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Much has been said over the past few weeks about the budget proposal in the House of Representatives, offered by Rep. Paul Ryan, and backed by Republican members, but not much has been said about how it will affect our veterans. As you know, the Paul Ryan plan will end Medicare, making it a voucher program, leaving seniors to buy their own insurance in the private system. It will therefore end one of the most popular and successful initiatives ever offered.
This plan will also punish veterans – harshly – and it’s important that you spread the word on how it will do so.
Here are the facts:
- Millions of veterans over 65 rely on Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance for their health care. In fact, according to the last survey of veterans by the Department of Veterans’ affairs, 39.3% of veterans use Medicare, compared with 14 percent of the general population.
- Many of these veterans are relying on Medicare as their sole health care provider. The Ryan plan would have an immediate impact on these veterans, forcing those falling into the “donut hole” with high-cost prescription drug costs to pay more for their medications in addition to paying more for preventative health services.
- Veterans who rely on Medicaid would not escape cuts either. The Republican plan could slash $1.4 trillion in health benefits over the next ten years. Forty-four states are already facing significant budget shortfall in Fiscal Year 2012,and the cuts could force the state to either ration health care benefits for veterans across the country, restrict eligibility rules and leave thousands uninsured, including veterans, or raise taxes to cover the shortfall.
- Finally, many veterans rely on private insurance, mostly through their employer. Because Republicans want to repeal the recent health insurance law, these veterans will no longer have guaranteed access to health insurance regardless of pre-existing conditions and may see annual or lifetime caps on coverage under the Republican budget.
In short, Republicans and Paul Ryan will strip away care for our veterans, in the name of budget cutting. These proposals are draconian, cruel, and unfair to those men and women who put their lives on the line for this country. But, unless we spread the word about how severely the Ryan/Republican plan will hurt veterans, most Americans won’t ever know.
Take some time to read their propaganda and get to know what they’re trying to do. Be an informed voter, not someone who swallowed their propaganda, hook, line and anchor.
|GOP 2012 Platform||GOP Growth Opportunities||2009 Road to Recovery||2010-Better Solutions|
|2010-Pledge to America||P2P v1.0||P2P v2.0||P2P v3.0|
Read/compare a few to see what you think — and if you’d like you can compare the actual budget numbers between plans here.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today is continuing the drumbeat against House Republicans who voted for the radical Republican budget, releasing a new web video to highlight the chasm between mainstream Americans’ priorities and House Republicans’ radical approach. In the video – “Radical Republican Budget: Robin Hood in Reverse” – Republicans describe the budget as the best way to communicate their “governing philosophy.” The video goes on to show the GOP Doctrine for Governance in clear terms: higher taxes for the middle class, bigger medical bills for seniors on Medicare, more expensive student loans and a tax break for millionaires.
Under the Republican doctrine for governance, the Ryan budget, middle class Americans could pay $3,000 more in taxes and the Medicare guarantee, paid for with deductions from every dollar earned by working Americans …. will END. Thus, their governance philosophy will take that money to fund other things like a $245,000 tax for millionaires, and force seniors to pay more for their care — if they can find an insurance company to cover it and if they can find a doctor to provide it. And, while the middle class would be paying more in taxes, folks like Mitt Romney, whose tax liability is imposed primarily by capital gains taxes, would see their tax liabilities plummet with Ryan’s slash to capital gains taxes. Valuing making money off the fruits of others’ labors, without having to exert an ounce of labor yourself, is not an “American” value.
“Republicans themselves tell us that their budget is the best way to communicate their ‘governing philosophy’ and that’s exactly what they did – more for millionaires and corporate special interests, less for the middle class and seniors,” said Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Americans rejected the philosophy of this radical Republican budget in the last election because it ends the Medicare guarantee for seniors and asks the middle class to pay more – all while cutting taxes for millionaires and corporate special interests. It might be the Republicans’ governing philosophy but it isn’t the right philosophy for America’s middle class.”
Ryan’s Path to Poverty budget is the third in a series, all espousing their out of touch governance doctrine. The GOP hasn’t learned that their “philosophy” isn’t what Americans want. Instead, thick-headed GOP members of the House are continuing to push philosophies the American people don’t want. Bound to their millionaire donors and determined to implement their demands, the GOP intends — to impose their revolutionary doctrine — to convert America into a Plutocracy ruled over by the uber-rich — using budgets — without firing a single bullet.
