That’s the phrase that jumped out at me from Paul Ryan’s op-ed in The Wall Street Journal setting forth the Republican proposal to reform the system of entitlements which is driving us off a debt cliff (emphasis mine):

No one person or party is responsible for the looming crisis. Yet the facts are clear: Since President Obama took office, our problems have gotten worse. Major spending increases have failed to deliver promised jobs. The safety net for the poor is coming apart at the seams. Government health and retirement programs are growing at unsustainable rates. The new health-care law is a fiscal train wreck. And a complex, inefficient tax code is holding back American families and businesses.

That point, and Ryan’s adult plan to save the safety net, makes a point I’ve made last June in response to a claim by Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) that Republicans had a lack of compassion for the unemployed because Republicans wanted an extension of unemployment insurance to be paid for rather than funded through further national debt.

The cruel ones are the people like Whitehouse, the Obama administration, and the Democratic Party which do not show the courage to confront our fiscal problems, and therefore put the entire structure of safety nets at risk.
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