This is a fascinating exchange between Gail Collins and David Brooks on today's NY Times Opinionator, in which Brooks proves himself to be a quivering bowl of lemon yellow jello.
But I was struck by something in particular:
David Brooks: I actually find myself warming, unexpectedly, to Paul Ryan’s vision of government. Ryan, as you know is the Wisconsin House Republican who recently laid out a “Roadmap for America’s Future.” It is the most intellectually honest budget proposal I’ve seen. It really would produce a balanced budget. The Congressional Budget Office even says so.
It is also a vision for a voucher state. Government would have very few decision-making powers. Instead it would essentially redistribute money so that individuals could better secure their own welfare provision. Medicare and Social Security would essentially be turned into cash programs. The elderly would receive $11,000 a year to purchase insurance. The tax code would be radically simplified.
Have these Republicans dealt with any elderly people recently? Do they know how much medical care they receive? Dealing with the health care system becomes the focus of their entire lives at some point. Yet, with out of pocket expenses, many people my age pay at least that much per year without even being seriously ill. The elderly, most of whom are dealing with both chronic and acute illness and injury, would be completely screwed with that small stipend. Even the more wealthy ones would quickly run out of money.
Why is it that Palin can mindlessly trot out "death panels" and turn the entire senior population against health care reform but the phony deficit fetishists are able to put something like this down in writing and it doesn't even garner a headline? Could we get John Edwards to start a Facebook page and write about it or something? At least it would get some attention.
Oh, and by the way, it turns out that Ryan's budget wouldn't eliminate the deficit after all.