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The FY 2014 Ryan Budget: One Terrible Idea After Another

Today House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) released his vision for the next ten years. Despite having a section entitled "Fairness Restored," Ryan’s budget does anything but put forward a fair and equitable plan.

Chairman Ryan’s plan balances the budget on the backs of vulnerable women and their families. It would:

  • Cut the funding available for programs like Head Start, child care, K-12 education, job training, and domestic violence prevention.
  • Cut Medicaid and turn it into a block grant, allowing states to restrict eligibility and eliminate benefits. About two-thirds of adult Medicaid beneficiaries are women.
  • Repeal the Affordable Care Act, eliminating the Medicaid expansions critical for low-income families, tax credits to help moderate-income families purchase health insurance, help with the cost of prescription drugs in Medicare and preventive health care services (including contraceptive services), and protections against discriminatory insurance company practices.
  • Undermine Medicare with a new voucher program.
  • Dismantle the SNAP (Food Stamps) safety net by turning it into a block grant, and add time limits and work requirements to benefits. Women are more than six in ten of adult SNAP beneficiaries.
  • Freeze the maximum amount for Pell Grants, despite rising tuition costs, and reduce the number of students eligible for Pell Grants. Pell Grants offer low-income students a chance to get the higher education they need to get ahead, and about two-thirds of the recipients are women.

The Ryan budget would not ask the very wealthy and corporations to contribute an additional penny toward deficit reduction. In fact, it would:

  • Give large new tax cuts to the wealthiest individuals and corporations by reducing the top tax rate for wealthy individuals from 39.6 percent to 25 percent and for corporations from 35 percent to 25 percent.

So what is in the "Fairness Restored" section, you might ask? There are several policy recommendations but I think the first item is particularly telling: Chairman Ryan is worried about policies that are "unfair" to oil and gas companies. That’s right, despite the fact that highly profitable oil and gas companies benefit from more than $2.5 billion in tax subsidies each year – equivalent to about half of our annual spending on federal child care subsidies.

Chairman Ryan, I don’t know about you, but that isn’t what fairness means to me.

Comments

Ryan Budget

I wonder how much kickback he gets from the large oil companies?

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