land,” Norquist replied.
And what, pray tell, might the Promised Land look like? Here are a couple of possibilities taken from the WaPo comments section.
Ryan’s plan claims to want to avoid turning America into Greece, but the real goal is to turn us into Peru: a nation with a few billionaires and a land of peasants with a shrinking middle class. Investment in infrastructure and education are no longer deemed the responsibility of government, let alone consumption for the welfare of the public. The government will mainly exist to protect the rich from riots and kidnappings by the poor, but the US will no longer be a 1st world power capable of influencing or shaping the future.
I think more like Somalia. No govt. Populated by religious fanatics; everyone has a gun and it’s run by a very small group of the wealthy ruling over a large, poor population.
What’s not to like?
Frighteningly true. Tell me again that Republicans have not lost their minds.