The FT reports:
Paul Ryan, the Republican’s fiscal front man who created a political storm with a budget proposal to upended popular government programmes, has promised a repeat performance in the 2012 election year.
Mr Ryan said he was undeterred by attacks from the White House and Democrats, and even some Republicans, on his plan to cut taxes and dramatically change Medicare, a sacred cow of US politics that provides healthcare for the elderly.
“We lead with our chin on the issue,” said Mr Ryan, a 41-year-old Wisconsin congressman who chairs the budget committee in the House of Representatives. “I am looking forward to doing it next year, actually. In a weird way I really am,” he said in an interview with the Financial Times.
Mr Ryan’s determination to press ahead with another aggressive budget could fuel Republican concerns that the proposal will become a lightning rod in next year’s election and damage their chances to win back the White House and take full control of Congress.
But Mr Ryan said it was worth the risk. “I just want to know. To the country: do you want to fix it or not?” he said. “If we win, we’re going to fix this thing.
Paul Ryan should be applauded, even by those on the Left, for his willingness to touch the third rail. Others talk serious while on Sunday talk shows without ever putting forward serious proposals. Ryan has shown courage in this regard. You may dislike his plan – some on the Right do as well – but he should receive appropriate recognition as being one of the very few adults on Capitol Hill. Many Republicans will surely be unhappy with him for pushing his budget again, but they will not do so out of principle. Rather, they will do so out of their own desires to be re-elected. No one will write a profile of their courage.
If the Tea Party wants another litmus test: Do you support Paul Ryan? If not, do you have a serious plan, or just words