I’m watching Ryan roll out his plan here. The public reaction to this will tell us a lot about how serious we are as a country. If the response is general support, or “I think we need something like this, but would want to change this part here or that part there,” we’ll be okay. If there’s a general recoiling and rejection, and a preference to cling (bitterly?) to the notion that small-ball cuts in discretionary spending will be sufficient to control the debt, then we’re doomed.
UPDATE: Peter Wehner has similar thoughts:
Now comes a civic test of sorts. What will be the American public’s reaction to the plan that Ryan presents? Will they rally behind it, or rebel against it?
It’s hard to know. Perhaps we find ourselves in a new political moment, in which reforms and cuts that were once unthinkable can now be advocated without danger of self-immolation. On the other hand, it may be that what Ryan will propose goes beyond what the public is willing to accept. What is reasonable to conclude, I think, is that if the public continues to resist reforms to entitlements—either because of ignorance, demagoguery, or selfishness—we will experience, sooner than we think, the kind of “domestic convulsion” the founders warned about (and which Europeans are now experiencing). Demography and mathematics make that inevitable.
Wehner via Instapundit.