So what indeed is to be done? Paul Ryan has a prescription that’s a starting point, but even his ideas may not reduce spending fast enough. There is little reason to be optimistic, even with the Tea Party victories. I have just returned from New York and found the situation there similar to California, strongly resistant to change. (A good analysis can be found in the WSJ’s interview with Richard Ravitch — “Gotham’s Savior, Beaten By Albany.”) It’s tempting for some on the right to dismiss this as just New York and California, but these are our two most populous states and comprise a huge percentage of the U.S. economy. Things will not be easily improved without them. In fact, they probably can’t be improved without them. And Illinois too seems out of control.
And we have Barack Obama to lead us. Wow. The Republican leadership had better be strong. Their recent “compromise,” as Charles Krauthammer has shown us, was not inspiring. Color me nervous.