Neediest and Sickest Would Pay the Price Under GOP Budget Plan

If consensus-building is a hallmark of effective governing, a rule you can probably find in a civics textbook or two, then I suppose it’s an achievement that everyone agrees that unendingfederal deficits will lead us to perdition. But the unresolved question is what to do about it. That question is bound to be hashed out among the contestants for the 2012 presidential sweepstakes, whether they represent the Democratic Party, the Republican Party or the You-Gotta-Be-Kidding-Me Party (chairman of the board: Donald Trump). The two political bookends of the deficit debate were established over the last two weeks, first in a long-term budget road map issued April 5 by Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, and passed by the Republican majority of the House on Friday, and then by President Obama in his budget speech Wednesday. If there was any doubt that the debate over deficits is not about numbers but philosophies of government – it just exploits the vocabulary of fiscal policy – these two events should lay it to rest.

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