Jonah Goldberg

You can hardly say the same thing about the president's plan, or the congressional Democrats' plan (since they don't have one), or, most importantly, the status quo -- because under them, our metaphorical plane will crash into a mountainside of insurmountable debt. That's why Ryan's plan is not an attempt to destroy the social safety net, it's an attempt to mend it.

(Oh, and since only Republican talking points are subject to strict scrutiny from the "objective" press, let me quickly rebut Nancy Pelosi & Co.'s nonsense about "big oil." Oil companies get the same business tax breaks as every other company. These are mostly what Democrats mean when they talk about giveaways to big oil. The Ryan plan would rightly eliminate many such breaks, while lowering the corporate tax rate to a level competitive with other industrialized nations. The only "road to riches" for the oil companies in the Ryan plan is its call to allow more oil drilling on America soil, which, yes, would generate profits for oil companies -- and tax revenues for the government and jobs for Americans and lower gas prices, too. The villains.)

But, but, but, sputter Ryan's detractors, we can't rewrite the social contract between the government and our seniors. Again, we're not talking about that. We're talking about revising the arrangement between the government and people who will be seniors more than a decade from now.

Regardless, let's talk about this solemn promise in a bit more detail. Democrats sound a bit like the passenger on the failing plane who complains, "You can't end this flight as we know it! The airline promised we could get to Cincinnati!"

I'll give you a hint what's wrong with this. The correct response to such complaints isn't, "Oh, they promised? Well, let me tell the captain to stick to his original flight plan. I'm sure he'll be delighted to violate the laws of physics in order to honor that promise."


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the forthcoming book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
 
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