I listened to Paul Ryan explain his budget the other day, and then to his conversation with past-President Clinton. When he started with “We need to cut costs, everything is on the table,” I nearly swallowed my tongue! Everything? Really? No, it’s not. Mr. Ryan and the Republican party has made it clear that everything is NOT on the table. Tax increases for the very wealthy are not on the table. Subsidies to the oil and gas industry are not on the table. In reality, things that affect the very rich are not on the table, things that affect the very least able in this country are on the table. This is both ageist and “classist” at its worst. Our own legislators are trying to say that the only programs that will save enought money to cut our debt are the ones that help less fortunate and less able individuals.
Any responsible working individual knows that to cut debt you need to eliminate waste and increase income. For many of us cutting waste might do the trick. The rest of us get more hours to work. All of us realize that giving money to people who don’t need it is both rather pointless and usually counter productive. While Mr. Ryan has been busy blaming the media for “scaring seniors” about their current Medicare and Social Security, he ignores the fact that many of these same seniors have children, whom they are rather protective of. They feel they have paid their taxes and Medicare and Social Security tax long enough that their children should see benefits as well. Those very seniors are also concerned about their grandchildren. Congressman Ryan ignores all of that while touting the benefits of his reduction plan and voting to continue the subsidies to gas, oil, and coal, and to keep the wealthy tax cuts going.
“Well, I don’t think Medicare was the only thing on the table. If you were just talking about Medicare, that would be one thing,” Clyburn said. “But we were talking about reducing Medicare while continuing to give these big tax breaks to millionaires, to oil companies, subsidies that they don’t need, and people saw the correlation between that. And I do believe that those two things working together produced that victory.”
Keeping the focus on tax loopholes, subsidies, and tax incentives for the wealthy businesses who fail to create jobs is a winning argument against the Republican budget as much as the Medicare program changes. For those who wonder if the changes to Medicare would be that dreadful, think about the insurance you are getting right now. Unregulated, that will continue to decline, and we all know that. The harsh cuts to Medicaid, which has been left off that side of the argument, would affect every single senior and disabled person who is forced to live in a Nursing Home or other long-term care facility. Imagine trying to pay for that with limited insurance!
Mr. Sperling attacked the House Republican proposals to overhaul Medicare and Medicaid, saying that the $770 billion in savings Republicans wanted from changing Medicaid would be unnecessary if Republicans would agree to roll back certain tax cuts.
Sperling apparently also said “From a values perspective, we should be very deeply troubled by the Medicaid cuts in the House Republican plan.”
Unless voters start emailing, calling, and in any way contacting their congressperson to tell them Vote NO for the Ryan plan, and keep our social safety net out their for those who need it, we could see significant changes coming our way. While it may not affect you if you are over 55, look at your children and grandchildren. Where do you want them to live when they get older? At home, or on the street? One illness, and that’s where they are headed, for the street, if we take their net away. Unfortunately for me, my congressperson is Paul Ryan, and he isn’t listening.