Viewers of the 2012 debates have witnessed an extraordinary turnaround. John Stuart Mill famously spoke of “a party of order and stability, and a party of progress or reform.” Once upon a time, Barack Obama and Joe Biden could claim the mantle of change and progress. But the televised exchanges between Mitt Romney and Obama and Paul Ryan and Biden have revealed that this is no longer the case.
Addressing the audience at an AARP convention today, Paul Ryan declared, "The first step to a stronger Medicare is to repeal Obamacare." He explained to those in attendance how Obamacare would turn "Medicare into a piggy bank," while also putting "15 unelected bureaucrats in charge of Medicare’s future." Ryan added, "The president doesn’t talk much about what Obamacare will really mean for seniors." Why? "People don’t like it."
Mitt Romney has a well-deserved reputation as risk-averse and cautious. His campaign team has made no secret of its strategy to have their man tiptoe to the presidency by focusing almost exclusively on President Obama’s stewardship of the economy. The execution of this strategy depends on Romney doing nothing to “distract” from the economy, meaning that Romney’s innate caution is being reinforced at every turn by those around him.
Mike Bost, a Republican member of the Illinois general assembly from Murphysboro, unleashed an explosive tirade on the Democratic-led legislative body for repeatedly bringing pension reform bills to a vote before giving lawmakers a chance to read them.
Fyodor Dostoevsky once purportedly wrote that the degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons. As many in the mainstream media have reminded us since his April 21 death at age 80, Charles W. Colson first did so in 1973, as President Nixon’s “hatchet man” sent to prison for seven months after his role in exposing Daniel Ellsberg. His subsequent contributions to improving the lives of prisoners—and to setting in motion entirely new prison paradigms—will endure for decades to come.
Robert Samuelson has a strong column today on how one of the biggest obstacles to Social Security reform might be psychological. Though FDR's original vision for the program was a "contributory pension plan" and most Americans are still under the the impression that this is what it is, the reality is that it's structured much more like a welfare program:
Governor Bobby Jindal brings hope and change to the education system in Louisiana. The AP reports:
"The Louisiana House has given final passage to Gov. Bobby Jindal's proposal to make it tougher for teachers to reach the job protection known as tenure and to do away with the statewide pay scale for teachers.
While the spending side of the House Republican budget plan is getting most of the media attention, the revenue portion of the plan deserves just as much attention for what it achieves—the resumption of a healthy debate over just what tax reform should entail.