I am pleased to see that the government has not shut down. But let there be no mistake; the spending cuts achieved in this deal are but the merest down payment in the effort to bring down the federal deficit. Still to be dealt with is the entitlement structure, which needs serious and fundamental reform–reform that will be harder to achieve if people like Paul Ryan get pilloried and demonized after trying to start a debate regarding the future of entitlements in America with the introduction of his budget plan.
Not that this comes as a surprise to anyone who knows him, and knows of the kind of hyperbole he is capable of, but Harry Reid’s comment that Republicans were obstreperous during the debate over the budget deal because they wanted to make it harder for women to get cancer screenings is some of the most odious political rhetoric I have ever come across in my life. And this, of course, from a leader of a party that had until recently been declaring that we need a “new tone” to bring about civility in American political discourse.