10/30/2011 - We may be reaching an inflection point, the moment when the terms of the political argument change decisively. Three indicators: an important speech last week by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the increasingly sharp tone of President Obama’s rhetoric and the success of Occupy Wall Street in resisting attempts to marginalize the movement.
The most telling was Ryan’s address at the Heritage Foundation. House Republicans regard Ryan as their prophet, their intellectual and their resident wonk. Usually, he carefully lays out the numbers and issues visionary promises of how cutting government (and taxes on the wealthy) will lead us down a blissful path to prosperity. He’s sunny when everyone else is grumpy.
The only problem is that upward mobility has declined as inequality has grown, and social mobility is now higher in Europe than it is in the United States. That’s shameful. And don’t believe me on this: Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum brought this up at a recent debate, backed by a study from the Economic Mobility Project.
Read the full editorial, Paul Ryan’s Frown Should Make Democrats Smile, on The Washington Post's Web site.