On the evening of April 18-19, 1775, just hours before the battles of Lexington and Concord, Paul Revere took to his horse and began his Midnight Ride to warn the young American colonists about the movements of the British army.
On the morning of April 5, 2011, Paul Ryan took to his platform as House Budget Chairman to warn the American people about a different kind of danger: the danger of destructive and unsustainable debt.
Two hundred and thirty-six years after Revere announced his warning, one of our greatest threats is also coming from within----but this one has been created by decades of profligate spenders. How utterly embarrassing that those hog-wild spenders are the heirs to heroes like Revere.
Unlike so many of the big spenders and cowards around him, Paul Ryan is an actual heir to Revere. His warning today was as crystal clear as Revere's was that night not so long ago.
Today Ryan unveiled the GOP proposed 2012 budget. (This is not to be confused with the continuing discussions over the 2011 budget, which the Democrats refused to deal with last year and the stalemate over which may partially shut the government on Friday.)
Ryan's budget is a watershed document. It aims to shrink spending by $6.2 TRILLION over the next ten years. It proposes serious tax reform, such as lowering the top individual and corporate rates from 35% to 25% to increase competitiveness and let the American people keep more of what they've worked so hard for (echoes of Revere and the Revolutionaries!). It proposes structural entitlement reform to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security in order to save those programs from complete collapse. And it defunds ObamaCare, the fiscal timebomb that will detonate this country unless it's buried six feet under.
Ryan's 2012 budget is the most serious governing document to emerge from a Congress in ages. It is a conservative blueprint for governance, and it will set the narrative for the national conversation on spending and growth---and the bigger discussion about the proper size and role of government---through the 2012 election cycle. That is, as long as the Republicans stick to it and don't go wobbly.
If we don't take serious steps to cut spending and reform how government works, this country will collapse beneath the weight of its own debt. The welfare state is over, from California to Greece. Now we have to set about making hard decisions about how to avert disaster.
Because just as Paul Revere warned us in time to avert a catastrophe at the hands of the British, Paul Ryan is warning us in time to avert a catastrophe of our own creation.