It’s deja vu all over again
Paul Ryan and his GOP pals released their latest budget proposal today. While it aims to eliminate the deficit by 2040. How do they hope to do this. No surprise: it cuts Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP and Social Security, leaves military spending alone and cuts taxes on the wealthy.
The New Ryan Plan leaves the coupons-for-healthcare for seniors in there but makes a minor concession of giving seniors a traditional fee-for-service option, as well.
If you are rich, the news is good:
[T]he document — with its deep spending cuts paired with tax cuts — will provide new fodder for Democrats who will paint Republicans as willing to undermine retiree health programs, but unwilling to ask wealthy taxpayers to contribute more. [...]
The proposal would replace the current tax structure’s six brackets with just two tax levels, a 10 percent marginal tax rate for lower-income earners and 25 percent for upper-income earners.
That would be a reduction from the current top marginal rate of 35 percent. The plan would also lower the top corporate income tax rate to 25 percent and virtually eliminate taxes on corporate profits brought back from overseas.
The Obama adminstration was quick to respond:
Statement by White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer on the Ryan Republican Budget
The House budget once again fails the test of balance, fairness, and shared responsibility. It would shower the wealthiest few Americans with an average tax cut of at least $150,000, while preserving taxpayer giveaways to oil companies and breaks for Wall Street hedge fund managers. What’s worse is that all of these tax breaks would be paid for by undermining Medicare and the very things we need to grow our economy and the middle class – things like education, basic research, and new sources of energy. And instead of strengthening Medicare, the House budget would end Medicare as we know it, turning the guarantee of retirement security into a voucher that will shift higher and higher costs to seniors over time.
The House economic plan draws on the same wrong-headed theory that led to the worst recession of our lifetimes and contributed to the erosion of middle-class security over the last decade. And the President believes we cannot return to a failed theory that didn’t lead to the growth of jobs, incomes, or the economy. That’s why he put forward a balanced approach that reduces the deficit by over $4 trillion. It’s an approach that asks the wealthiest to pay their fair share, makes tough cuts to programs we can’t afford, and strengthens Medicare with reforms that would reduce overpayments to drug companies, improve the quality of care, and protect Medicare’s commitment to America’s seniors.
In the coming battle for the presidency, the GOP will get to defend cutting benefits to our most vulnerable populations without asking for the wealthiest Americans to sacrifice one thin dime. In fact, they will have MORE money in their pockets if the GOP were to pass this budget. President Obama and the Democrats will continue to fight for the middle class and the poor while the GOP will remain the party of the very rich.
I’m willing to bet that the majority of Americans will know who is on their side.
Adding…don’t forget: Mitt Romney says the Paul Ryan plan is “Bold And Right” during a debate in January and that he would fight for it.
[Image credit: Wikimedia Commons.]