Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Next Up, Entitlements

In his column on Sunday, the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank wrote about the budget debate, saying, “The nation’s debt problem is enormous, but so far President Obama and the lawmakers have tiptoed around the real problems, particularly Medicare. Instead, they’re haggling over the 36 percent of the budget called ‘discretionary spending,’ and particularly the 13 percent known as ‘non-defense discretionary spending.’ Even in the unlikely event that House Republicans can force Obama and Senate Democrats to go along with their $60 billion of cuts in the current fiscal year, that would barely dent this year’s $1.5 trillion deficit, even as it causes chaos and throws hundreds of thousands of people out of work.”

Frank Rich of the New York Times added his voice to the debate, saying Republicans are “slashing federal spending as long as the cuts are quarantined to the small percentage of the budget covering discretionary safety-net programs, education and Big Bird.”

That’s the alternative liberal line of attack to the one described by John: Republicans are slashing the budget to the bone on the smallest slice of the budget while cowardly avoiding the big ticket items, including entitlements.

Here’s the thing, though: last week Republican leaders, who have been in control of the House for barely over a month, announced that in their forthcoming budget they will deal with entitlements. And when asked if they were talking about “minor tinkering,” Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said, “No, I think it’s important that you do comprehensive health care entitlement reform, other kinds of entitlement reform.”

Now that Republicans have committed to dealing with entitlements, including Medicare, we can all assume that when the Ryan budget is released the House GOP will win the praise and support of Messrs. Milbank and Rich for taking on popular programs that are driving our fiscal crisis. Otherwise we might reluctantly draw the conclusion that both men are cynical and intellectually dishonest liberals.



Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.