David Frum is a contributing editor at Newsweek and The Daily Beast and a CNN contributorDoomsday Conservatives: Too Many Hormones, Too Little Plan
There is no Republican tax reform plan. In fact, in the last election Mitt Romney conspicuously and repeatedly refused to offer anything but the haziest outline of a tax plan. He would not specify which deductions he'd eliminate, or by how much, or for whom exactly.
There is no Republican plan to get rid of corporate welfare or taxpayer subsidies. Yes, Republicans grumble (rightly) against the Obama green-energy subsidies. But they have not got any kind of agreed definition of what counts as a give-away.
Nor is there a Republican plan for Social Security and Medicare. In 2005, the Republican majority in the House and Senate refused even to schedule a vote on President Bush's proposals for Social Security reform.
As for Medicare, the closest thing there is to a plan, other than the gesture of raising the eligibility age (which will only serve to shift 65 and 66 year olds into other government programs under the Affordable Care Act), is the Ryan plan, which goes into effect … a decade hence. It's an odd kind of emergency that is so urgent it requires immediate enactment of a remedy, on penalty of national bankruptcy, but can wait ten years for the remedy to go into effect.
If Ryan-style Medicare reform can wait until 2023, why can't Ryan-style Medicare reform wait until there's a Republican president and Congress with a mandate to enact it, rather than use extreme and almost extra-constitutional measures to force such a reform on a president and Senate with a mandate to oppose it?
The short answer is: because there is no real plan, only a high-hormone demand to do something, anything, to defy and reject the results of the 2012 election. Once again: tactical radicalism, strategic nihilism.