House Speaker John Boehner’s new budget proposal would require deep cuts in the years immediately ahead in Social Security and Medicare benefits for current retirees, the repeal of health reform’s coverage expansions, or wholesale evisceration of basic assistance programs for vulnerable Americans.
The plan is, thus, tantamount to a form of “class warfare.” If enacted, it could well produce the greatest increase in poverty and hardship produced by any law in modern U.S. history.
This may sound hyperbolic, but it is not. The mathematics are inexorable.
In short, the Boehner plan would force policymakers to choose among cutting the incomes and health benefits of ordinary retirees, repealing the guts of health reform and leaving an estimated 34 million more Americans uninsured, and savaging the safety net for the poor. It would do so even as it shielded all tax breaks, including the many lucrative tax breaks for the wealthiest and most powerful individuals and corporations.
President Obama has said that, while we must reduce looming deficits, we must take a balanced approach. The Boehner proposal badly fails this test of basic decency. The President should veto the bill if it reaches his desk. Congress should find a fairer, more decent way to avoid a default.
Just to remind ourselves of our current situation, the current and prospective Federal debt has not produced a fiscal crisis, Social Security is not in trouble, the United States has one of the lowest tax to GDP ratios of all the OECD countries and an austerity budget can trigger a severe economic contraction during a time of high-unemployment. This whole ‘debate’ is class war in its simplest and vilest form. It is a war that the rich are winning, as Warren Buffet pointed out.
- “The Greatest Increase in Poverty and Hardship Produced by Any Law in Modern U.S. History” (economistsview.typepad.com)
- Atlman and Kingson Respond to CBPP’s Support For Social Security Cuts (my.firedoglake.com)
- A Viable Start to Debt Reform (cowgirlkitty.com)
- US’s Boehner: Obama Can End Debt Crisis By Embracing GOP Plan (forexlive.com)
- GOP’s hard right shift may put deal at risk (politico.com)
- Boehner: ‘It May Be Pretty Hard To Put Humpty Dumpty Back Together Again’ (huffingtonpost.com)
- Real Threat to Social Security Benefits is Government Spending (eagleviews.org)
- Emerging budget deal to right of “gang of six,” Boehner proposes repealing HCR too (americablog.com)
- Debt Duel: Obama Appeals to People; Boehner: Public Fed Up (blogs.abcnews.com)