He starts one a premise that, now that Paul Ryan released a budget, the Democrats need to get serious about entitlement reform. Here's a gem of a paragraph:
The Democrats are on defense because they are unwilling to ask voters to confront the implications of their choices. Democrats seem to believe that most Americans want to preserve the 20th-century welfare state programs. But they are unwilling to ask voters to pay for them, and they are unwilling to describe the tax increases that would be required to cover their exploding future costs.
Has Mr. Brooks been asleep for the past two years? Does he forget the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? Readers might recall the law. It was the one with taxes on high-cost insurance policies and major cuts to programs like Medicare Advantage to help pay for the bill. President Obama and Congressional Democrats got hammered over these cuts and taxes, specifically from the Republican legislators and candidates.
Shorter Brooks: President Obama and Congressional Democrats write, lobby and pass a healthcare reform bill that according to the CBO, will place our projected revenue to follow the pace of healthcare costs, and they are "unwilling to describe the tax increases that would be required to cover their exploding future costs."
Whereas Paul Ryan "has moved us off Unreality Island," with a plan that caps Medicare and Medicaid spending at inflation rate +1% and gets gets roughly two-thirds of it's cuts from programs for lower-income Americans.
If David Brooks bothered to care about how policy works and the reality of our problems, he could right very interesting and illuminating columns. But pieces like this are just partisan tropes that do nothing but add heat and no light to our policy dilemmas. It's a shame he abuses his platform to push this kind of junk analysis.