The Morning Joe must-read opinion columns for Tuesday, March 12, 2013
THE GOP PLAN TO BALANCE THE BUDGET BY 2023
REP. PAUL RYAN
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Our opponents will shout austerity, but let’s put this in perspective. On the current path, we’ll spend $46 trillion over the next 10 years. Under our proposal, we’ll spend $41 trillion. On the current path, spending will increase by 5% each year. Under our proposal, it will increase by 3.4%. Because the U.S. economy will grow faster than spending, the budget will balance by 2023, and debt held by the public will drop to just over half the size of the economy. … The president, meanwhile, is standing on the sidelines. He is expected to submit his budget in April-two months past his deadline. We House Republicans have done our part. We’re offering a credible plan for all the country to see. We’re outlining how to solve the greatest problems facing America today. Now we invite the president and Senate Democrats to join in the effort.
CHARM HAS ITS LIMITS
THE WASHINGTON POST
The offensive began last week, when Obama took a dozen Republican senators to the Jefferson Hotel for a meal of blue crab risotto, lobster Thermidor, sea bass and the like. Next, he invited House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan to the White House for some more sea bass, accompanied by vegetable soup. This week, Obama is expected to pay three visits to Capitol Hill – a feat that ordinarily would take him months….
But the meals and the House (and Senate) calls don’t necessarily mean things will change in the capital. Obama may have had a nice lunch with Ryan last week, but on Monday, Carney blasted Ryan’s Medicare proposal anew. “This debate was had over the previous year and a half, and I think the American people were categorically opposed to the approach that says that we should voucherize Medicare,” he said.
THE JEB RIDDLE
Two reminders to those who discount [Jeb] Bush’s strength as a candidate. First, there are no perfect choices; everyone talked about for ’16 has flaws. Second, Bush has enormous appeal to the people who matter most in the nominating contests for the next two-plus years (the so-called “invisible primary” period). Donors, journalists, pundits, policy wonks, elected officials, and Republican elites all really like Bush and see his potential grassroots appeal. Many also believe that Bush is one of the few people in the party (maybe the only one) who could build and pilot a battleship large enough to take on the widely-anticipated nomination of Hillary Clinton. Maybe Bush will run. I still think in the end he is more likely to turn away from the challenge and continue to enjoy private life.
SCRUBBING ELITISM FROM THE GOP BRAND
Democrats’ elitism is naked – it comes in the form of a voracious appetite for more freedom-choking bureaucracy and behavioral mandates from Washington. GOP elitism is more symbolic, and proven by the nomination of sons of senators, governors, presidents and admirals for president. Since Ronald Reagan exited the stage, every GOP nominee but one (Bob Dole) has been the Son of Status. For six of seven elections, our Republican Party has put up somebody who inherited power from his dad. And in the seventh election, an aging American hero, Dole, epitomized the Washington elite by the time he made the ticket in 1996. It’s difficult for voters to see the GOP as the bottom-up, grass-roots, entrepreneurial, bootstraps party when its nominees for president are anything but.
NEW YORK TIMES
Some horrific events over the past few months, including the shooting of a Pakistani schoolgirl and the rape and murder of a young Indian physiotherapy student, should have been an alert for the world to unite in preventing violence against women….Halfway into their two-week annual meeting, delegates to the [U-N] Commission on the Status of Women fear they will not be able to agree on a final communiqué, just like last year. Who is to blame? Delegates and activists are pointing fingers at the Vatican, Iran and Russia for trying to eliminate language in a draft communiqué asserting that the familiar excuses – religion, custom, tradition – cannot be used by governments to duck their obligation to eliminate violence.