Wow! On Morning Joe today it couldn't be clearer who is winning the debt ceiling debate -- Paul Ryan and the New Republicans are winning. Before Ryan came on, Morning Joe presented Richard Hass, John Heilemann, Eugent Washington, Al Sharpton, and, of course, Joe and Mika, all of them giving their best analysis of why Republicans should compromise with Obama, accept "closing loopholes" and get what they can from Obama's promises to deal with entitlements. All the pundits sounded authoritative, and compromise was the central good, although none of them showed how compromising would actually be good politically or policy-wise. But they were loaded for Ryan.
When Ryan came on, he was asked why the Republicans would not compromise with Obama and get what they can get -- why not be politically realistic? Ryan proceeded to tear their premises apart, then reconstruct the issue with the New Republican position and an analysis of what is actually good and bad. To summarize, if we allow Obama to have his way, we are headed for a debt crisis similar to Europe -- that's a point Paul Ryan stressed to the Morning Joe crew at least three times. The reason is that Obama's idea of dealing with entitlements is a few tweaks that have a short-term effect but don't address the ponzi scheme structure -- the ponzi scheme has come to an end. The other problem with accepting Obama's original Grand Bargain is that it ends the Bush tax cuts in a couple of years, and if you add this tax increase to Obamacare tax increases and most state taxes, many small business owners would be paying 50% in taxes -- this will continue to kill jobs. The Republicans are okay with ending tax deductions built into the tax code, if tax rates are lowered, and if there are serious cuts in government spending, and there are structural changes to entitlements to prevent the coming debt crisis. The reason the New Republicans want to lower the tax rates is to spur economic growth, create jobs, and raise revenues through this economic growth.
Paul Ryan is one of the reasonable politicians among a bunch of power-mongers who myopically scheme to get re-elected while ignoring the condition of the economy. When Ryan was finished, the Morning Joe crew was speechless -- there was nothing they could say. When John Heilemann asked Ryan a question about compromising for political purposes, Ryan said he didn't care about politics but about good policy -- the camera caught Heilemann's face which showed true shock -- Ryan doesn't care about politics? My God!
This is the problem in Washington, and it relates to my previous post linking to an article by Frank Chodorov about the unusual political mind suffering from a power complex. The political class values compromise over what's best for the country, and to make it worse, they make decisions sometimes that actually hurt them in the long run. A politician making a political calculation right now to get reelected in 2012 might get reelected in 2012, but if the debt crisis hits, the politician could be thrown out in the next election, whereas if the politician has ambitions of making a career out of politics and makes the tough choices now and articulates the reasons like Ryan, they could have a long and successful career in public service and actually do something good for the country. We need more Ryans, and fewer compromise-freaks. The political means have failed -- let's try the economic means with a little wisdon rather than the political cleverness masquerading as wisdom.