Friday, March 30, 2012

House Budget Bill: A Great Deal for the 1 Percent; Not So Hot for the Rest of Us

Paul Ryan likes the budget. Do you?
Yesterday's budget vote in the U.S. House of Representatives tells us exactly where the two Republican representatives from this region stand: against the 99 percent, for the 1 percent. Reps. Bob Goodlatte and Morgan Griffith agree with the House plan, though my guess is that in his heart of hearts, Griffith doesn't believe it cuts enough.

The budget would set spending limits at World War II levels, according to The NYTimes, and it would cut taxes--substantially--for the rich.

Among the proposed cuts (which the Senate, of course, would never approve under its Democratic leadership):

  • Transportation, where the infrastructure is dangerously crumbling
  • Medicaid by $770 billion
  • Medicare by $205 billion (at a time when the largest generation in our history is entering retirement and health care costs are rising exponentially). It would be privatized
  • Other "entitlements" (a word which came out of nowhere to demonize social programs) by $5.3 trillion below the president's proposed budget for the next 10 years.
  • Federal pensions
  • Children's nutrition programs and food stamps for the poor
  • The new health care law would be killed
  • Eliminates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (where so many moderate income people get financing for homes)
Other changes:
  • Tax deductions mostly used by the middle would be eliminated (so long mortgage benefit)
  • Taxes would have two rates: 10 percent and 25 percent (guess who gets which)
  • Defense spending would increase
  • Taxes for the rich would decrease (I mean, what do you expect?)

One wag (Richard Block) called the proposal "the longest suicide note in history." Let's hope. Another said, "Paul Ryan's [the bill's author] American Experiment is starting to sound like a 'final solution' for the poor, the old, the young, the workers and middle class of the United States."

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