The Republican House passed a $3.6 trillion budget on Thursday. It passed along party lines without one Democrat joining the majority. The measure is dead on arrival in the Democratic-led Senate.
The entire process was a waste of time; orchestrated strictly for bi-partisan political posturing in an election year.
The Republican budget would reduce the tax rate for the top earners from 35% to 25% while erasing tax deductions and other tax breaks for the wealthy which, oddly enough, the Republicans fails to specify. It would allow for these reductions in revenue by all but eliminating Medicare and Medicaid as we know it; and drastically cutting a wide range of government programs including Pell Grants for low income college students, and safety net programs for the poor and middle class.
In other words it is not a serious budget. It is not a serious budget because it maintains or increases benefits for the top 1% while cutting programs and benefits for the remaining 99% of the country.
A serious budget proposal would address our long term deficit problem while finding the revenues necessary to address the problems we face today. A serious budget would raise the eligibility age for Social Security and Medicare while freezing inflationary increases in benefits for the next five years. It would streamline Medicaid, weed out the fraud and abuse and freeze benefits for the next two years. A serious budget would eliminate the Bush tax cuts for everyone making over $250,000. It would reduce the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25% but eliminate the tax loopholes and subsidies that unfairly favor the wealthy. And a serious budget proposal would reduce our defense spending by reducing our military footprint around the world.
A serious budget proposed during difficult economic times is one where everybody has skin in the game. Everybody feels the pinch.
If it doesn’t do that it is just a waste of time.