Why Republicans Are Wrong - Ryan Budget Edition
No politician in his (or her) right mind would come out and say that they hate poor people. Not in those exact words, at least.
It's not that any of them necessarily have a deep-seated disdain for the least amongst us, it's just that they have a very different way of "helping" those in need.
House Budgetary Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) has released yet another Pathway to Prosperity.
Rep. Ryan has long been considered a very, very serious budgetary maven in the mainstream media - though Ryan Budget 3.0 may serve to throw that distinction into serious question.
For his part, Ryan has admitted that his new budget is more of a political document than an actual operating budget - and that his is an opening salvo in budget negotiations leading up to the Continuing Resolution.
While this may be true of all budget plans in the abstract - once they are put into effect, budgets serve to enforce the moral priorities of those in charge of government.
And what priorities are laid out in Paul Ryan's House Budget?
Why, the real Americans of course - rich people!
Paul Ryan recycles the decades-old trope of trickle-down, supply-side Reaganomics - espousing the age-old myth of tax cuts paying for themselves in added growth - which Bush 41 famously slammed as "Voodoo Economics."
Chairman Ryan would slash government spending to the lowest levels since 1948. This while taking Ryan's Jack Kemp-inspired budgetary frustration out on Mitt Romney's 47%, those darned "takers" who only care about their "gifts" from government and refuse to take responsibility.
It seems as though Mr. Ryan is intent upon reliving the 2012 election in 2014 & 2016 - much to the delight of liberals.
Ryan's Path is to lavish an enormous giveaway to millionaires and billionaires by lowering their tax rates by as much as 14%.
He refuses to specify any tax loopholes (presumably the mortgage tax credit) he supposes would magically cover his $6 trillion handout to the wealthy.
The Ryan Budget would put an end to guaranteed Medicaid and otherwise devastate beneficiaries. By block-granting to states, conservative governors like Rick Perry will be able to use Medicare funds to balance their budgets instead of guaranteeing coverage to the people the moneys were meant to serve (6.3 million sans health insurance in Texas, including 1.2 million children).
Paul Ryan would voucher-ize the Medicare program, ending the Medicare was we know it. Ryan is banking on the elderly staying on board with the GOP while voting against the needs of the 55-and-under crowd - by waiting ten years until Ryan 3.0 turns Medicare into Voucher-care.
Ryan would raise retirement age to 70 for both Medicare and SSI. For some reason, Ryan seems to believe that pushing rising health care costs onto seniors is a valid solution to the problem of running federal deficits and accumulated national debt. While ignoring the fact that the life expectancy of the poor is not rising as the rate of the rest of the population.
Ryan 3.0 would repeal the benefits of ACA/Obamacare, while leaving in tact the revenues - perhaps the most preposterous & disingenuous policy prescription in memory.
Rep. Ryan's budget would restore all sequester cuts to defense, increase defense spending by $8b in 2013 alone, and erase $487b of planned defense cuts over ten years.
This while $4.6 trillion, or 59%, of cuts in Rep. Ryan's Ayn Rand Memorial Budget are taken out on the poor. WIC, SNAP, Medicare & Medicare, housing, education, infrastructure, R & D, Pell grants & Stafford loan rates - all to be gutted by Ryan the Marathon Man - in order to fund the largess of the wealthy.
In contrast, The Back to Work Budget balances in five years, treats investment income the same as wages, returns defense spending to 2006 levels, places 49% tax rate on billionaires, a 1% financial transaction tax for Wall Street traders, & a carbon tax, allows Medicare to negotiate wholesale prescription drug prices, adds a public option for health care, ends tax subsidies for private jet owners & entertainers, and ends tax subsidies for outsourcers. All the while investing in education, energy, infrastructure & jobs - while preserving Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.