A Definition of Policy Entrepreneurship? by Political Observer

Here is a more reality based description of Mr. Ross Douthat's notion of 'policy entrepreneurship', of some weeks ago in his NYT column, and it's relevance to Paul Ryan as Republican Budget Guru:
"Mr Ryan is often called author of the Republican budget. Actually, he is author of the Republican budget resolution. The definition matters. First, budget resolutions aren’t legislation. They set broad spending and revenue totals to which the appropriations and oversight committees are supposed to conform. Since resolutions by their nature skimp on detail, Mr Ryan could set out sweeping changes to taxes and spending without the scut work of having to explain where they come from. Apart from his Medicare voucher programme, Mr Ryan’s resolutions contain little practical information that can actually be turned into law. His tax reform plan can be reduced to a tweet: "reduce 6 marginal rates to 10% and 25%, close loopholes. Total revenue = 18-19% of GDP."
Second, budget resolutions are nowadays largely irrelevant. A budget resolution takes effect when the Senate and House pass the same version. They haven’t done so in years. Mr Ryan blames that on the failure of Senate Democrats to cooperate, an argument that is only partially right. I  addressed it here. Suffice to say, budget legislation these days does not come from budget resolutions but from omnibus appropriations bills, continuing resolutions, and cliff hanger deals such as that hammered out between the administration during last summer’s debt ceiling impasse. The budget committee chairmen have been bystanders."
Although G.I.'s blog at the Economist is full of the markers of mainstream journalism, political cliches and platitudes, it still manages to be very informative and enlightening.
Political Observer

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer.
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