Jillian Bandes
Rep. Paul Ryan has been criticized for pushing forward an entitlement reform package that is politically unfeasible. But just because it's politically unfeasible now doesn't mean it won't ever be politically feasible, or that it doesn't actually work. To the contrary -- Ryan has put forth something that has more commonsense than anything else proposed so far, making it one of the few breaths of fresh air in a debate that has long since gone stale. If Ryan continues to gain popularity -- as he has been since the plan was proposed in January -- there is a real chance that at least some of his suggestions could see some action.

Today, Ryan makes another stand for his groundbreaking legislation in a wonky WaPo editorial:
If we act now, we can avoid disruptions for current seniors while advancing patient-centered reforms so Medicare will be strengthened for future beneficiaries. The alternative is the European-style death spiral of the welfare state: kick the can down the road as our debt explodes. Under an ever-expansive, all-consuming central government, costs will be contained with Washington's heavy hand imposing price controls, slashing benefits and arbitrarily rationing seniors' care.

The Democratic leadership will seek to brand every Republican running for office with my road map. Ironically, if Democrats succeed in demagoguing to death efforts to save Medicare, that political victory will hasten the program's end. While I am proud to have 13 House Republicans co-sponsor the legislation, and have been overwhelmed by the support outside the Beltway, my plan is not the Republican Party's platform and was never intended to be. This proposal is my sincere attempt to break the political paralysis on entitlement reform, to show that this challenge can be met -- mathematically and politically -- and to challenge those who disagree with my proposal to offer their own.
Worth a read in full.

Jillian Bandes

Jillian Bandes is the National Political Reporter for Townhall.com