Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, recently unveiled what he described as a budget "roadmap," intended to address the budget mess his own party had created during the Bush/Cheney era. Ryan's blueprint immediately became a political hot potato that Republicans liked but were reluctant to hold on to -- the roadmap, after all, would eliminate Social Security and privatize Medicare.
Policy experts have since had a chance to scrutinize Ryan's plan in detail. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explained today, the roadmap "calls for radical policy changes that would result in a massive transfer of resources from the broad majority of Americans to the nation's wealthiest individuals."The Roadmap would give the most affluent households a new round of very large, costly tax cuts by reducing income tax rates on high-income households; eliminating income taxes on capital gains, dividends, and interest; and abolishing the corporate income tax, the estate tax, and the alternative minimum tax.At the same time, the Ryan plan would raise taxes for most middle-income families, privatize a substantial portion of Social Security, eliminate the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance, end traditional Medicare and most of Medicaid, and terminate the Children's Health Insurance Program. The plan would replace these health programs with a system of vouchers whose value would erode over time and thus would purchase health insurance that would cover fewer health care services as the years went by.An analysis by the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center found that the richest 1% of Americans -- those making more than $633,000 a year -- would find their tax burden cut in half in 2014. The more one makes, the bigger the cut -- millionaires who Republicans have already taken good care of would find their taxes cut even more dramatically, by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
To make up the difference, we'd all have to pay a new consumption tax on goods and services. On the whole, the tax burden would shift dramatically from the wealthy to the middle class.
And best of all, even with new taxes on the middle class, and the massive cuts to Medicare and Social Security, Ryan's roadmap still wouldn't balance the budget for a very long time.
Isn't this just the very epitome of a Con scheme? It doesn't fix our budget woes. It robs from the poor to give to the rich. It rips away the social safety net. Oh, and it raises taxes on the vast majority of the country - but apparently, tax increases are okay as long as it's icky poor people paying the taxes.
Can someone please tell me again why Cons are allowed near the levers of power? Because it rather seems like giving career criminals control of the criminal justice system.