Afternoon Roundup: Disastrous GOP Budget

As the House prepares to vote tomorrow on the Ryan budget, we present you with a roundup of recent articles highlighting just how disastrous it would be for our economy, for the most vulnerable in our society, for our long-term fiscal outlook – and for Republicans themselves:

New York Times, 4/4/14: “The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities did the subtraction this week and determined that 69 percent of the cuts in the Ryan budget come from programs that benefit people with low or moderate incomes. That includes programs such as Pell grants, which send poor kids to college, and Medicaid, which allows poor people to receive medical care. It even slashes subsidized school lunches.”

Washington Post, 4/8/14: “About $3 trillion of [Ryan’s] savings would come from revamping health care, first by repealing the ACA — but leaving intact taxes and savings from the law — and by altering Medicare into a program in which the elderly would receive premium supports from the federal government but buy insurance on their own. Another way Ryan’s budget draws savings is by squeezing the federal workforce. Among other strategies, the Ryan outline aims to shrink the workforce by attrition and require employees to share equally with the government in funding civil service retirement benefits. It would allow agencies to fill only one of three vacancies, with an exception for national security.”

POLITICO, 4/6/14: “A large portion of the savings Ryan’s budget projects comes from reducing health care coverage and subsidies under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. An additional $700 billion-plus in savings comes from slashing Medicaid and other health care programs, while hundreds of billions in additional cuts come from food stamps, education and farm programs. Ryan would cut Obamacare benefits but retain its tax increases and reductions in payments to providers.”

The Hill, 4/9/14: “House GOP leaders have expressed confidence they will pass the budget measure, but the scheduled vote on Thursday could go down to the wire. ...In 2013, 10 Republicans balked at Ryan’s budget resolution. But primary politics have made this vote tougher. The legislation, which calls for major Medicare reforms and $5.1 trillion in cuts, has attracted criticism from both the right and the left."

Washington Post, 4/2/14: “…Eight House Republicans are currently running for Senate — and will likely have the Ryan budget hanging around their necks, if and when they support it, and if Dems are then able to make it a liability for them. …The Ryan budget’s deep cuts to the safety net and other programs, and its transformation of Medicare, are perhaps best summarized by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Bob Greenstein, who describes his blueprint as a ‘path to adversity’ for ‘tens of millions’ that ‘claims  to boost opportunity and reduce poverty while flagrantly doing the reverse.’”

Republicans would be wise to think twice about supporting a budget that even Republican House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers last week called “pretty draconian.” It’s not too late – there is another way.  

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