A whole lot of crazy

A WHOLE LOT OF CRAZY…. This chart was put together by the Republican staff of the House Budget Committee, to help promote Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) piece on the GOP’s alternative budget. You’ll notice, of course, that it shows those wacky Democrats with spending projections that fly right off the map several decades from now — before some of the lawmakers of 2050 are even born — while those nice, responsible Republicans take a more modest approach.

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Conor Clarke calls this “crazy,” and “pretty stupid,” before explaining, “As near as I can tell, Paul Ryan and his staff just took the CBO projections that ended in 2019 and drew a random line, extending upward at about a 45 degree angle, until 2080. There’s no real attempt to make it look scientific.”

And if it were just one silly chart, it would be easier to ignore. But the problem with today’s budget blueprint from the House Republican caucus is that it takes a similarly ridiculous approach to just about everything. It’s one thing to offer bad ideas. It’s another to offer bad ideas without doing your homework. But House GOP lawmakers are offering proposals that are just insane. Reading through the party’s new report, one notices that we’d get just as serious a proposal from a group of children with crayons.

On taxes, spending, Social Security, Medicare, energy policy, the Republicans’ budget isn’t just wrong, it’s ridiculous. The party failed miserably at governing, and yet, it apparently hasn’t quite hit rock bottom when it comes to credibility and seriousness.

Josh Marshall noted that he’s “comforted by the fact that the Republicans running things in the House GOP caucus are still as clinically insane as in years past.” I suppose there’s something to be said for consistency, but just once I’d like to see a real policy debate between sane partisans in positions of power.

I occasionally think about a point John Cole raised in February: “I really don’t understand how bipartisanship is ever going to work when one of the parties is insane. Imagine trying to negotiate an agreement on dinner plans with your date, and you suggest Italian and she states her preference would be a meal of tire rims and anthrax.” Take a wild guess which part of this comparison describes the new GOP budget plan.

I’m not sure what’s more frightening — the painful inanity that passes for a Republican budget proposal or the fact that GOP leaders seem to have no idea just how painfully inane their proposal is.

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