Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Republicans propose to increase the deficit and punish the elderly

By now you have heard of Paul Ryan’s budget proposal that is supposed to bring the deficit under control and make all things right again in America.  Well, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has taken a look at the Ryan’s Republican proposal and guess what.  Ryan doesn’t reduce the deficit between now and 2022, he INCREASES it.  If we do nothing, the CBO estimates that debt held by the public will grow to 67% of GDP by 2022.  If we adopt the Republican plan, it will grow to 70% of GDP.  In other words, if we do what the Republicans want us to do, WE WILL BE WORSE OFF THAN DOING NOTHING.

Now, to be fair, Ryan’s proposal does start bringing down the deficit after 2022.  It goes to 64% of GDP by 2030, 48% by 2040 and and just 10% by 2050.

So, that sounds pretty good, right?  Well not if you plan to get old.  You see the Ryan Republicans get the deficit under control on the backs of the elderly.  They just shift more and more of the burden of paying for healthcare to people over 65.  So, if Ryan gets his way and you get old someday, you will pay a lot more out of your own pocket to stay alive than you would under Medicare as we know it. Of course, you will have a choice.  You can go without medical care. You can die. 

OR, we could keep Obamacare that will actually brings down the deficit. We could eliminate the Bush tax cuts for the rich the Repubs insist on making permanent.  We could keep the corporate income tax rate where it is and close loopholes that let companies like GE get away with paying much tax at all.  We could do a lot of things to get the deficit down without punishing the people who had nothing to do with running up the deficit in the first place. 

Read the writing on the wall.  It is clear what the Republicans are trying to do.  They have always hated Medicare and Social Security.  They are using the deficit as an excuse to eliminate these and other progressive programs that have benefited millions of Americans and continue to do so today9.  If you plan to ever get old, wake up, go to the polls next year, support Democrats.  You had better do all you can to get people like Ryan out of office and out of power.  If you don’t, you’re going to pay a big price someday.  You are going to wake up one day having to make a choice between eating or filing the prescription for the drugs that are keeping you and your loved ones alive.  

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