Saturday, February 6, 2010

TIME GOES BY | If You Thought the Gregg/Conrad Commission was a Bad Idea...

{{w|Paul Ryan}}, member of the United States H...Image via Wikipedia

by Ronni Bennett

On the day of President Obama's State of the Union address, Republican Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin introduced a budget proposal that would, according to the Congressional Budget Office [pdf], create a budget surplus of about five percent by the year 2080. The three main changes that Ryan's Roadmap for America's Future would make are:

• Restructure the federal tax code to eliminate all taxes on interest, dividends, capital gains and estates (which mostly benefits the rich)

• Privatize Medicare and Medicaid

• Privatize Social Security

In other words, the proposal would transfer even more wealth from the working and middle classes to the rich while making it more difficult for everyone to get the health care they need and deserve, not to mention jeopardizing everyone's retirement.

As Ezra Klein put in the Washington Post, “Ryan's budget proposes reforms that are nothing short of violent.” The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare agrees: the plan “decimates Social Security and Medicare in the name of deficit reduction.”

Nowhere in Ryan's Roadmap does the word "defense" appear in relation to the military. There are no spending cuts in it except to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and it increases costs to individuals for those programs and private coverage as it simultaneously cuts benefits.

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