Nel's New Day

April 5, 2012

Ryan Incorporates Rand Philosophy in Budget Plan

Filed under: Uncategorized — trp2011 @ 2:43 PM
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Just in time for April Fool’s Day, the House Republicans passed Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget, designed to destroy the country and kill off people. These are the highlights of this bill:

Boost the Defense Budget: The defense spending increase to $554 billion  is $8 billion more than the bipartisan Congressional vote last August.

Cut Taxes $3 Billion for Corporations and the Wealthy: The bill would lower the top income tax rate to 25 percent and allow corporations to return overseas profits at no cost. Those with yearly incomes over $1 million would receive an average 12.5 percent tax cut, six times higher than the 1.9 percent cut for middle-income people.

Charge Seniors More for Health Care: The guaranteed Medicare benefit would be transformed into a “premium support” system in 2023 with no way to keep Medicare costs from skyrocketing. The budget also has a per capita cost cap of GDP growth plus 0.5 percent with no explanation of how this would be enforced. According to CBO, new beneficiaries could pay up to $1,200 more by 2030 and more than $5,900 more by 2050. Eligibility age would also be increased to 67.

Take Medicaid Coverage from Elderly and Disabled: Instead of the existing matching-grant financing structure of Medicaid, states would receive block grants that fail to keep up with actual health spending. States are already suffering budget disasters; they would be forced to “reduce eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP, coverage of fewer services, lower payments to providers, or increased cost sharing by beneficiaries—all of which would reduce access to care.” Block grants would reduce Medicaid spending by $810 billion over 10 years, decreasing Medicaid spending by more than 35 percent over the decade requiring enrollment reduction by almost 20 percent.

Repeal Obamacare’s Mandated Health Insurance: With this repeal comes the loss of health insurance exchanges and subsidies for lower-income Americans, expansion of the Medicaid program, and tax credits for small businesses that provide health insurance. The result would be more than 30 million people losing coverage. The budget would also eliminate the health care act’s consumer protection.

Cut $134 Billion in SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program

Cut at least $463 Billion in Mandatory Programs such as Farm Programs and Federal Employee Retirement 

Cut at least $291 Billion in Low-Income Discretionary Programs such as Head Start, Child Care, K-12 Education, Job Training, Pell Grants, and Services for the Elderly

Michael Linden lists the six most important failures of the new House budget plan.

  • Undermine the middle class: the plan ends the Medicare guarantee of decent health insurance in retirement; slashes critical middle-class investments, such as education and infrastructure by 45 percent and 24 percent, respectively; provides not a single new measure to help the nearly 13 million unemployed get back into a decent job; and requires the middle class to pay higher taxes.
  • Rig the system even more heavily in favor of the richest 1 percent: the plan protects existing tax breaks for those at the top of the income spectrum while giving them huge new tax cuts.
  • End the Medicare guarantee and raise health care costs for seniors: the plan would provides a “death spiral” for Medicare that means higher costs for seniors.
  • Undercut the economic recovery: the plan not only fails to propose not even a single new idea for spurring job creation but also forces an immediate swerve into severe austerity which, as shown by Europe’s recent debacle, will badly hurt the economy.
  • Deviate dramatically from a balanced approach to deficit reduction: the entire burden of deficit reduction lands on the middle class and the poor while giving the rich additional tax breaks at the same time, and the numbers don’t even add up to real deficit reduction. (Ryan didn’t allow the Congressional Budget Office to evaluate the budget’s actual policy proposals.)
  • Renege on last year’s bipartisan budget agreement: last summer’s Budget Control Act, passed by Congress with wide bipartisan majorities, included an agreement on overall “discretionary” spending levels—the money that Congress appropriates each year—for the coming fiscal year. Ryan reneged on that agreement whereas President Obama adhered to the enacted law when he presented his proposed budget for FY 2013 earlier this year.

Even the Republicans doubt the validity of the budget bill. Juan Williams pointed out that Ryan claims his budget offsets the tax dollars lost to the tax cuts for upper-income Americans by eliminating tax loopholes, tax shelters, and many tax deductions estimated at an incredible $4.6 trillion over 10 years. By lowering the tax brackets, Ryan will have to find a stunning $4 trillion in cuts to loopholes and deductions to avoid adding to deficit spending. But he did not identify one such cut. According to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, a family earning more than $1 million before taxes receives an average of $447,259 from tax breaks. But a family earning $10,000 or less gets an average of only $427.

One no-voter, Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA), explained the situation, “Congress needs to actually negotiate a deal that can be passed by both chambers, rather than follow the same path that has led to the stalemate for the past year.”

Meanwhile Ryan, on the short-list for Republican presidential vice-president nominee, and the vast majority of House Republicans  follow the Ayn Rand philosophy: reward the rich and kill off the lower class.

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