In linking a post on the president’s soon-to-be released budget which offers little in the way of meaningful reform, Jennifer Rubin asks the right question:
Smart politics or do the voters penalize political cowardice? “President Barack Obama’s budget proposal Monday will offer several measures to trim the federal deficit in the next 10 years. But it would leave largely unchanged the biggest drivers of future government spending: the Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security programs that are expanding rapidly as the baby boom turns into a senior boom. Calling for major changes in the popular programs would be politically treacherous in an election year because of fierce opposition from seniors, who vote in large numbers. But budget experts of both parties agree the programs’ growth must be curbed at some point or they will swamp the budget.”
Emphasis added. At a time of trillion-dollar deficits — and a national debt that has increased by well over $4 trillion since the incumbent was sworn in. (By contrast, the “national debt increased $4.9 trillion during the eight-year presidency of George W. Bush . . . [and] is rising at a pace to surpass that amount during Mr. Obama’s four-year term.“*)
Given the challenges we face, a smart Republican would instead of following the president’s example of offering half-measures, take heed to Paul Ryan and offer a real plan for reform:
In other words, a bold reform agenda is our moral obligation. We have an obligation to provide the American people with a clear path that gets our country back on track.
. . . .
If we make the case effectively and win this November, then we will have the moral authority to enact the kind of fundamental reforms America has not seen since Ronald Reagan’s first year.
That’s the moral case for going bold. But there is also a strong political case for going bold.
. . . .
verybody knows this is politically risky territory. Republicans have their battle scars on entitlement reform. That’s why some argue that we should downplay bold agendas and simply wage a campaign focused solely on the President and his party.
I firmly disagree. Boldness and clarity offer the greatest opportunity to create a winning coalition. We will not only win the next election – we have a unique opportunity to sweep and remake the political landscape.
Read the whole thing.
Mitt Romney, are you listening?
*During the campaign, Obama contended that in those years, we’d “been living beyond our means“.