Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) has presented his budget plan to the American people. It was an immoral and callous clarion call for the middle class to pay more and get less, and has been universally panned as sloppy, dangerous and disingenuous by health care and political experts.
The budget proposal, which has already been endorsed by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, would decrease the tax burden on the wealthiest, lay waste to the social safety net and end any chance for millions of people in the middle class to have a dignified retiement.
We’ve already outlined the awful impact the GOP’s budget would have on Medicare. The Ryan plan would fundamentally change Medicare from a plan that provides guaranteed benefits and coverage into a voucher plan designed to pay a portion of premiums to private insurance companies. It would create a “death spiral” by siphoning off healthier patients while leaving less healthy, and therefore more costly, patients in a traditional system that would quickly become bankrupt.
Beyond Medicare, Ryan’s plan does a number of things, too many to list here, but there are a few noteworthy inconsistencies. For starters, while it seeks to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, it does preserve the revenue streams created by the health care law and builds those revenues it its projections. Bloomberg reports that the budget plan:
“…counts on more than $400 billion in tax revenue from the 2010 health-care overhaul he and other Republicans want to repeal.”
Far from being fiscally responsible, the budget makes the deficit worse. According to economic analysis by the Center for American Progress:
“…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 New York Times wins in the understatement category when it calls the budget “careless,” pointing out that the budget proposals are essentially designed to fail. While claiming to raise revenues by closing corporate tax loopholes, the plan doesn’t bother to mention which loopholes would be closed or even present a plan for identifying what those might be:
“These extreme cuts and changes would greatly impede the nation’s economic recovery, and hurt those on the middle and lower economic rungs who suffered most from the recession.”
One of the largest points of contention is that Ryan’s plan totally disregards the agreement Democrats and Republicans made in order to move past the debt ceiling fight last year. That agreement said that the discretionary spending cap from would be $1.047 trillion for 2013, but Ryan’s plan lowers that to $1.028 trillion. This deceitfulness prompted Senator Patty Murray, (D-WA) to say:
“[House Republicans] have shown that a deal with them isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on and they are threatening families across America yet again with the prospect of a government shutdown.”
In short, the House GOP’s budget plan kills Medicare as we know it, uses sleight of hand with government revenue sources, raises the deficit, hurts the economic recovery, gives massive tax breaks to the rich and continues corporate welfare for big oil, reneges on previous agreements and takes away from the poorest in our country to line the pockets of wealthy GOP campaign contributors.