Why the Republican Budget Won’t Work

For Immediate Release:

March 18, 2013

The House Republican budget contains serious contradictions, protects the wealthiest Americans at the expense of the most vulnerable and includes drastic, yet undefined spending cuts. Here’s a closer look at some of the many reasons the Republican budget won’t work:

Repeals the Affordable Care Act

  • Despite the fact that the Affordable Care Act was upheld by the Supreme Court, the Republican budget repeals it, even though many Republicans admit it won’t happen.
  • While Republicans repeal the ACA, they cynically keep $716 billion in Medicare savings that come from this law – the same savings Rep. Ryan criticized last Fall.
  • Republicans also keep all the revenue from health care reform, amounting to $1 trillion over ten years. [Budget Committee Democrats, 3/12]

The Tax Plan Does Not Add Up

  • The Republican budget purports to be revenue neutral, but reduces the top tax rate from 39.6% to 25%, while also repealing the AMT and other taxes. 
  • To cut taxes for the wealthy without adding to the deficit, Republicans would have to eliminate $5.7 trillion in tax preferences for the middle class – yet the Republican budget does not identify a single tax preference they will end. [Tax Policy Center, 3/15
  • This tax increase on the middle class included in the Republican budget could amount to, on average, $3,000 per family. [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/17]

Relies on Unspecified $962 billion in “Other Mandatory” Cuts

  • The Republican budget leaves many questions unanswered with unspecified cuts and magic asterisks.
  • It includes $962 billion in unspecified cuts to “other mandatory” spending, without explaining where those cuts come from, or what policies are used to implement them.
  • According to Center on Budget and Policy Priorities President Robert Greenstein, 70% of programs in the “other mandatory” section of the budget are “programs for the needy and disadvantaged.”

Drastic Non-Defense Discretionary Spending Cuts

  • Non-defense discretionary spending – which includes funding for a wide range of agencies and programs, including the National Institutes of Health, air traffic controllers, food safety inspectors, and Head Start – is cut by hundreds of billions of dollars.
  • Non-defense discretionary spending is cut by more than $1 trillion below Budget Control Act caps, which already reduced spending to its lowest level as a share of GDP since 1962. [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/12]
  • The sequester already threatens our domestic programs and risks 750,000 jobs according to the Congressional Budget Office.

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