David Brooks in The New York Times on a dynamic America The most important issue to a moderate voter will be national decline, Brooks writes, and the greatest threat to a better America is "spending money on the wrong things." The U.S. used to spend money on the future, on programs like NASA or infrastructure, and today the U.S. spends most of its money on the present, like on tax loopholes and health care for the elderly. Entitlement spending needs to slow down for more money to spend on the future. "If you believe entitlement reform is essential for national solvency, then Romney-Ryan is the only train leaving the station."
Peter Orszag in Bloomberg View on private market healthcare People who think privatizing Medicare will bring down costs seem to "believe in a health-care competition tooth fairy," Orszag says. It won't, because most of the costs come from a very small portion of patients. Ryan's new part-private, part-public plan is "an odd argument," because we already have a similar system, where almost 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are covered by private insurers. And it is actually costs more. "The bottom line is that, if anything, Medicare Advantage bids are above, not below, traditional Medicare."
Noreen Malone in The New Republic on Paul Ryan as the politician Gen-X deserves Brown-nosing Paul Ryan is the first member of Generation X to get on a major party ticket, which is exactly what the indifferent Gen-Xers of post-war prosperity deserve. All the fuss over anti-globalization and take back the night didn't get us that far. Instead, "the biggest ideological success of the ‘90s has turned out to be the Randian conservatism that Ryan et al marinated in during the Reagan and Clinton years," Malone writes. "He might not be the politician they want to represent them, but he just might be the politician they deserve."
Michael Moore and Oliver Stone in The New York Times in defense of WikiLeaks The two filmmakers defend WikiLeaks and decry the bureaucratic circus around founder Julian Assange as an offense to free speech. The people who want Assange have reason to dislike the way WikiLeaks reveals government misbehavior, they write. If Assange ends up in the U.S., "the consequences will reverberate for years around the world," they say, because if the U.S. can do this to Assange, China or Russia could do the same thing to foreign journalists. "The setting of such a precedent should deeply concern everyone, admirers of WikiLeaks or not."
Chad Griffin in The Washington Post on calling out hatred The president of the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT organization, writes about the unnecessary politicization of the Family Research Council shooter. Pro-marriage groups demonized the LGBT community. Griffin protested that violence is never the answer, and calling FRC a hate group had nothing to do with disagreements over policy. FRC used hateful language, like when it links gay people to pedophiles or when it called for the expulsion of gays. "We welcome the calls for reasoned discourse about LGBT equality," Griffin says. "But that discussion must be predicated on truth, not demonization."