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The Ryan Budget is bad for Staten Island and New York City

The Ryan Budget is bad for Staten Island and New York City

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Published by St Jermaine Endeley

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Published by: St Jermaine Endeley on May 17, 2012
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A challenge to local Republicans
By Saint Jermaine Endeley The federal budget is a statement of the nation’s priorities and the leading budget proposal; the Romney-Ryan budget represents a fundamental change in the role of government in society – and not for the better. This budget includes unspecified cuts to vital programs that middle-class Americans rely on. Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment Insurance are among the important programs that fall victim to these draconian cuts. The social safety net that Americans enjoy will no longer be available at a time when economic insecurity is rampant across middle class America. Most Americans realize we must control the fiscal outlook of the country. That being said a majority of independent observers also realize we need a combination of spending cuts and increased revenue to fairly balance the budget. The Romney-Ryan budget does the opposite by balancing the budget only through cuts while at the same time reducing the top income tax bracket to 25%. This budget is another example of the Bush era trickle-down approach that has proven detrimental to the U.S. economy over the past decade. Among the many alarming things that will happen if this budget is enacted: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Medicare will be privatized with a change to medical savings accounts. There will no longer be a guarantee of health care to low income seniors and people with disabilities; About 13, 440 children in New York will lose access to Head Start. The Romney-Ryan budget will force New York State’s Head Start program to lose $124.3 million through 2014; Over 1 million students will lose federal Pell grants that make a college education affordable and attainable; Veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars will lose almost $11 billion in aid; The nation will lose 4.1 million jobs by 2014.

If adopted this budget will also trigger many cuts to state and municipal budgets. This means more schools, firehouses, and libraries will close. Roads and transportation options that require substantial investments will be left to crumble. More teachers will lose their jobs and less police will be on the streets while the wealthiest Americans enjoy a 10% tax break. This budget reflects the priorities of the Republican Party, including Staten Island’s own Congressman Michael Grimm, who has twice voted in favor of the plan.

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are entitled to their opinion on the federal budget but they are not entitled to their own facts. The fact is this budget is bad for the American economy. It is bad for seniors, veterans, and children. We are still recovering from the economic damage caused by the Bush-Tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003. Now the Romney-Ryan budget essentially calls for a return to trickle-down economics. The very definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. One has to wonder if Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are insane for thinking the American public would accept this budget as a plausible solution to our economic problems. New York’s local Republican officials, including City Council Minority Leader James Oddo have yet to take a position on this budget. Oddo and his cohorts seem either unable or unwilling to talk about how it will affect New York City. I herby challenge my Republican friends to show leadership on this issue. If they support this budget they should simply be honest about it. The people of New York City deserve to know what their elected representatives think about a budget that will affect so many lives. Not taking a position on this budget would show an abdication of leadership and should be considered disingenuous by the people of New York. This is the most important matter of public policy today and the people deserve strong leadership from their local Republican officials.

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