I have been told that the first person in a negotiation that mentions a number will lose. Something similar is at work with the US federal budget. When they controlled Congress, Democrats never even proposed a budget for this fiscal year (which began last October, months before they lost control of the House). Obama's budget is simply a bad joke, a non-effort, that simply extrapolates current trends without any real change or exercise of control.
Its amazing to me that all the news reports today are about the "risk" Republicans are taking by actually proposing a plan into this vacuum. It is amazing to me that actually trying to exercise adult supervision when everyone else is voting "present" could be "political suicide," but I have to accept that the political experts know their stuff.
This situation is in fact exactly what Democrats have been hoping for -- they have purposefully hoped to avoid suggesting any solutions in order to force the Republicans to be the first and only ones to the table with suggestions. Democrats have zero desire to actually close the multi-trillion dollar deficit; rather, they see it as a huge opportunity that traps Republicans into trying to actually, you know, solve the problem. These proposed solutions can then be demagogued against to electoral victory. Or so goes the theory.
So, I want to thank the Republicans for actually producing a budget plan that actually attempts to bring some fiscal sense to the government. I would have like to see other changes (less defense spending, elimination of Dept. of Education in favor of block grants, zeroing out of all farm and ethanol subsidies, etc) and Ryan's numbers seem screwy, but let us be happy there is at least one adult in Washington.