A damning judgment of Boehner’s recent budget

Robert Greenstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities wrote:

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.

Reactionary politics and the deficit

Chad Stone, the chief economist for The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, informs us that “…the Bush-era tax cuts and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars — including their associated interest costs — account for almost half of the projected public debt in 2019 (measured as a share of the economy) if we continue current policies.”

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

This debt projection is instructive, although, as Kathy Ruffing and James R. Horney, also members of The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, point out, “Some lawmakers, pundits, and others continue to say that President George W. Bush’s policies did not drive the projected federal deficits of the coming decade — that, instead, it was the policies of President Obama and Congress in 2009 and 2010. But, the fact remains: the economic downturn, President Bush’s tax cuts and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq explain virtually the entire deficit over the next ten years ….” The debt projection may be instructive, but only those willing to evaluate the facts of the matter and then soundly draw conclusions from their evaluations will learn something pertinent about America’s economic predicament.

I guess the Washington elite along with their finance capital paymasters are not among those individuals capable of learning anything about the economy they regulate.

Charting America’s class war

The Bush tax cuts suck. But sane people knew that already. They suck because they sought to benefit the rich, especially the rentier class, at the expense of the middle and working classes. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities provides two charts which clearly depict this class war.