Monday, April 11, 2011

Republican propose a “reverse Robin Hood” approach to deficit reduction

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) has conducted a further analysis of the Paul Ryan/Republican plan for reducing the deficit.  The CBPP says its overall findings can be summed up as follows: 

[Republicans propose] a dramatic reverse-Robin-Hood approach that gets the lion’s share of its budget cuts from programs for low-income Americans..even as it bestows extremely large tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans.  Taken together, [the Republican] proposals would produce the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern U.S. history, while increasing poverty and inequality more than any measure in recent times and possibly in the nation’s history.

Among other things, the Republican plan as put forward by Ryan would:
  •  Make the Bush tax cuts permanent at a cost of $700 billion over ten years.  People with incomes over $1 million per year would receive a tax cut amounting to an average of $125,000 per year or more than a million dollars over the next decade.

 To fund these tax gifts to the rich, the Republicans propose to:

  • Cut Medicaid by $1.4 trillion dollars over the next decade,
  • Drastically cut back on spending for food stamps, low-income housing, Pell grants and other programs that help people with limited incomes, and
  • Repeal the health reform law’s subsidies to help low-and moderate-income people purchase health insurance.  The CBPP calculates that tens of millions more Americans would be pushed into the ranks of the uninsured or underinsured should these Republican proposals be adopted.

The Republican plan extends tax breaks for special interest groups such as big oil companies and Wall Street traders that allow these people and companies to pay low or no taxes.

All of the savings the Republicans generate from their tax reform proposals they use to fund extending the Bush tax cuts and to cut the top marginal rate for the rich to an historic low of 25%.  Not one cent of savings would be used to reduce the deficit.

Republicans apparently are comfortable with forcing the weakest and most vulnerable Americans who had nothing to do with starting the unfunded Afghan and Iraq wars or with creating the recession to shoulder the lion’s share of pain when it comes to deficit reduction while rewarding many of the very people who created the deficit. 

The Republican plan is unethical, immoral, and just plain wrong.  If adopted, it will do enormous harm to our nation.  Their plan must be stopped, NOW.

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