I'm getting tired of talking about this and I'm sure you're getting tired of reading it, but it's got to be done. The "center" in this budget fight is not going to be someplace any of us on the left are going to be able to live with. Robert Reich spells it out in this piece:
I'd wager if Americans also knew two-thirds of Ryan's budget cuts come from programs serving lower and moderate-income Americans and over 70 percent of the savings fund tax cuts for the rich - meaning it's really just a giant transfer from the less advantaged to the super advantaged without much deficit reduction at all - far more would be against it.
And if people knew that the Ryan plan would channel hundreds of billions of their Medicare dollars into the pockets of private for-profit heath insurers, almost everyone would be against it.
The Republican plan shouldn't be considered one side of a great debate. It shouldn't be considered at all. Americans don't want it.
Which is why I get worried when I hear about so-called "bipartisan" groups on Capitol Hill seeking a grand compromise, such as the Senate's so-called "Gang of Six."
Senator Dick Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, a member of that Gang, says they're near agreement on a plan that will chart a "middle ground" between the House Republican budget and the plan outlined last week by the President.
Watch your wallets.
In my view, even the President doesn't go nearly far enough in the direction most Americans would approve. All he wants to do, essentially, is end the Bush tax windfalls for the wealthy - which were designed to be ended in 2010 in any event - and close a few loopholes.
He goes on to point out all the useless programs that could be cut and taxes that could be raised that would maintain services that human beings depend upon and still turn back this allegedly existential deficit threat --- none of which are on the table. This despite the fact that a credible budget that does all that and more is out there and being totally ignored --- a plan, by the way, that tracks with the vast majority of the American people's wishes.
Everybody says we have to "sacrifice" and have "skin in the game" but the fact is that the only skin that is likely to be stripped is the skin of ordinary working Americans.