The biggest problem with Ryan's plan, besides its potential to become a bureaucratic nightmare, is that it was tried once before under President Bill Clinton in 1996 with welfare reform and was met with mixed results.
People should be asking -- what will happen to those 30 million or more Americans who will likely lose their Medicaid coverage during a Romney/Ryan administration? Where will they go for health care coverage?
Norquist's unparalleled influence stems from his role as enforcer. Armed with his (in)famous anti-tax pledge, he's the undisputed master of political arm-twisting. No one on the left plays that sort of role.
What is holding up agreement of a debt ceiling increase is obvious. Republicans want to continue to shrink the middle class when they won't allow repeal of the Bush tax breaks. They do not understand the most basic economic Law of Supply and Demand.
The fact that the Republican idea of scrapping the payroll tax is being touted as a concession made to the Democrats by the Republicans, shows just how hapless and clueless President Obama and his advisers are.