House Budget Committee Chairman and failed Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R-WI) is even more anti-middle class than we suspected. Not only that, he’s meaner, too.
After helping hand the Republicans one of the most humiliating electoral defeats in recent history, Ryan is going to be just as helpful for Republicans in the upcoming midterm elections thanks to his latest budget proposal. To start, the Ryan 2013 Budget promises to repeal Obamacare in at least five different places, something to be expected I suppose given Ryan’s insistence that Americans should all be left to fend for themselves.
Even House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has given up on the idea of pushing forward with the repeal crusade, citing the very election that embarrassed Ryan as proof health care reform is the law of the land. But a closer read of the budget shows Ryan doesn’t really want to repeal Obamacare, he just wants to repeal the benefits.
As broken down by Think Progress, Ryan’s budget would eliminate health care exchange subsidies, the “rationing board,” the Medicaid expansion and regulations targeting streamlining of care.
So, basically, every part of the bill designed to actually help make health care more accessible and affordable to Americans is gutted. But, Ryan being the cynic that he is, keeps the law’s deficit-reduction component by holding onto the $716 billion in Medicare savings and using that tax increase in his budget baseline that lets him claim his budget balances in 10 years.
Health care for the poor and middle class isn’t the only place Ryan’s budget finds its revenue. Ryan also calls for deep cuts in education spending, infrastructure, research and would place programs designed to help low income people like food stamps, solely in the hands of the states.
It’s a social revolution disguised as a budget proposal. As Ezra Klein sums up, “Ryan’s budget is intended to do nothing less than fundamentally transform the relationship between Americans and their government. That, and not deficit reduction, is its real point, as it has been Ryan’s real point throughout his career.”
The Republicans, once again, face a choice. Do they embrace ideology over reality and go with the Ryan budget, ignoring the results of the November election and every non-partisan analysis that calls Ryan’s proposals disastrous? Or, is this the real face of Republican leadership– the paranoid anti-government ideologues that insist kicking 35 million Americans off health insurance is necessary to fund tax giveaways to America’s one-percent?
photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey via flickr