ABC’s Jake Tapper and other reporters remind us of this video of Democrat Erskine Bowles:
Certainly, liberals don’t like the way Rep. Paul Ryan aims to cut debt. They like to say debt reduction “can’t” be done without tax hikes, but of course that means they don’t want to do it without tax hikes. (The House budget passed in two successive years would have cut the debt, according to the Congressional Budget Office.) Ryan and other conservatives, including Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) on the supercommittee, of course accepted the notion that increased revenue through tax reform would be fine, but liberals insist on “sticking it to the rich,” so this isn’t good enough for them.
I understand the liberals’ frustration. Ryan, one day, is a fraud who doesn’t cut the budget, they say. The next, he’s a radical who eviscerates the safety net. In fact, he is an irritating reminder that the Democrats want to grow government and keep raising taxes to pay for it. His mere presence lays that unpleasant political reality on the table.
But those who aren’t in campaign mode have long understood that Ryan, unlike President Obama, actually wants to reduce the debt and has worked hard to bring it about. Think of it this way: Would Bowles be more likely to serve in a Romney-Ryan administration or an Obama administration? It’s not even close.
For people who take fiscal discipline seriously there is only one ticket in this election that is remotely interested in doing something about our massive debt. If you are a voter concerned about that issue, would you choose the ticket that has never shown any serious concern and is unwilling to challenge its party on the biggest drivers of the debt (entitlements), or the ticket with a history of deal-making that has the smarts and the will to wrestle the debt, even if it’s not all that popular to cut government? We get a chance to vote for the demagogues or the demagogued this election. It will be interesting to find out if Americans really do want courageous leadership or not.