From the Washington Examiner:
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney didn’t pull any punches in his attack on Paul Ryan’s budget, as he declared that supporters of the budget — and by extension, Ryan himself — are “aggressively and deliberately ignorant” about the need for green energy and other programs slated for cuts.
“You have to be aggressively and deliberately ignorant of the world economy not to know and understand that clean energy technologies are going to play a huge role in the 21st century,” Carney said after decrying the clean energy spending cuts in Ryan’s plan. “You have to have severely diminished capacity to understand what drives economic growth in industrialized countries in this century if you do not understand that education is the key that unlocks the door to prosperity,” he added.
Carney concluded that “the budget proposed by Chairman Ryan and supported overwhelmingly already by Republicans suggests that those problems” — aggressive ignorance and diminished comprehension — “exist in the minds of the supporters of that plan.”
Carney apparently is unable to understand where his own analysis should lead. If Carney is right and green technology is going to play a huge role, then why does the government need to subsidize it? The only legitimate reason for the subsidies is because the government feels it SHOULD play a big role and the amount of money funding it is insufficient to enable green tech to play such a role (illegitimate reasons would be items like rewarding political donors), a matter open to debate. The fact that he feels the need to have the government give money to green tech companies is therefore a de facto acknowledgement that such technologies are unable to play a huge role absent artificial support.
It would be nice if instead of ad hominem attacks the Democrats answered the policy arguments that are at the root of Ryan’s budget. One can certainly make a case that the government should subsidize clean tech for political reasons (though I would vehemently disagree and I think the evidence shows that the subsidies are not worth their cost), but instead of doing so and having an honest debate, all we get is demagoguery. It doesn’t say much for the White House that they either can’t or won’t respond in a serious manner. All Carney had to say was ‘we disagree with Ryan’s assessment of the situation and his proposed remedies – clean technology will be a vital part of the 21st century and there are good reasons why the government should back it, starting with…’, which would at least get us started talking about the merits of the administration’s plans vs. the Republicans. The personal attacks are a sign that the Obama administration is unable to convincingly end the previous sentence and the intellectual foundations for its position are weak.