The 5 Worst Things About The House GOP’s Budget
By Igor Volsky and Travis Waldron on Mar 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm
After his last attempt at a budget went down in flames last year, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveiled the House GOP’s new budget this morning, painting it as a sensible plan to reform the nation’s tax code and reduce the debt while maintaining entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Yet again, however, Ryan and the GOP have the social safety net and Medicare in their sights, and yet again, they’re attempting to pass the cost of massive tax breaks for corporations and the rich off to middle and lower-income Americans.
Here are the five worst things about Ryan’s budget:
1. SENIORS WOULD PAY MORE FOR HEALTH CARE: Beginning 2023, the guaranteed Medicare benefit would be transformed into a government-financed “premium support” system. Seniors currently under the age of 55 could use their government contribution to purchase insurance from an exchange of private plans or traditional fee-for-service Medicare. But the budget does not take sufficient precautions to prevent insurers from cherry-picking the the healthiest beneficiaries from traditional Medicare and leaving sicker applicants to the government. As a result, traditional Medicare costs could skyrocket, forcing even more seniors out of the government program. The budget also adopts a per capita cost cap of GDP growth plus 0.5 percent, without specifying how it would enforce it. This makes it likely that the cap would limit the government contribution provided to beneficiaries and since the proposed growth rate is much slower than the projected growth in health care costs, CBO estimates that new beneficiaries could pay up to $2,200 more by 2030 and up to $8,000 more by 2050. Finally, the budget would also raise Medicare’s age of eligibility to 67. Some seniors who would no longer be eligible for Medicare would pick up employer coverage—but they would pay more in premiums and cost sharing. And since the budget would scale back or eliminate other coverage options, hundreds of thousands of seniors would become uninsured.
2. ELDERLY AND DISABLED WOULD LOSE MEDICAID COVERAGE: The budget would eliminate the exiting matching-grant financing structure of Medicaid and would instead give each state a pre-determined block grant that does not keep up with actual health care spending. This would shift some of the burden of Medicaid’s growing costs to the states, forcing them to — in the words of the CBO — make cutbacks that “involve reduced eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP, coverage of fewer services, lower payments to providers, or increased cost sharing by beneficiaries—all of which would reduce access to care.” The block grants would reduce federal Medicaid spending by $810 billion over 10 years, decreasing federal Medicaid spending by more than 35 percent over the decade. As a result, states could reduce enrollment by more than 14 million people, or almost 20 percent—even if they are were able to slow the growth in health care costs substantially.
3. THIRTY MILLION AMERICANS WOULD LOSE HEALTH COVERAGE: The budget repeals the Affordable Care Act’s requirement to purchase health insurance coverage, the establishment of health insurance exchanges and the provision of subsidies for lower-income Americans, the expansion of the Medicaid program, tax credits for small businesses that provide insurance coverage. As a result, more than 30 million Americans would lose coverage and the budget would eliminate the new law’s consumer protections, which have already benefited tens of millions of Americans.
4. CORPORATIONS AND THE RICH WOULD GET A $3 TRILLION TAX CUT: By repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax and the investment taxes in the Affordable Care Act and lowering the top income tax rate to 25 percent, the Ryan budget provides the wealthiest Americans with $2 trillion in tax breaks. By lowering the top corporate tax rate and allowing corporations to return profits made overseas to the United States at no cost, he gives corporations more than $1 trillion in tax breaks. Ryan insists his plan will be revenue neutral — he just won’t say how. The CBO’s scoring of the plan, meanwhile, is based on Ryan’s own assertions that the plan would maintain or increase revenue.
5. DEFENSE BUDGET WOULD GET A BOOST, WHILE THE SAFETY NET IS CUT: The Ryan budget protects defense spending from automatic cuts agreed to in last year’s debt deal, then boosts defense spending to $554 billion in 2013 — $8 billion more than agreed upon in the deal. At the same time, it asks six Congressional committees to find $261 billion in cuts. That includes $33.2 billion from the Agriculture Committee, meaning food stamps and other social safety net programs are likely to face cuts, all while the Pentagon remains untouched.
think progress.org huh? Media matters....
Im sure these websites are not biased and skewed at all whatsoever.
Analysis: House GOP Budget Gives $187,000 Tax Cut To Every Millionaire
By Travis Waldron on Mar 22, 2012 at 5:50 pm
ThinkProgress reported Tuesday that the House Republican budget, authored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), would give away $3 trillion in tax breaks to corporations and the wealthiest Americans. Roughly $2 trillion of those breaks are aimed at the rich, thanks to the repeal of multiple taxes that primarily affect the rich and the dropping of the top marginal tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent.
Ryan insisted those breaks won’t blow holes in the federal budget, first by claiming a level of revenue that borders on pure fantasy, and second by promising to close tax loopholes. Even in the unlikely scenario that the GOP managed to close every tax loophole available to the wealthy, each millionaire would pay an average of $187,000 less under Ryan’s plan than they would under current law (which assumes an end to the Bush tax cuts), according to a study from Citizens for Tax Justice:
While Rep. Ryan does not specify which tax provisions he would repeal, these calculations assume he would repeal all itemized deductions, all tax credits, the exclusion for employer-provided health insurance, and the deduction for health insurance for the self-employed.
