If you thought the federal budget proposed last year by Rep. Paul Ryan's House budget committee was extremely duplicitous and cruel, wait until you see his committee's plan for the 2013.
It promises to cut taxes more for the super rich and to close unspecified loopholes on corporate taxes. At the same time, it would whack Medicare recipients' guarantees for health care and slash spending on Medicaid, which provides health care to very poor, by fully 45 percent. That would leave approximately 19 million people without care, while adding roughly 33 million more to the ranks of the uninsured by rolling back health care reforms.
In fact, around half of the $5 trillion in cuts Ryan proposes for the next 10 years would come from an array of health care services, including federal support for public clinics and school health programs. Future Medicare recipients would be offered premium subsidies, but not the guaranteed coverage provided currently. Other cuts would come in public infrastructure investments -- including a reduction of $40 to $50 billion in the next year budget alone.
Rep. Ryan tries to sound like he is talking a good game and pursuing fairness, but in reality, it's more of the same old GOP policy of helping the rich and their corporations, while kneecapping vital social support systems and public infrastructure. That would mainly hurt the broad middle class, transportation, public works and housing, the poor and the uninsured who are now excluded by unaffordable policies for their current health conditions.
His budget proposal also tramples the 2011 bipartisan agreement by Congress and the White House to trim $55 billion annually, and equally, from current military and domestic programs over the next decade. His proposal actually would increase military spending, while deepening cuts in a broad range of domestic programs.
This isn't acceptable, and it surely will not pass the Senate. It is noteworthy nonetheless for the grim vision it paints for the vast majority of Americans.