Paul Ryan: Privatize Medicare, eliminate Medicaid and food stamps
The House of Representatives on Thursday approved House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's proposed $3.5 trillion budget resolution on a 228 to 191 vote, largely along party lines.
If Ryan (R-WI) has his way with his proposed budget resolution, Medicare will be privatized and Medicaid, food stamps and many other federal entitlement programs will be eliminated. The cuts under Ryan's budget proposal, if implemented, would drastically increase income inequality and poverty.
Ezra Klein of the Washington Post sums up Ryan's budget plan in one sentence:
Ryan's budget funds trillions of dollars in tax cuts, defense spending and deficit reduction by cutting deeply into health-care programs and income supports for the poor.
Ryan's budget resolution is part of a bipartisan campaign to slash spending on social programs. All Democrats, however, voted against the resolution, while offering their own proposals that called for somewhat less drastic cuts in spending and token tax increases on the wealthy. All but ten of the Republican majority in the House backed the resolution and those ten wanted even bigger cuts.
Several other budget resolutions were proposed and voted on, but none passed because few Republicans would vote for a resolution calling for tax increases on the wealthy, and few Democrats wanted to publicly support sizeable cuts in Medicare and Social Security in a bill that was certain to be defeated. Not a single resolution was offered that called for increasing spending to meet social needs, despite a fifth year of economic downturn and severe unemployment.
Last year, Ryan offered the first-ever proposal for the complete abolition of Medicare. It passed the House but not the Senate. His resolution this year is even more drastic and reactionary. The major spending cuts are focused on programs for the poor and the lower-paid sections of the working class.