"The growing profile of the [debt] issue has given Republicans an opportunity to cast President Obama as a weak leader, unwilling or unable to confront the tough issues."
--Jeff Zeleny, New York Times
And Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan is the GOP figure most likely to take the budget-cutting leadership role from the president. I said on Tuesday that “in a headline-grabbing statement,” House budget chair Ryan had promised Republicans will offer entitlement cuts. I was wrong; the statement didn’t make headlines. Nevertheless, Ryan is emerging as the nation's budget leader partly because he’s willing to take on entitlement sacred cows, including Medicare.
Ryan recently told the Wall Street Journal’s Paul Gigot:
The [White House] fiscal strategy is to hang on to all the government we've grown, and [hope] rhetoric will get us through the moment. . . keep the gains of the last two years in place—the bump up in discretionary spending, the creation of [the health care] entitlements—to lock in their gains, bank their wins, and then hang on through the rest of this year. And they believe they have the flourishing rhetorical skills to navigate the politics in the meantime.According to Gigot,
we're the growth party. . . do we reform government, reform our entitlement programs, get these programs that were written in the 20th century to work in the 21st century, and have pro-growth policies to help our businesses that make us internationally competitive? That's growth. What austerity is, what pain is, is doing nothing, staying on the path we're on. And then having our own debt crisis and having our own European kind of fix where you're cutting everything and raising taxes.
Ryan figures the 2012 contest could turn into a "realignment election," in which voters declare which party's vision they prefer and give that party control of the entire government. [Ryan] thinks his party needs to offer such a choice because if Obama wins a second term, his health-care reform won't be repealed and will set the U.S. on Europe's path of excessive debt and shrunken destiny, perhaps irretrievably.The “New Deal” has become America’s “Old Order.” And the “old order” is at its crisis point, fighting with all it has to hold onto the America of “good government,” of New Deal, Fair Deal, New Frontier, Great Society, the America of Obama, of the largest peacetime deficit ever, of overwhelming, historic debt, and of the new underfunded entitlement—Obamacare.
The revolution against this “old order” is underway. We cannot yet know whether it will succeed or fail.