'Path to More Adversity': Paul Ryan Unveils Budget Proposal

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Common Dreams

'Path to More Adversity': Paul Ryan Unveils Budget Proposal

Unlike Congressional Progressive Caucus budget, Ryan's plan ignores what Americans want

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/cc/flickr)

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/cc/flickr)

Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) rolled out the 2015 House Republican budget on Tuesday. His "Path to Prosperity," critics charge, is a path to austerity that is completely out of step with what Americans want.

Releasing the budget, the House Budget Committee Chairman called it "a plan to balance the budget and create jobs" that "shows how we will solve our nation’s biggest challenges."

His proposals, says Robert Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, are a "path to more adversity."

Summarizing some of the proposals, Suzy Khimm writes at MSNBC that Ryan has

revived his old proposals to turn Medicare into a voucher program; block-grant funding for Medicaid and food stamps and hand the reins over to the states; and pass other sweeping reforms that would dramatically reduce the role of federal government, increase costs for seniors, and cut programs for low-income Americans. These are all changes the House GOP has pushed before.

In addition, CBPP's Greenstein states, his budget

repeals the Affordable Care Act (ACA), taking coverage away from the millions of people who have just attained it, and cuts Medicaid by $732 billion (by 26 percent by 2024) on top of the cuts from repealing the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. Yet it offers no meaningful alternative to provide health coverage to the tens of millions of uninsured Americans.

A point-by-point breakdown by the non-profit National Priorities Project shows that the Ryan budget — unlike the Congressional Progressive Caucus's Better Off budget released earlier this month — is out of step with what Americans want.

  • NPP points out that 70 percent of people oppose cuts to SNAP (food stamps.) Ryan's budget calls for deep cuts to the program. In contrast, the CPC budget restores SNAP benefits to pre-Farm Bill levels, investing $15 billion over 10 years.
  • Ryan's budget calls for a lowering of the corporate tax rate to 25 percent. The CPC budget calls for closing of tax loopholes— that's in line with what 79 percent of Americans want.
  • Sixty-nine percent of Americans say improving education should be a priority. The CPC budget meets that call with substantial general discretionary funding for educatino, as well as $47 billion over 10 years to invest in teachers and K-12 schools. The Ryan budget, in contrast includes cuts to overall discretionary spending, which includes education, and would provide financial aid to fewer families.

Commentators are calling Ryan's budget a political exercise as it is likely to go nowhere, yet the proposal is likely to garner more corporate media coverage than the CPC's economic blueprint that offers a progressive vision in line with what the nation actually wants.

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