I want to share a few more points. First, what's most frustrating to me is that in the middle of a big annual budget fight he plops this non-sequitor of a plan about the long-term budget - essentially a tax and entitlement reform plan. People and pundits conflate the two, but they're not the same. This is plain and simple a political move, and people should not be as surprised as they are that someone "serious" like Ryan would be political. My reaction to that: grow up. Of course he's political. Everyone east of 17th St. is extremely political, and a lot of people west of it are too. So that's bothersome. But they made a deal, we got the immediate question over with, my wife can go to work, and that's done. So what to do now? Well, here I actually get more positive about Ryan: he grabbed the third rail of politics and didn't die. We have Bowles-Simpson and now the president is going to offer a plan too, which means we may actually have a real tax and entitlement reform, which we legitimately need. Social Security is less of a concern for me, but Medicare is a real problem. I'm not sure how the Ryan plan stacks up - some smart people are not convinced it is capable of controlling costs. I used to work on the Medicare issues a lot more, and may have to look at that material again before I really weigh in. My biggest fear is that Ryan and his allies are going to insist on a foolish consistency between short and long term policies. Our short term problem is anything but the debt, and in May or June when the debt ceiling debate starts I hope we don't threaten a fragile recovery by conflating the short and the long term again, like Ryan duped the pundits into doing last week.
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