Top Links: Even conservatives are tiring of the ‘Paul Ryan’s got a new budget’ act

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan  speaks during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 27, 2013
House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan speaks during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 27, 2013
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Top story: Paul Ryan’s latest budget met with a collective “meh” from the right. The problem? Like most movie franchises, conservative audiences are suffering from sequelitis. Here’s a list of who’s unhappy and some of the reasons why.

Problem #1: The pragmatic Right

  • The big takeaway from the Ryan budget is that Paul Ryan took nothing away from the 2012 election. Obamacare is law, and most conservatives today suggest Ryan remember that: “A budget is a governing vision – an opening bid – and therefore it doesn’t necessarily have to reflect political reality. But at some point Ryan is going to have to grapple with the budget challenges assuming Obamacare is not repealed.” (The Washington Examiner)
  • “A question on Ryan budget: What is the practical value of a document that assumes repeal of Obamacare and income tax rates of 10% and 25%?” (Byron York)

Problem #2: The wonky Right:

  • National Review’s Veronique de Rugy headlines the budget this way: “The Ryan Plan: It should have been much stronger.” Among her complaints: “unrealistic projections in revenue”, failure to reform Social Security, and saving defense at the expense of nondefense spending. (The Corner)
  • National Review’s Reihan Salam: “The public has a limited appetite for cuts in the top marginal tax rate. Promising a substantial cut in the top marginal tax rate is not likely to pay significant political dividends.” (The Agenda)
  • Reason’s Peter Suderman draws a line between Ryan’s latest budget and Mitt Romney’s failed campaign, “which defined itself almost entirely in opposition to the president, but never seemed to have an independent agenda of its own.” (Hit & Run)

Problem #3: The New York Times Right

  • Ross Douthat, calling Ryan’s budget “a step backwards,” concludes his review this way: “The biggest message that Ryan 3.0 sends is this: If the aftermath of 2012 produces fresh G.O.P. thinking on domestic policy, don’t expect it to start in the House.” (Ross Douthat)

Problem #4: The Redstate Right

  • “Since Paul Ryan’s budget keeps the Obamacare tax revenue stream, isn’t voting for his budget a violation of the repeal pledge?” (Erick Erickson)
  • “I can respect someone who liked last year’s budget. It definitely is a lot better than the status quo. But this budget is essentially identical, albeit with $3.3 trillion in more tax revenue.” (RedState)

Problem #5: The Rand Paul Right

  • “[Sen. Rand Paul, R-Tennessee,] wants to be the Republican who is shaping the terms of every debate, so that tea-party perspectives or libertarian themes are included. ‘[Ryan’s] coming in the right direction,’ he says. ‘He was at 28 years [to balance the budget] last year, and he’s come to ten. I think by having our plan out there at five, we have a lot of people coming in our direction.’” (National Review)

Problem #6: The think tank Right

  • AEI’s James Pethokoukis makes several good observations — “If the GOP’s Medicare reform plan is such a good idea (and budget deficits are such a problem), it should be implemented before 2024. Ryan knows this, surely” — and asks several good questions — “Why does the budget need to balance in ten years?” (AEIdeas)
  • “The now annual release of House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget proposal has replaced the release of the president’s budget proposal as my least favorite policy event of the year. The president promises big government and Ryan promises smaller big government.” (Cato at Liberty)

Problem #7: The “think tank” Right

The Heritage Foundation hits Ryan’s latest budget on two points:

  • “Not a silver bullet, it is more of a stasis budget, rather than a bolder plan that builds on the reforms of previous years.”
  • “The Ryan budget delivers on its new promise this year—to balance the budget within the decade. Unfortunately, it does use higher taxes to help achieve this.” (The Foundry)

Mind you, none on the Right have experienced a vision on the road to Damascus, and some bend over backward to remind readers they prefer a Ryan budget to an Obama budget. But that’s not the point. It’s not President Obama conservatives have seen today in a new light: It’s Paul Ryan. And that should worry him.

Top Links: Even conservatives are tiring of the 'Paul Ryan’s got a new budget' act