The New-Old Paul Ryan / Republican (tea)Party Budget is terrible for everyone except the one percenters, corporations, and the Department of Defense. In addition, this budget completely reneges on the plan the Republicans agreed to earlier. Why would they do that? The answer may be at the bottom:
Really, let’s just stop right there… I’m so tired of Paul Ryan I could scream. Every year we get a slightly different version of the same old thing, and every year we have to waste entire man-years of analysis in order to make the same exact points about it. And the biggest point is that his budget would force enormous, swinging cuts in virtually every domestic program, especially those for the poor. If this bothers Ryan, he’s had plenty of time to revise his budget roadmap to address it.
But he hasn’t.
House Republicans on Tuesday proposed a fiscal 2013 budget that would cut the federal workforce by 10 percent, freeze pay through 2015 and increase the amount federal employees pay toward their pensions.
[...] The American Federation of Government Employees denounced Ryan’s proposal, saying that it would break promises made to federal employees and jeopardize programs and services the government provides to the public. “It is fundamentally wrong for federal employees to be required, yet again, to serve as the Automated Teller Machine for the nation,” AFGE National President John Gage said. “Enough is enough.”
The Tweet of the Day comes by way of Molly Ball, a politics writer at The Atlantic, who posted this gem this morning.
[...] A lot will be said in the coming weeks — by me, among others – about the far-right nature of the new House Republican budget plan, and the extent to which it reneges on the bipartisan agreement the GOP already accepted. But there’s another angle to keep in mind: what Republicans intend to do is unpopular.
Igor Volsky and Travis Waldron flagged some of the more offensive elements of the plan — forcing seniors to pay more for health care; cutting coverage for the elderly and disabled; eliminating coverage for 30 million Americans; giving a big tax cut to the wealthy; cutting the safety net while increasing Pentagon spending — and it’s worth appreciating the fact that the American mainstream doesn’t support any of this.
The problem with Ryan’s rhetoric is that his plan fails to match it. By giving massive tax breaks to corporations and the top one percent and preserving unsustainable levels of defense spending, the House GOP’s plan to reduce the debt would fail to reduce the debt. In fact, because it assumes levels of revenue that are pure fantasy under his tax proposals, the plan would actually increase the debt, according to an analysis by Center for American Progress Tax and Budget Policy Director Michael Linden:
But the House budget’s entire claim to deficit reduction is built on the foundation of those fantasy revenue levels. Without them, the debt goes up, not down. In fact, with all the House budget’s tax cuts properly accounted for, revenue would average just 15.3 percent of GDP from 2013 through 2022, not 18.3 percent. The result: deficits would never drop below 4.4 percent of GDP, and would rise to more than 5 percent of GDP by 2022.
The national debt, measured as a share of GDP, would never decline, surpassing 80 percent by 2014, and 90 percent by 2022. By comparison, President Barack Obama’s budget proposal, released in February, would stabilize the debt by 2015, and bring it down to 76 percent by 2022.
Yet it appears that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) proposed FY 2013 budget resolution would retain a decade’s worth of oil tax breaks worth $40 billion. And his budget would cut billions of dollars from investments to develop alternative fuels and clean energy technologies that would serve as substitutes for oil and help protect middle-class families from volatile energy prices as well as create jobs. In short, the Ryan budget compounds the cost of high oil and gasoline prices on the middle class.
But the new GOP budget not only prevents further military spending cuts at the expense of the less well-off, it actually increases funds for defense and other security related spending. Last year, the Obama administration and Congress agreed to $487 billion in military spending cuts as part of the Budget Control Act but the Republicans want to roll back about half of those reductions as well:
The Ryan plan also increases national defense spending to $554 billion in 2013, an increase of $8 billion over the $546 billion that was agreed to under the Budget Control Act.
That would reverse some of the $487 billion in cuts that the Pentagon has planned to implement over the next decade. Over 10 years, the Ryan budget would spend $6.2 trillion on defense, which is higher than the $5.97 trillion level set under the Budget Control Act.
Bowing to demands from conservatives influenced by the tea party movement, House leaders are pressing to protect the Pentagon in 2013 while cutting budgets for domestic agencies below levels set during last summer’s showdown over the federal debt ceiling. The decision has alarmed both Democrats and some GOP moderates, who said the move could spark a fresh clash over the annual bills needed to keep the government running into the new fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.
If that dispute is not resolved, Democrats warned that the government — or significant parts of it — could shut down five weeks before the election.
[...] Democrats immediately accused the GOP of reneging on the hard-fought deal, which both parties had hoped would get them through the Nov. 6 election without additional drama. In the Senate, Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) filed a motion to permit spending bills to be drafted at the higher level — which, he noted, “everyone agreed to just last year.”
“House Republicans, I hope, would do the same,” Conrad said. “If they fail to do so, they will once again threaten to shut down the government and needlessly imperil the economic recovery.”
Playing politics right before a presidential election with a candidate their base isn’t too excited about? Sure looks like it. Well, that combined with this: