The Republican idea that the rich don’t have enough

JAMELLE BOUIE WRITES that Liberals can’t be complacent about the GOP’s embrace of the Ryan budget: The Only Reasonable Response Is Alarm. Here’s a longish snip:

The Ryan budget does a lot of things. It flattens the tax code and dramatically cuts taxes for high-income earners. It caps federal spending at 20 percent of gross domestic product, and it calls for higher military spending. It turns Medicaid into a block grant for the states, and gradually shifts Medicare to a private insurance plan.

Here’s what we know about these ideas. Over the next ten years, Ryan’s tax plan would cost the federal government $4.6 trillion in revenue on top of the $5 trillion it costs to permanently extend the Bush tax cuts. Ryan, in other words, would engineer an unprecedented financial windfall for the wealthiest Americans. Everyone else would have to pay for it.

His Medicaid plan would cut the program by $800 billion over the same period, and cause 14 million people (at least) to lose their health care coverage. His budget would cut food stamps by $133 billion over the next decade, and cut the Pell Grant program to nonexistence. Non-defense discretionary spending would all but vanish. Veterans’ health care, medical and scientific research, highways, education, national parks, food safety, clean air and clean water enforcement, and law enforcement would be on the chopping block, along with funds for low-income housing and other programs to assist the working poor.

This is neither compassionate nor an attempt at achieving “the ends of the welfare state through more private means and more efficient public means”—it’s a whole scale attack on the idea of social responsibility. Paul Ryan doesn’t call for new charity, and he doesn’t even attempt to provide incentives for these newly enriched rich people to give away their money. It’s simply Robin Hood in reverse; taking from everyone to give the most privileged. The methods might be new, but the idea—that the strongest, most powerful people deserve the spoils of civilization—is as old as human history. Paul Ryan is but one in a long line of people who have worked to enrich the wealthy at all costs.

This is the budget which Ryan claimed would be endorsed by the Pope.


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  1. Pingback: Race to the bottom with Romney! | Under the Mountain Bunker

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