Here’s their “philosophy” documents introduced since 2008 along with their platform. Read/compare a few to see what you think — and if you’d like you can compare the actual budget numbers here.
|GOP 2012 Platform||GOP Growth Opportunities||2009 Road to Recovery||2010-Better Solutions|
|2010-Pledge to America||P2P v1.0||P2P v2.0||P2P v3.0|
- Paul Ryan’s “The Path to Prosperity, A Responsible Balanced Budget.”
- Paul Ryan’s class warfare on behalf of the rich.
- The top 5 worst things about the GOP budget.
- GOP budget keeps Obamacare’s cuts and taxes, repeals all the benefits.
- The GOP budget maintains 100 year-old tax breaks for Big Oil.
- How the GOP budget will undermine the recovery.
- Even Paul Ryan admits that we’re not facing a debt crisis.
- Latest GOP budget gives millionaires at least a $200,000 tax cut.
— by Steven Horsford
Today, the House Republicans jammed the Ryan Republican Budget through Congress. They call it a “path to prosperity,” but really it is just a “path to pain.”
That’s right, this budget will be painful for America’s middle class families. It will hurt our children. It will devastate our seniors. It is not a solution.
I came to Washington to work with Democrats and Republicans to create common sense solutions to our nation’s budget problems. But balancing our budget, without cutting our deficit, on the back of our families is not common sense. It is harmful, painful and irresponsible.
We cannot afford the cuts that Paul Ryan and the Republicans are pushing. The Ryan Republican Budget will cut nearly two million jobs in the next year alone. It will end Medicare as we know it for the next generation of Nevada seniors and it will stall our nation’s economic growth by 1.7 percent.
Nevada is on the path to recovery, but cutting jobs and slowing growth will only set us back.
The United States faces a $15.6 trillion national debt — a debt that was largely brought about over the last 10 years by Bush Administration policies which included two wars, huge tax breaks for the rich, and a prescription drug program written by the drug companies — all unpaid for. The national debt also increased as a result of the declining federal tax revenues occurring during the current recession, a severe economic downturn caused by the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior of Wall Street.
The debate now happening in Washington over deficit reduction comes at an unusual moment in American economic history. While the middle class is in rapid decline and poverty is increasing, the wealthiest people in our country and largest corporations are doing phenomenally well. Over the last several decades almost all new income created in this country has gone to the top 1 percent who now earn more income than the bottom 50 percent. Further, the United States now has the most unequal distribution of wealth of any major country, with the top 400 individuals owning more wealth than the bottom 150 million.
Given the reality of record-breaking corporate profits and the growing gap between the very rich and everyone else, it should surprise no one that every recently published poll suggests that the overwhelming majority of the American people want the deficit to be addressed through shared sacrifice. They believe that the richest people in this country should also contribute toward deficit reduction. They do not believe that the deficit should be reduced solely on the backs of working families, the elderly, children, the sick and the poor — many of whom are already suffering as a result of the recession. Unfortunately, that is exactly what the Republicans have proposed.
The Republican House of Representatives, led by Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, recently released their FY 2013 budget proposal which calls for devastating cuts to Social Security and Medicare as well as cuts to Pell Grants, food stamps, employment training, affordable housing, infrastructure, environmental protection and virtually every program that low and moderate-income Americans depend upon. Amazingly, while the Republican budget writers waged a vicious and unprecedented attack on the needs of working families, they do not ask the wealthiest people in this country, whose effective tax rates are now the lowest in decades, to contribute one dime more for deficit reduction. Quite the contrary: they not only would permanently enshrine the Bush tax cuts for the rich for another decade, they actually add four new major tax cuts for wealthy Americans, worth $4.6 trillion more! Clearly this budget has little to do with deficit reduction. It is nothing more than an acceleration of the right-wing Republican war against the middle class and working families. More tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires and savage cuts in programs for struggling middle-class families.
Click here to read more about my progressive alternative to the Ryan budget.
Further, not only do they not ask wealthy families to pay more in taxes, they also ignore the giant loopholes that enable extremely profitable corporations (like General Electric, Bank of America, Exxon-Mobil, Chevron and many more) to pay little or no federal income taxes.
While Ryan’s budget cuts low-income programs beyond the severe cuts imposed by last year’s Budget Control Act, it actually goes the other way on defense. Despite the fact that we now spend more on the military than every other country combined, the Republican budget cuts $200 billion less on defense spending over 10 years than the act requires.
The American people are sick and tired of seeing the richest people in this country become much richer while virtually everybody else becomes poorer. They want fairness and justice from Washington. At a time when millions of working families are struggling to keep their heads above water economically, they do not want deficit reduction placed on the backs of the weak and vulnerable.
