Did Debbie Wasserman Schultz mean to say what she said in this interview?
But as I’ve written repeatedly, the BCA is not a budget. The spending caps it instituted apply only to discretionary spending — but mandatory spending constitutes about 60 percent of all federal spending. Mandatory programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security drive our deficits and debt. Without the imposition of budget discipline, these programs grow on autopilot.
By never submitting a budget, enacting a few discretionary spending caps as a part of the Budget Control Act and punting to the Super Committee that also punted on entitlement reform, Democrats have managed to avoid any difficult discussion of how to ensure the solvency of our entitlement programs. With no plan of their own on the table, they’re free to shoot down anything Republicans propose.
And, of course, that’s exactly what they’ve done: They’ve shot down the Ryan plan again and again and again. DWS tried to stick to her talking points in this interview with Greta, but Greta didn’t let up. Eventually, DWS says lamely that she’s sure the Senate will take up a budget. (Incidentally, the Senate really might, but it won’t be because that’s what Reid wants or because Democrats have decided to actually forward a plan.) Her statement suggests that she knows what Harry Reid pretends not to know: The BCA is not a budget and, until Democrats put forward their own “blueprint for the structure of the nation’s fiscal house,” the reconciliation process can’t even begin let alone conclude.
At this point, Democrats have absolutely nothing to fear from the Ryan plan. It’s nowhere near becoming law. Their constant demagoguery of it is purely political. If they cared to produce an alternative and sell the American people on that, they could — and, given that they control the Senate and the White House, they’d have a better chance of actually passing their vision than Ryan and the Republicans have of passing theirs at this point.
All the angry rhetoric is designed to distract from the truth that Democrats’ plan amounts to this: Leave entitlements alone and allow them to implode at the appointed dates.