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The 6 Key Failures of the House Republican Budget Plan

The 6 Key Failures of the House Republican Budget Plan

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Michael Linden finds nothing but austerity, insincerity, and duplicity in the latest plan from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.
Michael Linden finds nothing but austerity, insincerity, and duplicity in the latest plan from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.

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Published by: Center for American Progress on Mar 20, 2012
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1Center for American Progress |  The 6 Key Failures of the House Republican Budget Plan
 The 6 Key Failures of the HouseRepublican Budget Plan
Latest Proposal Released Today Offers Pain forEveryone but the Rich
Michael Linden March 2012
Te laes House Republican budge plan asks low-income and middle-class Americanso shoulder he enire burden o deci reducion while simulaneously delivering massiveax breaks o he riches 1 percen and preserving huge giveaways o Big Oil. I’s a recipeor repeaing he misakes o he Bush adminisraion, during which middle-class incomessagnaed and only he privileged ew enjoyed enormous gains.Each componen o he new House Republican budge hreaens he middle class whiledoing nohing o add jobs or grow our economy. I ends he guaranee o decen insuranceor senior ciizens, breaking Medicare’s bedrock promise. I slashes invesmens in educa-ion, inrasrucure, and basic research, all o which are key drivers o economic growhand mobiliy. And i cus axes or hose a he op, asking he middle class o pick up heab. I’s a budge designed o bene he op 1 percen a everyone else’s expense.Te Republican leadership in he House o Represenaives oday unveiled heir laes budge proposal. Tough here are many quesions ye o be answered, one hing isclear—hey have learned nohing rom he damaging budge batles o las year. Tislaes budge blueprin no only mirrors las year’s disasrous eor bu also manages orejec wha litle biparisan budge agreemen was orged in 2011.Tis year’s proposed House budge or scal year 2013 saring in Ocober would onceagain end he Medicare guaranee, once again slash invesmens crucial o he middleclass and o uure economic growh, and once again cu axes or he rich and proecaxpayer subsidies or oil companies. I once again ignores curren economic challenges by oering no credible job-creaion measures, and i once more places virually heenire burden o deb reducion ono he shoulders o hose leas able o bear i.On op o all ha, he new plan, designed by House Budge Commitee Chairman PaulRyan (R-WI), proposes spending levels ha are well below hose ha were agreed o by 
2Center for American Progress |  The 6 Key Failures of the House Republican Budget Plan
 boh Republicans and Democras jus eigh monhs ago. And so once again his appearso be a budge specically designed o caer o he riches 1 percen while poking every-one else—including he middle class and anyone who wans o see biparisan agreemenon he ederal budge—righ in he eye.Here are he six mos imporan ailures o he new House budge plan. I would:
Undermine he middle class
Rig he sysem even more heavily in avor o he riches 1 percen
End he Medicare guaranee and raise healh care coss or seniors
Undercu he economic recovery 
Deviae dramaically rom a balanced approach o deci reducion
Renege on las year’s biparisan budge agreemenLe’s look a each in urn.
Undermining the middle class
Nearly every imporan elemen o he new budge proposal rom he Republicanleadership in he House would weaken he middle class in America. Firs and oremos,he plan ends he Medicare guaranee o decen healh insurance in reiremen. I alsoslashes criical middle-class invesmens, such as educaion and inrasrucure by 45 per-cen and 24 percen, respecively. I includes no a single new measure o help he nearly 13 million unemployed ge back ino a decen job. And on op o all ha, he middleclass would end up paying higher axes as well.
Rigging the system even more heavily in favor of the richest 1 percent
Bu his budge plan isn’ conen jus o ake rom he poor and middle class—i alsogives generously o he rich. I proecs exising ax breaks or hose a he op o heincome specrum, and hen goes he nex sep and oers hem huge new ax cus. Rep.Ryan and his colleagues insis ha he more han $3 rillion in ax cus or he rich won’resul in lower revenue, bu are deliberaely vague abou how he numbers could possi- bly add up. Te realiy is ha he only way o pay or such huge ax cus or he 1 percenis o make he 99 percen pick up he ab.
Ending the Medicare guarantee and raising health care costs for seniors
Teir plan or Medicare is similar o heir proposal rom las year o end he program as we know i. Tis year’s plan, jus like las year’s, calls or replacing he sysem we cur-
3Center for American Progress |  The 6 Key Failures of the House Republican Budget Plan
renly have wih a capped voucher ha seniors would use o purchase healh care cover-age on he privae marke. Unlike las year, however, he new plan claims o mainainradiional Medicare as an opion ha seniors could choose o purchase. Tis sounds alitle beter, bu in realiy heir laes healh care scheme or senior ciizens would inevi-ably resul in a “deah spiral” or Medicare ha means higher coss or seniors.
Undercutting the economic recovery
Tough we’ve recenly enjoyed several monhs o solid job growh, our curren eco-nomic recovery is by no means assured, and we sill have a long way o go o ge back o ull economic healh. No only does he House Republican budge plan ail o pro-pose even a single new idea or spurring job creaion, i would also orce an immediaeswerve ino severe auseriy. I’s an economic prescripion ha, as Europe is ndingou, will make maters much worse.
Deviating dramatically from a balanced approach to deficit reduction
Rep. Ryan is ond o sarring in videos in which he gravely lecures on he need o addressour long-erm scal challenges. He’s no wrong abou ha. We do need o address hosechallenges. And over he pas 18 monhs, many a deailed plan have been pu orh o do jus ha. Several o hose plans have even garnered biparisan suppor. Wha hey have incommon is a commimen o
deci reducion—which includes boh spendingcus and revenue increases—and realisic proposals wih numbers ha add up.Rep. Ryan’s new plan doesn’ come close o ting ha bill. I’s deniely no balanced.No only would he place he enire burden o deci reducion on he middle classand he poor bu also would acually give he rich addiional ax breaks a he sameime. And he numbers don’ even add up o real deci reducion. Te ax proposalsalone would break he bank, and he spending cus are unrealisic in he exreme. I’sno wonder ha Rep. Ryan didn’ allow he Congressional Budge Oce o evaluaehe budge’s acual policy proposals.
Reneging on last year’s bipartisan budget agreement
Te deb-limi debacle o las summer did have one posiive oucome—afer narrowly avoiding a governmen shudown several dieren imes in 2011 i cleared he way ora smooh budge process his year. Te deb-limi deal, known as he Budge Conrol Ac, included an agreemen on overall “discreionary” spending levels—he money haCongress appropriaes each year—or he coming scal year. Te Budge Conrol Acpassed boh houses o Congress wih wide biparisan majoriies and was signed ino law  by Presiden Obama in Augus las year.

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