Together, we must take on the big money interests and their lobbyists and supporters in Congress and demand that the very wealthy and large corporations start paying their fair share of taxes. Through a strong grass-roots movement we must demand that Congress adopts proposals that they otherwise would like to ignore. The Occupy Movement has played a critical role in exposing the growing income and wealth disparities in our country, as well as the uncontrollable greed on Wall Street. That fight must continue. The American people must stay engaged in this debate.
That is why I have outlined a number of ways that Congress and the President can tackle deficit reduction in a way that protects the needs of working people and the most vulnerable, while at the same time calling for shared sacrifice from the wealthy and large corporations. I hope you will study these proposals and demand that Congress act on them.
Thank you for all that you do. Together we are ensuring that our progressive voice reaches not only the halls of Congress, but every corner of America.
Senator Bernie Sanders
Congressman Paul Ryan has finally endorsed Mitt Romney as his preferred candidate for president. Yeah, like we didn’t expect that coming. Thus, it should be no surprise that both Romney and Ryan support the same key budget tenets — massive cuts to programs critical to its economic security of middle class Americans, and ending Medicare for our nation’s seniors as we’ve known it and paid into throughout our working careers — all so they can transform our nation’s wealth into outrageous tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.
There budget plans would
- Turn Medicare into a voucher program to help pay for massive tax cuts to the wealthiest.
- Turn Medicaid into a block grant program that can easily be underfunded or diverted by states for other purposes.
- Protect tax loopholes that benefit oil companies and hedge fund managers.
- Repeal Health Care Reform, re-opening the do-nut hole, re-instituting pre-existing conditions and increasing health care costs to every American by thousands of dollars for not just medical premiums and services but in increased taxes as well.
- Make arbitrary cuts to programs essential to middle-class families like education, environment and clean energy.
- Provide large new tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, above and beyond any permanent extension of the Bush tax cuts
- Not balance the budget and in fact, would increase our national debt.
But beyond the deep cuts in programs, those cuts mean some serious job losses in the public sector. That means the Republicans intend to dump more Americans into the unemployment roles and simultaneously slash the safety net that would have assisted them.
Romney has said he is on the same page as Ryan – even “applauding” Ryan’s budget – so America’s seniors and the middle class need to take note of what this budget means to and for them. Here’s a press release from the Obama/Biden Campaign that compares the two GOP budgets. Is that where you think American should be going? Do those represent your priorities for America? If not, then get of your duff and get out there and fight for our ticket!
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||Obama/Biden Campaign|
THE RYAN-ROMNEY BUDGET PROMOTES GIVEAWAYS TO OIL COMPANIES, WALL STREET,
AND THE WEALTHIEST WHILE SENIORS AND THE MIDDLE CLASS FOOT THE BILL
“Governor Romney has said he is on the same page as Congressman Ryan, so America’s seniors and the middle class should take note of what that means for them. The Romney and Ryan budgets would turn Medicare into a voucher program, increase health care costs to seniors by thousands of dollars and make arbitrary cuts to programs essential to middle class families like education and clean energy, all while giving massive tax cuts to the wealthiest and protecting taxpayer subsidies to oil companies and hedge fund managers. And by repealing health care reform and cutting over $1 trillion from Medicaid, Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan would deny coverage to approximately 50 million Americans who currently have it, including low-income children, pregnant women, nursing home patients and people with disabilities. We can’t do the same thing and expect a different result – Governor Romney has embraced a carbon copy of the policies that led to the economic crisis.” — Ben LaBolt, Press Secretary
ROMNEY-RYAN BUDGET: TAX CUTS FOR THE TOP, DEEP CUTS FOR THE MIDDLE-CLASS
The budget released today by Rep. Paul Ryan mirrors the radical policies supported by Gov. Mitt Romney: massive tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, privatize Medicare and deep, arbitrary cuts that hurt middle-class families.
Ryan’s Path to Poverty
Romney Budget Plan
|Breaks Bipartisan Deal on Spending||
|Huge Tax Cuts for the Wealthy||
|Deep Cuts in Medicaid and Healthcare Coverage||
|Repeals Key Protections in Wall Street Reform||
End note: Absent from the Obama/Biden press release above was the restoration of the sequestration cuts that were made to military spending which takes up, by far, the largest portion of spending in the federal budget. It is time to put our money “where our mouth is” and stop putting money into more and more weapons of destruction and involving our Country in one armed conflict after another. Maybe we should mandate that every Republican is required to watch that new “Bully” film.