It's back. The Ryan–GOP budget that gives seniors "coupons" to pay for health care and guts Medicaid and public investment to enrich millionaires and billionaires was once again proposed by the House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) today.
Less than six months ago, voters rejected the Ryan–Romney agenda of more prosperity for the super wealthy at the expense of the rest of America's working families, yet Ryan can't seem to resist this austerity plan. And this time, the Ryan–GOP budget is "on steroids."
Ryan and the Republican leadership are demanding outrageously lower tax rates for Wall Street and the wealthiest 2%—and they want to pay for them by voucherizing Medicare (giving seniors essentially "coupons"), cutting Medicaid benefits, increasing Medicare premiums for middle-income beneficiaries (means testing) and essential services that working people depend on.
The Ryan–GOP budget would cut spending by $5.7 trillion—devastating programs like child nutrition, cancer research and transportation and shrinking government to the size it was in the 1950s.
The Ryan GOP Budget would increase tax subsidies for corporations that send jobs overseas, lower taxes for the wealthiest people and lower the corporate income tax rate.The cuts in the GOP budget would slow down our economic growth and kill hundreds of thousands of jobs just as our economy is trying to turn the corner. This same kind of austerity is what led to Europe’s slow growth and shrinking economy. Instead of calling for the sensible repeal of the sequester, Ryan would double down on harmful cuts to lifelines that build up the middle class.
For Medicare, the Ryan–GOP budget does nothing to address rising costs across the board. Rather, it ends Medicare as we know it and replaces it with a voucher (coupon), forcing seniors into an inadequate private market to fend for themselves. Health care costs, not benefits, are the real culprit here. But the Ryan–GOP budget does nothing to control health care costs. Instead it simply asks seniors to pay more.
Medicare leads private plans in controlling costs and helps bring down health care costs for everyone. Medicare is the foundation of our health care system, and it is the most efficient program available to insure seniors.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement:
Our economy is still in a fragile state of recovery and we’ve seen that previous cuts to state and local services and jobs have prevented us from recovering faster. The last thing we need is more austerity that would cost jobs and stunt America’s future. We reject these so called “balanced” approaches that increase inequality and shift even more of the burden to those who can least afford it. We call for an immediate repeal of the across the board sequester cuts and urge lawmakers to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid from benefit cuts.
Working families are calling on Congress to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid from benefit cuts (i.e., raising the retirement age and the "chained" CPI), repeal the sequester and close tax loopholes for corporations and the wealthiest 2%.