Both parties agree that we suffer from mass unemployment, declining wages, and growing inequality. Both agree that rising future deficits should be addressed. But they offer completely different responses to these realities. The question, of course, is where Congress lines up.
Ryan's newest budget is much more about communicating with his party's leadership and activists than about usefully contributing to the policy debate. It could perhaps most accurately be described as the "make Paul Ryan relevant again budget."
The budget just released by House Republicans marks the culmination of an important, long-term shift in the Republican Party. Over the last several decades, the party has abandoned political conservatism and embraced its opposite: an agenda of radical, experimental reform.
The sequester that took effect March 1 is a case in point. Some House Republicans have called it the Tea Party's biggest success to date. But a success for whom?
I still admire Rep. Ryan and hope that he continues to make strides toward making serious entitlement reform possible. But if he wants to govern then he needs to bow to reality and accept that elections have consequences -- even elections that he lost.
It is a vicious circle that those who still espouse 19th-century free market economics do not want to recognize. What applied to a rural America where 70 percent still lived on farms cannot apply today to an urbanized U.S.
While this year's conference will certainly be quite the show, it will serve as even further confirmation that the Republican Party does not reflect our community's political values and that the Democratic Party is the true political home for American Jews.
In many ways, CPAC is caught in exactly the same bind as the Republican Party. The party's leaders know that to survive in the long term it must moderate its positions and expand its base. But they're still in the grips of an extremist fringe that just won't let that happen.
Is it courageous to camouflage hundreds of billions in cuts for the poor and disadvantaged in broad budget categories without identifying the programmatic cuts, so that analysts, journalists, and other policymakers can't identify the specific cuts and assess their impacts?
As the Ryan budget, which is really quite divorced from reality outside the hyper-conservative House and has absolutely zero chance of enactment, shows, these budgets have little to do with the actual agreements that determine actual revenues, outlays, and policies.
Paul Ryan's new budget purportedly gets about 40 percent of its $4.6 trillion in spending cuts over ten years by repealing Obamacare, but Ryan's budget document doesn't mention that such a repeal would also lower taxes on corporations and the wealthy that foot Obamacare's bill.
Austerity economics -- of which Paul Ryan's upcoming budget is the most extreme version -- is a cruel hoax. Cruel because it hurts most those who are already hurting; a hoax because it doesn't work.
Paul Ryan introduced his version of the Republican budget this week, and it seems Ryan has agreed that two or three of President Obama's biggest budget victories actually do significantly cut the deficit, and are therefore worth including in the Republican plans for the future.
They're still at it. President Obama wants "to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few." Republicans want "th...