Digby turned me on to this interesting chat in the NY Times Opinionator between David Brooks and Gail Collins. Brooks was snowed in and suddenly found himself enthralled with Paul Ryan's insane budget proposal:
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.
It's honest in the sense that Ryan wants to basically destroy Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and he isn't afraid to say it. Republicans didn't get his back either because they know seniors do not like these entitlments f*&ked with.
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.
Oh, and by the way, it turns out that Ryan's budget wouldn't eliminate the deficit after all.