The Paul Ryan plan to end Medicare and preserve tax cuts for the rich remains broadly unpopular, except perhaps among those who don't expect to need Medicare and would qualify for the Bush breaks. Those lucky people are now trying to sell the rest of us on Vouchercare.
FreedomWorks, a Koch brothers joint, held a boot camp for the Tea Party this weekend in Washington, D.C. The New York Times reports that FreedomWorks wants Tea Partiers to take another at Congressman Ryan's proposals, in its own version of a debt commission. The idea seems to be that if they can convince a few Tea Partiers on it, then the Tea Partiers can do the rest.
The activists, along with FreedomWorks staff, came up with parameters for their budget proposals, declaring that they would have to balance the federal budget within 10 years, reduce federal spending to 18 percent of the gross domestic product, reduce the national debt to no more than 66 percent of the G.D.P., assume that revenue accounts for no more than 19 percent of the G.D.P., reduce federal spending by at least $300 billion in the first year and reduce federal spending by at least $9 trillion over 10 years.All this is a tall order; for example, the debt now equals nearly 100 percent of the gross domestic product. And with its limits on revenue — and the politics behind those limits — it is unlikely that the Tea Party commission will allow anything that looks like a tax increase.
The Bush tax cuts are largely responsible for the national debt, so they'll have fun trying to repair things without fixing what actually went wrong. For that, the Tea Party debt commission has the Internet -- in a replay of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's YouCut, you'll be able to to vote on ideas at teapartydebtcommission.com.