Wonderful: Susan Collins opposes Paul Ryan's budget

Via the Hill, the key bit comes at the beginning. I could almost tolerate her willingness to gift-wrap a talking point for Democrats about how allegedly radical Ryan’s plan is if she had an alternative in mind. Instead, after paying lip service to the magnitude of our looming fiscal catastrophe, her big ideas for cutting spending are … eliminating ethanol subsidies and waste at the Pentagon. I’m almost disappointed that she didn’t mention earmarks and foreign aid too; if we’re going to go penny-ante by targeting unpopular expenditures that won’t remotely balance the budget, let’s go all the way.

She doesn’t say which parts of Ryan’s budget she objects to, but needless to say, she’s not in the Rand Paul camp of believing that it doesn’t go far enough. Realistically, either she thinks there should be a tax hike of some kind built-in or she has a problem with his Medicare reform scheme. Given these numbers from the Times, it might be both:

Something to mull while you watch: Why didn’t she just deflect the question? There are plenty of ways to do it. She could have said that she’s reserving judgment on Ryan’s plan until it actually comes to the floor, until the Gang of Six acts, until she hears from her constituents, etc etc etc. There’s a tiny spark of hope in the polls that the public’s willing to consider an ambitious program to reduce the debt. Why reject Ryan before you absolutely have to?