Thursday, March 19, 2015

GOP Budget Proposals Offer Nothing New

The Republican controlled House and Senate have released the details of their respective budgets for the fiscal year beginning in October 2015. As you might expect both plans offer a long term approach to balancing the budget and cutting the debt and deficit without calling for any increase in tax revenue. Both plans promise to produce a surplus by 2015.

Republicans say their approach is a “sensible and sustainable” approach that empowers states while securing our economic future.

I say that their approach is yet another example of voodoo economics that places the burden of the county’s economic future squarely on the shoulders of the impoverished and the working poor. Simply put…the Republican proposals want to achieve a balanced budget and economic stability by gutting the safety net that is essential for tens of millions of Americans.

Both plans offer virtually the same path to economic stability. The first order of business is to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Verified numbers form both state and federal governments show that 16 million Americans have acquired health care coverage through the ACA. Republicans offer no alternative solution for these people. However, they DO include in their budgets the $2 trillion in tax revenues produced by the ACA…even after the plan is repealed?

The Republican proposals claim to find $4.3 trillion in savings by introducing changes to Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps. However they provide no details. We do know that part of that savings would come from turning the administration of Medicaid and food stamps over to the states in the form of block grants. We also know that between the repeal of the ACA and the cuts to Medicaid, 37 million people would lose their health insurance. Again, no alternative is offered.

As with previous Republican budgetary proposals, the wealthiest Americans are left untouched by their austerity programs. Tax loopholes, subsidies…all the perks that big corporations and the wealthiest Americans have come to expect remain in place.

Remember all the clamoring Speaker Boehner use to do about jobs? “Where are the job?” There’s nothing in these proposals to address the Speaker’s question. Nothing to create jobs. No plans to rebuild our infrastructure. Nothing for education, investment or research.

The Republican approach to fiscal responsibility is always quite simple…gut the safety net and damned the consequences.

Nothing new here.

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