There’s no doubt the Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is the golden boy of the radical right. Ryan’s the new chair of the House Budget Committee and has just unveiled his plan to fund the federal government until the end of the fiscal year. It may be the biggest piece of partisan hackery designed to protect corporate donors that we’ve ever seen.
First of all, what exactly is in Ryan’s budget? Everything but the kitchen sink. He wants to repeal the Dodd-Frank financial regulations, cut Pell grant increases, repeal the Affordable Care Act (aka health reform), privatizes Medicare, lock in the Bush tax cuts and lower corporate taxes. (Hat tip to Ezra Klein for the breakdown.)
There’s no shared sacrifice in this budget, no fairness. Two-thirds of the Ryan’s program cuts fall on lower income Americans:
Meanwhile, the top income and corporate tax brackets get MORE benefits on the backs of middle class taxpayers. When GE is recording $5.1 billion in profits just from the US government, Ryan’s budgets adds insult to injury.
Ryan touts his budget as cutting $4 trillion in spending. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) says Ryan’s budget gets serious about the deficit. But Ryan and the representatives who support him, like Lee Terry (R-NE2), aren’t the least bit serious about deficits. If they were, they wouldn’t fight so hard for handouts to millionaires and corporations who caused a big part of the financial mess in the first place.
Making corporations pay their fair share won’t tank the economy despite what the radical Republicans would like you to think. US corporations are enjoying record profits while most of us are struggling to pay our health insurance. If anything, this budget is a kickback to the big biz and insurance interests who have donated over $2.1 million to Ryan and his PAC.
This budget is flat out unjust. While we believe, like Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), that the time for stopgap measures is over, Ryan’s budget is the wrong answer. What we need from Washington is a budget compromise not this confrontational piece of partisan hackery meant to score political points with the fringe interest groups (we’re looking at you, Tea Party).
Because, if Washington can not come to some middle ground, here are just a few examples of how Nebraskans will be impacted (hat tip to Senator Nelson):
- Military families will experience financial hardship. Our troops will fight but will not be paid during the shutdown. This could be particularly hard for the families back home of service members deployed overseas.
- Today, more than 1,100 Nebraska National Guardsmen are deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. An additional 3,700 Nebraska guardsmen also face this uncertainty.
- Farmers will lose operating loans during planting season. The USDA’s Farm Service Agency has 85 loans approved in Nebraska that cannot be funded because of the budget uncertainties. Nelson has heard from many Nebraska farmers concerned that the instability of the budget situation will impact their spring operating loans.
So what can you do? Call your federal elected officials and tell them to oppose the irresponsible Ryan budget. We know as progressives and moderates, it can sometimes seem fruitless to call Fortenberry, Terry and Smith. But these are our elected representatives, and they MUST know that Nebraskans do not support this budget.
Call Your House Representative:
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE1), covers most of East Nebraska, (202) 225-4806
Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE2), covers most of Omaha Metro, (202) 225-4155
Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE3), covers the Central and West Nebraska, (202) 225-6435
or use the Health Care for America Now system
Call Both Senators:
Sen. Ben Nelson (202) 224-6551
Sen. Mike Johanns (202) 224-4224
(A final note: House Republicans voted on a Balanced Budget Amendment last week. Ryan’s budget would be unconstitutional under that amendment.)