I want to make one more point on the Paul Ryan plan and Republicans in general. Republicans have entered an age where they refuse to make any compromise whatsoever. Unfortunately when a party takes this position it makes our system incredibly inefficient. There is a reason laws have to go through Congress and the House and the White House. It is to make it difficult for one person or party to have all the control. The Constitution has set up a system where compromise is almost a necessity in order to pass laws. Republicans have taken a strong stance against any form of compromise though, and then they get mad when liberals portray them as a do-nothing-Congress.
This issue does not cut both ways; Democrats have consistently been willing to compromise (maybe too willing). The Affordable Care Act is a compromise between our current system and a single payer system. Cap and trade is a compromise between the current regulation and a direct carbon tax. These compromises, although once supported by Republicans, are now universally viewed by the right as abominable and one step closer to socialism.
Also, there is no Grover Norquist of the left. Grover Norquist has persuaded a majority of House Republicans to sign a pledge to never, ever, under any circumstance raise taxes. That doesn’t exist on the left. The left has not signed a pledge taking an essential power of the government completely off the table.
Finally, concerning the Ryan budget, all he does is decrease taxes, cut programs that more liberal swaying people view as necessary, and increase defense spending. This is the epitome of a refusal to compromise. Taken another way, there is not one aspect of the Ryan plan liberals can jump on board with, this isn’t true for the President’s plan. You may not like the President’s budget, but it is much more of a compromise than Ryan’s budget. The President is willing to cut some taxes and cut some spending. The President does not have the my-way or the highway approach to his budget like Paul Ryan.
Now I’m sure some conservatives will read this and say “why should we compromise on any issue?” “We are right.” It’s not that simple though. Both parties always think they are right, but if anything is to get done there has to be a give and take on every issue, and we need to get things done – health care, Social Security, unemployment, the national debt, sustainable energy etc. The fact is the current Republican Party is unwilling to budge on any of these issues, and this can only cause problems for the country. Republicans have become so consumed with their ideology that any opposing view is wrong-on-arrival.