Check out this blog in The Economist on Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio's policy agenda. You know this is a smart magazine when it spells programs programmes. The magazine fails to acknowledge, however, that Rubio has said the government should consider raising the retirement age for Social Security benefits.
It's true that advancing policy proposals is more courageous than running on facile outrage: having an agenda courts the risk that people will take your agenda apart. Nonetheless, I don't find it convincing to praise Mr Rubio simply for having put forward an agenda. The problem remains that Mr Rubio suffers from a fundamental malady that afflicts the entire tea-party movement. Tea-partiers who believe that the federal government must dramatically cut its budget deficit remain resolutely unwilling to draw the inevitable conclusion: either taxes must go dramatically up, or major, popular federal programmes (defence, Social Security, Medicare) must be dramatically cut. One thing we should have learned from the 2000 elections, and the budgetary debacles that have followed, is that an unwillingness to make the numbers in your proposals add up is a character flaw of the first order.
Read the whole thing here.