It's going to be damn near impossible to get to Paul Broun's right in the 2014 Republican Senate primary.
Athens' congressman penned an op-ed for The New York Times today in which he attacks former vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan's austere budget proposal. A taste:
Spending would grow by an average of 3.4 percent annually, only slightly less than the rate under President Obama’s plan, which is 5 percent a year. After 10 years — Mr. Ryan’s target for eliminating the deficit — the “Path to Prosperity” will have spent $41 trillion, when the president’s plan would allow spending of $46 trillion. My party’s de facto position has become “we’re increasing spending, but not as much as the other guy.” That’s not good enough.
Just reducing growth in spending does almost nothing. We have to dig deeper and make profound cuts now. We cannot continue to assume that future Congresses will do our dirty work for us.
We ought to get rid of certain federal departments and agencies, stopping only to shift the role of governing back to the states, where it belongs. The Departments of Education and Energy, for example, are two bloated bureaucracies that we don’t need; their core functions would be absorbed by the states through block grants, saving taxpayers at least $500 billion over the next decade.
This is nothing new—Broun's been saying this stuff for years. But now, having graduated from fringe websites and Fox News to the Gray Lady, he has national legitimacy.
Never mind that the ideas Broun espouses in his column would hit children the hardest and save a mere $250 billion a year (a quarter of the annual deficit). He wants a balanced budget. OK, great. Where would the rest of the money come from?