Ryan Budget No Joke – Wish List Dangerous for American People


Earlier today, GOP Budget Chairman and former Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan released the latest version of his radical budget – this time featuring even deeper cuts to our nation’s safety-net and doubling down on his plan to end Medicare as we know it for American workers. As POLITICO put it:

It’s Paul Ryan’s wish list.

Looking at the details, one might call it an extreme fantasy. From TIME:

The budget would repeal ObamaCare, including the money-saving Independent Payment Advisory Board, cutting $1.2 trillion in federal outlays. It turns Medicaid into a block grant program for states, which would save $732 billion over 10 years. It essentially aims to privatize Medicare, offering enrollees in 2024 the choice of a private plan, while raising the age of eligibility and means tests for high income seniors…

The plan cuts USAID, moving international aid to the Millennium Challenge Corporation. It also cuts international education exchanges and programs like the East-West Center…

The budget drastically cuts clean energy and technology funds, funding to fight climate change, while expanding oil and gas drilling on and offshore. It also recommends approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline from Canada and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska….

It cuts $23 billion in agriculture subsidies and turns the food stamp program into a block grant program for the states. It trims funding to Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which Ryan says is being abused by the states. It would also slash federal pensions through reforms by $125 billion over 10 years. It would eliminate a program to repay federal employees’ student loans, and would encourage attrition in the federal workforce…

It ends support for Amtrak, cuts some funding for the Transportation Security Administration, eliminates the Community Development Program, cuts funding to the Federal Emergency Management Program…

It would cut funding to Pell Grants by imposing a maximum income eligibility cap, ending funding for less than half-time students and capping the maximum award to $5,730. It would streamline Education Department programs, particularly the 82 programs focusing on teacher quality and calls for major reform to elementary and secondary programs. It would end all federal funding to the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

From the New York Times:

Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin on Tuesday will lay out a tough, election-year budget that purports to come into balance by 2024, in large part through steep cuts to Medicaid and food stamps and the full repeal of President Obama’s health care law, just as millions begin to see its benefits.

But even with those cuts, Mr. Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, is counting on a boost of economic growth to balance the budget, a boost he says will be gained by reducing the deficit. Many economists believe such dramatic spending cuts — especially those affecting the poor — would have the opposite effect, slowing the economy and lowering tax receipts…

Mr. Ryan renews his controversial call to eventually convert Medicare to a “premium support” program whereby seniors could receive subsidies to purchase private insurance instead of taking the government’s fee-for-service coverage…

But the toughest cuts would come from domestic programs that have already been reduced steadily since 2011, when Republicans took control of the House. Mr. Ryan’s 2024 domestic spending figure would be lower in nominal dollars than such spending was in 2005. Adjusted for inflation, it would be a 29 percent cut from today’s levels, and 28 percent below the average level of Bush administration spending.

A budget is a statement of our values as a nation.  Past years have shown Republicans’ struggle to persuade American workers and their families the radical Ryan-Republican budget reflects our shared values – does Ryan really think this year, this budget will be different?

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