On the homepage, my article about the GOP’s effort to get its freshman members up to speed on the federal budget:
Before being elected to office in November, freshman representative Alan Nunnelee (R., Miss.) knew that the ballooning cost of entitlement spending was threatening the financial future of the United States. But only when he arrived in Washington did he begin to understand the full, frightening extent of the situation. “I knew it was a serious problem when I was campaigning,” Nunnelee tells National Review Online, “But not until I saw’s Paul’s graphs did I realize the magnitude.”
The Paul he is referring to is Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), chairman of the House Budget Committee and, as it turns out, dean of budget studies. Since the convening of the 112th Congress, Ryan has teamed up with party leadership to conduct “listening sessions” for new GOP members to give them a rundown on the national debt and other fiscal matters, or, as one aide describes it, “Budget 101” for freshmen. The meetings have become so popular that some members, such as Nunnelee, kept coming back “three or four times.” And while the sessions were initially intended for freshmen, the surge in demand prompted party leaders to open them up to the entire conference.
If you’d like to see Ryan’s graphs for yourself, they’re available here (highly recommended).