You probably remember Rep. Ryan’s (R-)Path to Poverty. After all, it was only a few short months ago, back in mid-2011 that Ryan gained national attention with his plan to kill Medicare.
He’s baaack, and this time with another federal budget which will cause pain for everyone but the very wealthy. Ezra Klein on Ryan’s 2013 federal budget plan with the money quote first:
Here’s the basic outline of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s 2013 budget in one sentence: Ryan’s budget funds trillions of dollars in tax cuts, defense spending and deficit reduction by cutting deeply into health-care programs and income supports for the poor.
You see where Ezra said “Ryan’s budget funds trillions of dollars in tax cuts”? Of course you do. But here’s my point. The tax cuts will go disproportionately to the upper upper income brackets, same as all Republican tax cuts have done since Ronald Reagan took office. You know, that trickle down pile of crap. And, it should be noted, unlike President Obama’s budget plan, Ryan’s plan provides no new revenue because he won’t increase taxes on the wealthy, and he is afraid of the political power of the middle class, so increasing middle class taxes is not going to happen under this plan. But lest you think “aha.....at least he left the middle class alone”, Ryan’s budget cuts, and cuts hard, aid to the poor, and the subsidies which many uninsured middle class Americans would have received to help pay for health care insurance. Ezra again:
Ryan prides himself on making tough choices. But where such choices need to be made for politically powerful constituencies — say, the tax breaks offered to the wealthy and the middle class, or the benefits offered to current seniors — Ryan punts. Changes for seniors don’t begin for a decade, the tax breaks Ryan will close to pay for his tax cuts go unnamed, and, of course, there are no tax increases at all. When such choices need to be made for programs that the poor depend on, however, Ryan is considerably more specific, and considerably more willing to inflict real budgetary pain on current beneficiaries.
And then there are Ryan’s spending cuts, which are massive, and come primarily from health care programs.
Gone would be the $1.5 trillion that the Affordable Care Act uses to subsidize health insurance for 30 million uninsured Americans. Medicaid would be cut by a third ($770 million), and Medicare would see $200 billion in cuts. The chart is from the CBO, via Ezra Klein, and provides a picture of how massive these cuts to health care programs would be.
Ryan’s next significant source of cuts is so-called “other mandatory.” Compared to the president’s budget, Ryan cuts $1.8 trillion from this category. Some of that might simply be an accounting difference: The president’s budget proposes to move infrastructure spending from the “discretionary” side of the budget to the “mandatory” side. Ryan might be moving that back, which isn’t, in and of itself, a spending cut. But beyond that, the main programs in “other mandatory” are low-income supports like refundable tax credits for the poor and food stamps. Ryan is cutting these quite substantially.
So, I urge you, before this budget comes to the floor for a vote, be sure to call your congressional representatives and direct them to vote “NO” as the only acceptable response to Paul Ryan’s 2013 federal budget!
Adding......in spite of deep cuts to programs that are vital to the health and well being of the American people, Paul Ryan saw fit to increase defense spending.
Image credit: Joshua Roberts-Reuters