Even under these assumptions, over 92 percent of these very high-income taxpayers would enjoy a net tax cut, and the average income tax change for these taxpayers would be a reduction of $187,000 in 2014.
Dropping the top income rate to 25 percent “would provide a benefit to millionaire’s that would far exceed their loss of any deductions, credits, or breaks for health care.” Ryan said Tuesday that he designed the tax plan to bring in as much revenue as the government currently collects. But even if the Bush tax cuts were extended for everyone, that likely wouldn’t happen. “This is a very low revenue goal,” CTJ notes. “But [Ryan's] tax proposal would almost certainly fail to meet it nonetheless.”
Ray, are you happy that the United States has the HIGHEST corporate tax rate in the world? Is that night high enough for you?
no its not
YEah well if you want to bring in the loophole talking points which I dont know why this hasnt been done yet.
GOP Budget Calls For Fire Sale Of Public Lands While Preserving $40 Billion In Tax Breaks To Big Oil
By Public Lands Team on Mar 21, 2012 at 12:00 pm
By Jessica Goad, Manager of Research and Outreach, Center for American Progress Action Fund.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the GOP budget yesterday morning. In all the coverage about the massive shortcomings of the budget, many may have missed the proposal to sell off millions of acres of the public lands that belong to all of us.
Tea Party favorite Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) is credited with adding the language, which says:
Sales of Unneeded Federal Assets: In the last year alone, Republicans put forth proposals to sell unneeded federal property. Representative Jason Chaffetz has proposed to sell millions of acres of unneeded federal land. Likewise, Representative Jeff Denham’s bill to authorize the sale of billions of dollars worth of federal assets would save the government money, collect corresponding revenue, and remove economic distortions by reducing public ownership. Such sales could also potentially be encouraged by reducing appropriations to various agencies. If done correctly, taxpayers could recoup billions of dollars from selling unused government property.
This is likely referring to Chaffetz’s bill, H.R. 1126, the “Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act of 2011.” The radical proposal would force the government to sell off 3.3 million acres of public lands in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming to the highest bidder, without specifying how American taxpayers would receive a fair compensation for them.
Selling off public lands—including national parks—has recently been high on various Republicans’ wish lists.
Last month, Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) told a town hall audience that “we don’t need more national parks in this country, we need to actually sell off some of our national parks.” The Gainesville Sun, the local newspaper in Stearns’ district quoted a George Washington University law professor by saying:
…Stearns had offered “a remarkable proposal since national parks are the most successful program in the government with rising demands of citizens visiting parks and sites. One would think we would be expanding the parks not cutting off one of the most popular government programs.”
Republican presidential candidates have also called for a fire sale of America’s special places. Rick Santorum told an audience in Idaho that we need to get public land “back into the hands of the states and even to the private sector.” Ron Paul called for public lands to be turned over to the states. And Mitt Romney told Nevadans that he doesn’t know “what the purpose is” of public lands.
A government witness at a hearing on Chaffetz’s proposal last fall noted that the sale of these lands would be “unlikely to generate revenue.” On the other hand, public lands managed by the Interior Department stimulated $363 billion in economic activity in 2010.
While the Republican budget calls for selling public lands with unclear consequences, it also preserves a decade’s worth of tax breaks to Big Oil companies, which total approximately $40 billion. At the same time, the five largest oil companies made record profits of $137 billion in 2011.
With proposals like selling off selling off America’s public lands, ending Medicare as we know it, and protecting Big Oil, it’s clear that this budget is not designed to benefit the middle class. As the Center for American Progress wrote yesterday: the budget “asks low-income and middle-class Americans to shoulder the entire burden of deficit reduction while simultaneously delivering massive tax breaks to the richest 1 percent…”
U.S. Tax Breaks Valued at More Than $1 Trillion, WSJ Reports
The value of U.S. tax breaks exceeds $1 trillion, which may give both parties potential areas to cut costs and alleviate the cost of changing the tax code, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a study. The Congressional Research Service report found the biggest tax break is likely to be valued at $164 billion annually in 2014 and is on employer-provided health insurance, while employer-provided pensions are the second-biggest exclusion at about $163 billion, the newspaper said. The study said the most that might be gained in additional tax revenue from eliminating tax breaks was $150 billion, because of political opposition and technical hurdles, the newspaper said. Lawmakers might only be able to reduce tax rates by one or two percentage points for the top individual rate, the Journal said, citing the report.
Why are Democrats not working with Obama to fix this? Put them on a vote with the Republicans.
posted The value of U.S. tax breaks exceeds $1 trillion, which may give both parties potential areas to cut costs and alleviate the cost of changing the tax code, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a study.
yeah and almost every single one of them was written by a lobbyist who then handed the draft to the elected rep they have paid off to introduce as legislation
Obama's ethics proposals specifically spelled out that former lobbyists would not be allowed to "work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years." On his first full day in office, Obama signed an executive order to that effect.
But the order has a loophole — a "waiver" clause that allows former lobbyists to serve. That waiver clause has been used at least three times, and in some cases, the administration allows former lobbyists to serve without a waiver.