The Corner

‘After the Binge’

Here’s my column today on the looming budget fight. A couple of things I couldn’t get into: People may not realize, but it’s going to be impossible to get down to ’08 domestic discretionary levels this year with the Fiscal ’11 budget. A lot of money has already been spent from a roughly $500 billion kitty, so getting $100 billion out of what’s remaining isn’t particularly plausible. The rubber will hit the road with the Fiscal ’12 budget. Going forward, I think Obama’s strategic play is obvious: Whatever Republicans propose in cuts, he should counter with roughly half as much, and make the difference between the two sound like a matter of enormous principle, a choice between a just and good America and a country of unspeakable cruelty. And he should give himself cover with a smoke-and-mirrors budget that gets close to balance in ten years. Countering the White House is going to take skill, which is why we’re so fortunate Paul Ryan is the Republican on point in this fight.

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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