Republican Paul Ryan's Budget: Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Bipartisan complicity is transforming America into a banana republic.
by Stephen Lendman
What Democrats endorse isn't much better. Timing mostly differs to get past November elections.
For starters, Obama and Democrats agreed to the following cuts over the next decade:
- $4 trillion overall:
- $770 billion from education, environmental, transportation, and other infrastructure cuts, as well as lower wages and benefits for federal workers when they need more, not less;
- $480 billion from Medicare and Medicaid, besides another $1 trillion from Obamacare;
- $360 billion from mandated domestic programs, including food stamps, home heating assistance, income for the poor and disabled, federal pension insurance, and farm subsidies; and
- $400 billion from military-related spending from unneeded weapons, as well as healthcare and other benefits for active service members and veterans.
Priority Pentagon items remain untouched to assure annual budget increases, generous supplemental add-ons, and secret open-checkbook intelligence allocations for numerous lawless purposes.
Bipartisan complicity assures people needs are on the chopping block for reduction or elimination to satisfy the insatiable appetites of Wall Street, war profiteers, other corporate favorites, and America's super-rich. If reelected, Obama will rubber-stamp them.
Moreover, he's on board for more, including slashing corporate and super-rich tax rates. At the same time, he OK'd Medicare co-pays increases, raising retirement age entitlements eligibility, and reducing or eliminating other vital benefits America's poor need most.
They and ordinary Americans will be burdened to let corporations and super-rich elites end up better off than ever. Bipartisan complicity assures it.
At a time 25 million are unemployed, millions more underemployed, poverty's at record levels, home foreclosures exceed 12 million, one in eight homeowners either face foreclosure or are past due 30 or more days, 11 million homeowners are "upside down on their mortgages," eight million homes are either unsold or vacant, prices keep falling, unmet public needs are rising, corporate profits are at record levels, and super-rich elites are better off than ever, Republicans passed a budget inflicting more pain on households least to tolerate it.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) chairs the House Budget Committee. He wants Social Security privatized, its benefits reduced, Medicare abolished, Medicaid sharply cut, food stamps and other safety net essentials decreased, and taxes slashed for corporations and America's super-rich.
On March 29, his proposed budget passed 228 - 191 along party lines as expected. No Democrats supported it. Ten Republicans defected. According to Ryan:
"It is so rare in American politics to arrive at a moment in which the debate revolves around the fundamental nature of American democracy and the social contract, but that is exactly where we are today. Today's budget is a vote of confidence for the American experiment."
For millions of vulnerable households, it's nearly a death sentence. It harms their ability to get by, and Ryan plans more cuts. Already, income inequality and poverty are at record levels.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities , 62% of Ryan's cuts come from "programs for lower-income Americans." Over 10 years, it slashes $5.3 trillion from non-defense areas. At the same time, he allocates an additional $200 billion for defense and imperial wars with automatic add-ons annually plus unknown tens of billions in black budgets.