So Is the Ryan Budget Kaput?

Though Romney’s budget platform bears a family resemblance to the Ryan FY 2013 budget, it seems increasingly clear that it is hard to reconcile the two of them. My working assumption has been that Romney’s priorities supersede the budget, as Ryan has repeatedly said that Romney is at the top of the ticket and so there’s no need to reconcile them: Ryan has changed his mind. I can see why there might be resistance to putting it this way, as Ryan argues that his position in the FY 2013 budget is compatible with the desire to restore the cuts. But while much has been said about the strictures imposed by scoring conventions, Ryan could have identified offsets had he explicitly called for reversing the PPACA Medicare savings — it just would have been very challenging. This is part of why many of us believe that it will be extremely difficult to bring down near-term deficits, even if we do embrace structural entitlement reforms that will yield long-term dividends.   

Reihan Salam — Reihan Salam is executive editor of National Review and a National Review Institute policy fellow.

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