Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Stockman on Ryan [updated]

David Stockman makes some good points, along with some not so good ones, in this op-ed: "Paul Ryan's Fairy-Tale Budget Plan." Not so good: comparing today's defense budget with that of the 1950s 1961 by adjusting for inflation without noting that defense was a much higher percentage of federal spending and GDP back then And whatever case might be made for cutting the Pentagon budget, citing Calvin Coolidge as a defense and foreign policy exemplar is ridiculous.

Stockman is right, though, in noting what political courage does not consist of: further cuts in the top income tax rate; unspecified eliminations of deductions; and no discussion of alternatives to our current tax system.

UPDATE: Another interesting piece, "Why Demogoguing Paul Ryan is Bad for Democrats," by William Galston. (Answer: because it crushes Democrats' ability to then reform entitlements.) I would've spelled it "demagoguing," by the way.

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