The 2012 presidential and congressional elections are shaping up to be a referendum on whether the American people have the wisdom, the discipline and the will to save this nation.
The nation is on an unsustainable path to fiscal bankruptcy, whose leading long-term drivers are Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Yet at every turn, Democrats have obstructed reform with vicious, demagogic attacks on those genuinely trying to reform them.
George W. Bush deserves some credit for trying to propose reforms, but he was immediately savaged by scaremongers who claimed he was going after seniors and proposing a risky solution, mainly because his plan included a small privatization component.
But times have changed. We are at the proverbial crossroads. After two years of President Obama's reckless stewardship, this nation is in dire straits, and people are more informed and more alarmed. Also, new stars, such as Rep. Paul Ryan, have arisen to confront these challenges with the powerful arsenal of real facts and figures and the demeanor to command bipartisan credibility -- for now.
I say "for now" because it is a virtual certainty that Ryan won't enjoy any semblance of respect from Democrats once he formally unveils his plan to move the budget back toward sanity.
This is despite the fact, nay, related to the fact that Obama's approach to the fiscal nightmare has been cynical, tragic farce. His self-description as being fiscally responsible is as insulting as his actual policies are horrifying.
Sen. Jeff Sessions illustrated the wide gulf between Obama's claims and the reality when grilling Heather Higginbottom, Obama's nominee for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, during a Senate Budget Committee hearing. Sessions forced her into admitting that Obama's budget definitely would, contrary to his claims, add to the national debt. Of course, a mere cursory review of Obama's numbers also makes that clear, whether or not Obama's lackeys own up to the distortions.
But can you imagine how much worse it would be if Obama were to end up getting his way on cap and trade, further "stimulus" proposals and Obamacare? The Congressional Budget Office has already exposed how misleading the Obamacare projections were, and the administration's obscene thousand-plus waivers from its onerous provisions further reveal the unfeasibility of the plan.
In unveiling his 10-year budget proposal, Obama looked the American people in the face and told us he was bringing the budget under control, even as the hard figures he was presenting promised monstrous deficits that would only slightly decline in the middle years and explode again toward the end.