Washington versus Paul Ryan

Thus Peter Orszag, until last week the White House budget director, devoted much of his farewell lecture at the Brookings Institution to Mr. Ryan’s plan “to replace Medicare as we know it.” Having presided over record deficits of $1.4 trillion in 2009—or 9.9% of GDP—and an expected $1.5 trillion in 2010, Mr. Orszag no doubt finds it easier to change the subject than defend his own record and agenda.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee recently attacked “NINE REPUBLICAN SENATE CANDIDATES WHO WANT TO END MEDICARE AS WE KNOW IT.” Most of the “facts” in this missive consist of lukewarm-to-friendly comments these heretics had at one time or another made about Mr. Ryan.

The main liberal policy objection, to the extent a serious one exists, is that the roadmap would “cut working folks loose so they’ve got to fend for themselves,” as President Obama described the supposed Republican economic philosophy at a Chicago fundraiser last week.