On the day Paul Ryan unveiled his budget, The New Republic's Jonathan Chait wrote a blog post titled "The Achilles Heel Of The Path To Prosperity." He wrote:
The response to Ryan's budget is really simple. He cuts Medicare and other vital programs in order to finance a huge tax cut for people who don't really need it. That's the point Republicans don't want to defend but should be forced to.
Many on the left echoed this attack, including the president himself. Obama said in his Wednesday speech that Republicans "want to give people like me a $200,000 tax cut that’s paid for by asking 33 seniors each to pay $6,000 more in health costs."
But Paul Ryan says that this accusation is plainly untrue and "mathematically impossible" since his Medicare reform doesn't go into effect for 10 years. His budget would keep tax revenues the same and make up for lower tax rates by eliminating loopholes and many deductions in the tax code. It will be up to the Ways and Means committee to hammer out the details, and tax reform along these lines still carries political risk, if not the risk of cutting Medicare in order to pay for tax cuts.
Today, Chait writes in a new post that Ryan "promises to pay for [tax cuts] via closing unspecified deductions."
That's not exactly a formal correction, but it's nice to see Chait acknowledge the truth.
When will Obama?