A multiple-choice question — and all the answers are political suicide

posted by
March 4, 2016
National Review
by Kevin D Williamson  
Posted in Commentary

"Over the years, many Republican political figures visiting New York have enjoyed National Review's hospitality, which generally consists of bad coffee and good questions. I have put the question more or less identically to many of them: 'Given that almost all of our spending is on popular programs (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, national defense) or effectively non-negotiable spending (interest on the debt), how would you balance the budget? Your choices are: Cut spending on entitlements and/or the military, pass a large tax increase, or accept deficits forever. If your answer consists of the words 'waste, fraud, and abuse' or appeals to the Growth Fairy, we will roll our eyes and make fun of you after you've left, possibly before.' Those meetings are off the record, and Jonah Goldberg is absolutely correct that such conversations serve a critical function. That being said, no confidences will be betrayed by reporting that Republican leaders' answers to this question are, generally speaking, unsatisfactory. I have not had the opportunity to put the question to Trump, though others have, and his answers have been, so far, hogwash." (03/03/16)


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