Originally posted Mar 14, 2013
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Unwilling to compromise with President Obama, Congressional leaders recently forced $85 billion in across-the-board budget cuts known as “sequestration.” These cuts could mean losing up to a million jobs in an already weak economy. But House leaders demanded the cuts even as they refuse to close tax loopholes for Big Oil and Wall Street bankers.
And now Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, is doubling down. Yesterday, Ryan introduced a budget that uses sequestration as a springboard to enact even deeper cuts to vital services like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security while slashing spending on other important domestic programs to their lowest levels since the 1950’s — before Medicare and Medicaid were created.
Tax loopholes are alive and well in the Ryan budget. At a time when middle-class families are still struggling to get by, the Ryan budget would put their health care and retirement security at risk. Ryan’s plan ends Medicare as we know it and doubles out-of-pocket costs for seniors to subsidize more tax breaks for the wealthiest and big corporations.
While governors from across the country and political spectrum — from Montana to Ohio to New Jersey — are embracing a Medicaid expansion that will cover uninsured Americans and lower costs, Paul Ryan’s budget makes deep and debilitating cuts to this vital health program.
Voters overwhelmingly rejected this extreme and misguided approach during the 2012 elections because it broke one of America’s critical promises. Americans pay into Medicare and Social Security their whole lives and want to know that it will be around for them and their children when they need it. Paul Ryan’s budget would make seniors pay thousands more for Medicare benefits and put Social Security on the chopping block, while giving the wealthiest Americans and corporations a new 10 percent tax cut.
LEE SAUNDER LAURA REYES