Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Summing Up the Republican Budget Plan in One Paragraph

In the article “Rokita, Young, Stutzman back GOP budget plan” published in the April 6, 2011, edition of The Indianapolis Star, writer Maureen Groppe manages to distill the essence of the Republican budget plan to a single, simple paragraph:

In addition to making major changes to Medicare and Medicaid, which together make up about 23 percent of spending, the proposal would also cut food stamps, farm subsidies, highway spending, grants for college students and other spending programs. It would extend tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of next year and lower top tax rates while ending unspecified tax deductions.

Go back and read that again and again and again. Don’t focus so much on the “major changes to Medicare and Medicaid” or even on precisely which spending programs are mentioned. Instead, think of who benefits from Medicare, Medicaid and the types of spending programs mentioned. Then compare that with: “and lower top tax rates…”.

Seriously. That is the Republican plan.

They want to gut Medicare and Medicaid, severely cut or eliminate social services programs, including programs that help the neediest among us, in order to lower the tax rate for the wealthiest.

I look forward to hearing the Republicans shout their support for this proposal over and over as the 2012 elections approach.

Oh, and one more thing. Though I can’t find the citation right now, I heard it reported (if you have the link send it to me … or if that report was wrong, send that also) that a return to the tax rates in effect during the Clinton administration would have the same effect vis-a-vis cutting the deficit as the proposed Republican plan. So just ponder that for a moment, too: Small tax increases vs. gutting essential social service programs and giving tax breaks to the wealthiest. Hmm.

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