My Informal Logic teacher from college (who I owe a great debt of gratitude for making me the brain I am today) once said that it's a fallacy to argue that your plans shouldn't be attacked if the attacker can't come up with a better plan; as a bad plan is bad, even if the alternative is worse. And that was one area of disagreement I had with him, as I've always found that, no matter how flawed a plan is, if the alternative is worse, then the flawed plan obviously isn't so flawed. After all, it's easy to criticize a bad solution to a tough problem if you don't have to bother solving it yourself.
And that's one big reason Republicans find it so easy to attack Democrats: They don't have to offer a plan of their own. They just bash the Democrat's plan while pointing to a mythical plan that is supposedly located in the room behind them; if only Obama would agree to do it, sight unseen. And I'm confident that they truly believe they've got some great answer to all our problems, but won't actually bother mentioning what it is because it's not relevant to their attacks on Obama's solutions. But of course, the reality is that it's easy for them to criticize Obama's plan, as long as they don't need to talk about the alternative.
Well...it seems many Congressional Republicans are getting high on their own supply, as one of them actually got around to proposing an alternative budget to Obama's, and what do you know, it's a giant pinata, just begging to be busted open for Democrats to grab the goodies. Because yeah, sure, Obama's budget is flawed. It's not what we want. It's far from ideal and it's easy to attack. But once Republicans explain to us what the alternative is, Obama's budget looks golden by comparison.
And geez, I'm not sure Republicans could have made a worse budget. I mean, privatizing Social Security while replacing Medicare with vouchers? Holy turdball, why not include a 500% tax on apple pies and really piss people off. Even their patron saint Reagan knew better than to screw with these programs, and he ran on a platform of destroying them. And privatization was one of the big things that derailed Bush and essentially made their party headless.
Then, to add insult to injury, he's apparently ending corporate taxation and shifting the burden to the People. Yeah, that'll win a lot of votes come November. Oh, and does it need to be mentioned that only large corporations pay the corporate tax, so all the small businesses that do more to add jobs won't get any benefit from this? Perhaps some day someone will explain to them that the Capital Gains tax cuts only help people who sell their assets; and doesn't give any direct benefit to those who buy stocks or investment property. And once again, we're assured that there are tons of wealthy people just sitting on tons of money they'd like to invest, if only they got to keep a bit more of their earnings.
And yeah, this budget couldn't have been a bigger gift to Democrats unless it included a ban on puppies and kittens. Not only does it give them a strong club to beat Republicans with, but it makes Obama's budget look better in comparison. And fortunately, attacking Republicans for trying to destroy Social Security and Medicare is a time-worn tradition with them; made even better now that Republicans have ranted about how awesome Medicare is. I can only hope that Ryan keeps his budget out there as long as possible, so each Dem gets a turn taking a whack at it.
So thank you, Congressman Ryan, for explaining to the American people how, despite the flaws inherent in Obama's budget, it's the best option we've got. Now we just have to help him get that message out.