“We include a coupon for a free hot dog while waiting for your first welfare check”
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission
House Republicans, led by…Paul Ryan, unveiled a suicide pact, in the form of a new budget that ignores the clear views of the majority of Americans, and which, if they embrace it almost unanimously, as they did last year’s similar Ryan Budget, will put a gun to the head of Republican attempts to keep control of the House — and then pull the trigger.
The only thing that could save Republicans would be if Democrats, like Oregon Senator Ron Wyden or House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, persuaded their party to ignore American public opinion and join with the GOP in destroying Medicare, cutting Social Security, and slashing public spending in a way that cripples the economy and rewards the wealthy. That’s what the Ryan Republican budget would do, and Democrats — and Americans who believe in majority rule — need to explain the extreme nature of this budget to the American people.
Despite getting hammered by Democrats last year, the GOP is gambling that going big and bold on their fiscal blueprint — think major changes to Medicare and Medicaid — will convince voters the GOP is the nation’s responsible party, comprised of lawmakers attuned to the nation’s fiscal woes.
But there is a reason Democrats hammered them last year: poll after poll assembled by CAF’s American Majority Project show definitively that while the deficit may be a big issue inside the beltway, being perceived as creating jobs is a far better public image than being perceived as a budget cutter…
Just like last year, the new Ryan Republican budget will first cut taxes for the very wealthy, and then, having blown a bigger hole in the revenue side of the budget, achieves much of its long-term spending savings by turning Medicare into a voucher to buy private health insurance… They presume we’re all looking forward to giving more pork to insurance companies.
Ryan’s made it clear the goal of his Social Security…”expedited process” would: 1) raise the full retirement age to 69, and the earliest eligibility age to 64…2) cut the cost of living allowance by adopting the Chained CPI, cutting $108 billion in benefits over 10 years. The essential solution hasn’t changed. Remove the cap on paying into SSA.
What do Americans think of messing with Social Security? They are against cutting Social Security benefits. They are against raising the retirement age. And they know that Social Security has its own revenue source (the Social Security taxes we pay) and therefore doesn’t contribute to the deficit…
So, the brand-new Ryan Republican budget, so very like last year’s Ryan budget, is already unpopular with the American majority, in all of its major elements. Progressives and Democrats should immediately publicize its many unpopular pieces so the public knows about them all. We should immediately demand to know whether the Republican candidates for president embrace it. And we should keep a wary eye out for Democrats who are willing to give the Republicans cover. When the Paul Ryan Republicans — enemies of everything the American majority believe in — are putting a gun to their heads and are about to pull the trigger, progressives should get out of the way and publicize the results — from now until the November elections.
I would only add that Blue Dog Democrats who continue to vote against American working people on economic and social issues deserve to get off the bus and ride in the rumble seat of the Republican limo. That’s where they belong. A little honesty might do them some good – even if they find themselves unemployed alongside a significant number of their True Believer ideologues.
As I’ve said before, I think our primary system sucks; but – if it means I have to register as a Democrat for a spell to help get rid of someone as useless as their bubbas on the Republican side of Congress – I’ll hold my nose and do it.