Could This Be One Explanation?
Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the boisterous sea of liberty.
The brave and bold persist even against fortune; the timid and cowardly rush to despair though fear alone.
To the timid soul, nothing is possible.
History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.
—Dwight David Eisenhower
The pitcher has to find out if the hitter is timid, and if he is timid, he has to remind the hitter he’s timid.
Fortune favors the bold, but abandons the timid.
—Old Latin Proverb
And so shall Fortune leave a great many elected Republicans behind in it’s dusty wake and, being a an opportunistic Mistress, speed to the dark side where the Leftists, who possess the reckless boldness of the ignorant, dwell.
Earlier this week, I wrote that Paul Ryan’s proposed budget appeared to be a ‘small step’, a baby step, if you will. As we learn more about it’s content, I and many others now see it’s not even that. One of those people is Chris Chocola of the Club For Growth:
First, the budget doesn’t balance within 10 years, or for that matter, even 20 years. Our country is currently enduring unsustainable trillion-dollar deficits. We cannot wait until 2040 — the year the Ryan budget balances (page 84) — in order to arrest our ever-growing national debt.
Second, we are opposed to how the budget dismantles the annual sequestration spending cuts enacted into law by last year’s Budget Control Act (also known as the debt-limit deal). As you may recall, the debt deal established annual discretionary spending caps for the next ten years. But the debt deal also required additional cuts (both discretionary and mandatory) because the supercommittee failed. Therefore, for the upcoming year, the real number that needs to be achieved, beyond the spending cap, is $110 billion in cuts in total spending authority. But Ryan’s budget achieves less than that: $19 billion in discretionary cuts and $53 billion in cuts to mandatory authority, of which only $18 billion would be included in budget reconciliation, a fast-track process requiring committees to actually pass implementing legislation.
House leaders know that they are $39 billion short — and thus, are breaking the terms of the BCA — but they overcompensate for this by promising deeper spending cuts in the out years.
In other words, they are kicking the can down the road . . . again. Congress made a solemn promise last year that they would abide by the spending restraints in the Budget Control Act. But already, House Republican leaders are breaking that promise. This is now more than a fiscal problem. It’s a credibility issue. Like we said in our original press release, “It is hard to have confidence that our long-term fiscal challenges will be met responsibly when the same Congress that passed the Budget Control Act wants to ignore it less than one year later.”
…“We’re not coming before you to say we have a definitive solution,” the treasury secretary told House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan. “What we do know is we don’t like yours.”
Nor do some of Ryan’s fellow conservatives. Texas congressman Louie Gohmert, for whom I have a high regard, was among those representatives who appeared at the Heritage Foundation to express misgivings regarding the Ryan plan’s timidity. They’re not wrong on that: The alleged terrorizer of widows and orphans does not propose to balance the budget of the government of the United States until the year 2040. That would be 27 years after Congressman Ryan’s current term of office expires. Who knows what could throw a wrench in those numbers? Suppose Beijing decides to seize Taiwan. The U.S. is obligated to defend it militarily. But U.S. taxpayers would be funding both sides of the war — the home team, via the Pentagon budget, and the Chinese military, through the interest payments on the debt. (We’ll be bankrolling the entire People’s Liberation Army by some point this decade.) A Beijing–Taipei conflict would be, in budget terms, a U.S. civil war relocated to the Straits of Taiwan. Which is why plans for mid-century are of limited value. When the most notorious extreme callous budget-slasher of the age cannot foresee the government living within its means within the next three decades, you begin to appreciate why foreign observers doubt whether there’ll be a 2040, not for anything recognizable as “the United States.”
Yet it’s widely agreed that Ryan’s plan is about as far as you can push it while retaining minimal political viability. A second-term Obama would roar full throttle to the cliff edge, while a President Romney would be unlikely to do much more than ease off to third gear….
“We are headed for the most predictable economic crisis in history,” says Paul Ryan. And he’s right. But precisely because it’s so predictable the political class has already discounted it. Which is why a plan for pie now and spinach later, maybe even two decades later, is the only real menu on the table. There’s a famous exchange in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. Someone asks Mike Campbell, “How did you go bankrupt?” “Two ways,” he replies. “Gradually, then suddenly.” We’ve been going through the gradual phase so long, we’re kinda used to it. But it’s coming to an end, and what happens next will be the second way: sudden, and very bad.
I’m sorry, but these times call for audacity. And Paul Ryan has proven that he is not a hardy soul. As Mr. Steyn speculates, there is a damn good change The United States will not be around in 2040. It’s time to pick up the can and keep your feet firmly planted in Reality, Mr. Ryan, et. al..
We are quite literally teetering on the edge of a cliff, like a house along the ocean where all of it’s beach front has been eroded by the Storm Of Leftism. One more forceful wave and the whole structure will go tumbling down into the unforgiving sea. When that wave comes, it will be a rogue one, unforeseen, lurking amidst the normal, tranquil waves.
L’audace, l’audace, toujours de l’audace! – rogues! would you live forever?
—Frederick The Great