Joseph Rago has a particularly strong entry in the eternally ridiculous “Paul Ryan, international man of substance” genre. Much of it is just the typical praise heaped on his awful, half-assed policy proposals:
“A Better Way” even includes a smart and cohesive health-care component to promote choice and competition. After promising for six years to repeal and replace ObamaCare, and then agreeing about absolutely nothing, Republicans for the first time can plausibly say they have a real alternative as a party.
In fact, Ryan’s most recent health care proposal isn’t any kind of real plan but a sketch of talking points, and to what extent it has content implementing it would be utterly disastrous. But it is true that the Republican Party has a cohesive offer as a party to those that were uninsured before the enactment of the ACA and those who would be uninsured had it not been enacted. That offer is “nothing.”
But this is just standard-issue Ryan fluffing. It takes a special kind of hack to do this:
As Mr. Ryan and “A Better Way” recognize, the truth is that the people who pay the highest marginal tax rates aren’t the Donald Trumps of the world. Workers of modest wages who climb the income ladder often lose 80 or 90 cents on every additional dollar they earn as cash and other in-kind benefits phase out.
Mr. Ryan & Co. are applying their principles to solve such modern problems, not to relive the 1980s or appease “the donor class.” Notably, “A Better Way” was first rolled out at a drug rehab center in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C., not a country club.
“A Better Way” is a proposal to massively redistribute wealth upward, financing massive upper-class tax cuts in part by slashing federal aid to the poor. Paul Ryan, policy wonk, attempts to hide these effects through his typical expedient of not providing the relevant numbers in sufficient detail. But because he didn’t introduce it at a country club, his plan to cut spending and pass huge upper-class tax cuts is really an anti-poverty program! Why can’t the Wall Street Journal respect the death of parody?