And yes, the plan itself doesn't go far enough (e.g., no Medicare for all). But credit must be given where credit is due. At least he has finally done something politically smart. At least he has finally edged toward "I welcome their hatred," called the Ryan plan out for what it is:
"This vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America. Ronald Reagan's own budget director said, there's nothing 'serious' or 'courageous' about this plan. There's nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. And I don't think there's anything courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don't have any clout on Capitol Hill. That's not a vision of the America I know."And at least he has committed himself not only to the veto, but to a different kind of discourse:
"To meet our fiscal challenge, we will need to make reforms. We will all need to make sacrifices. But we do not have to sacrifice the America we believe in. And as long as I'm President, we won't."Seems to me Barack Obama has just won the 2012 election. And if we're really lucky, if he can grok the import of what he himself just said, maybe this is even a step toward redeeming his presidency.
"... let me be absolutely clear: I will preserve these health care programs as a promise we make to each other in this society. I will not allow Medicare to become a voucher program that leaves seniors at the mercy of the insurance industry, with a shrinking benefit to pay for rising costs. I will not tell families with children who have disabilities that they have to fend for themselves. We will reform these programs, but we will not abandon the fundamental commitment this country has kept for generations."
"... we cannot afford $1 trillion worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire in our society. We can't afford it. And I refuse to renew them again."