An unsigned National Review brief focuses on the response to U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan‘s budget plan:
The fights over the continuing resolutions to fund the government through the end of September were just skirmishes. Ryan’s budget begins a battle that will continue through the 2012 elections. The lines of attack on the Ryan plan are as predictable as they are spurious. We will hear ad nauseam that Republicans are savaging the poor and the middle class for the fun of it — as though the spiraling interest rates, currency crash, and slower growth that are the real alternative would advance the interests of the bulk of the population. We will be told simultaneously that the Medicare proposal is heartless and that Republicans will never follow up on it. The pro-growth tax reforms contemplated in the bill will come in for attack for favoring the rich.
Demagoguery isn’t the only obstacle. Americans do not know much about the federal budget, overestimating how much of it goes to foreign aid and how easily waste and fraud can be rooted out from it. The fiscal crisis Ryan means to preempt is not, for most people, a palpable reality.
If the political risks are big, though, so are the potential rewards for the country. … [O]n the whole, the Ryan plan puts the Republican party on record for a government that is more modest in its goals, more able to match means to ends, and more respectful of the initiative of the citizens it serves.