James Pethokoukis writing for Reuters tells us that Fat Man and Little Boy are being deployed to destroy the myth that taxes are the answer:
Meet Paul Ryan and Chris Christie, the GOP’s dynamic and dangerous duo. One is the author of “A Roadmap for America’s Future,” a bold blueprint that shows policymakers how they can shrink entitlement spending while also growing the economy. The other is the Garden State’s chief executive and YouTube sensation who’s implementing his own roadmap in a blue state drowning in red ink. Both are fighting back hard against the idea that government spending can’t be cut and thus taxes must be raised in order restore America’s long-term fiscal solvency.
And although the Wagnerians think they are marching along with History, they somehow seem to have missed a generation of growing American skepticism about the size and scope of government, beginning with the Reagan Revolution in the 1980s. More recently, there’s been widespread revulsion at the Obama spending orgy and his monstrous deficits, evidenced by tea parties and polls today and perhaps by vote totals in November.
And the political personification of this revolt: Ryan and Christie. But for the Wagner cultists, these heretics just don’t compute. How can they be America’s fastest-rising political stars by preaching such a different truth — a message of smaller government fully in line with America’s deep values of self-reliance, private enterprise and entrepreneurism? For the Wagnerians, however, Ryan and Christie are like a nasty computer virus that threatens to overwrite America’s liberal operating system.
But the two rebels are putting the lie to such dogma. They are lighting a different way forward, one to a more fiscally sustainable and prosperous U.S. economic future.
Chris Christie has tried to make some very modest changes to the budget in NJ and has been vilified by the left. Paul Ryan can out wonk even the wonkiest lefties and speak to the common sense that most Americans share. This scares the bejeezus out of the left.
Their message that spending can and should be cut resonates with the people. The left is deathly afraid of the explosion that might be unleashed by Fat Man and Little Boy.
But the left still cannot fathom what is coming. Pethokoukis continues…
Now let’s say all the tax cuts were permanently extended — Orszag’s nightmare scenario. According to Orszag’s old pals at the Congressional Budget Office, federal tax revenue would be 18.6 percent of GDP in 2020, 19.2 percent in 2035, 19.8 percent in 2050 and 22 percent in 2080. In other words, even with all the tax cuts extended, government revenue would still rise well above its historical average of roughly 18 percent since World War Two.
Instead, it’s historically unprecedented government spending that’s behind the projected debt explosion. As the CBO itself puts it:
As a result, revenues would grow only slightly faster than the economy, equaling 22 percent of GDP by 2080. Slowly growing revenues combined with sharply rising expenditures would create an explosive fiscal situation. Under the spending and revenue policies incorporated in this scenario, federal debt would surpass 100 percent of GDP in 2023 and exceed 200 percent of GDP by the late 2030s.
Its the spending stupid.