The Center of Budget and Policy Priorities issued a new analysis last night on Speaker Boehner's budget proposal.  It's final conclusion is a blistering description of just how the GOP hopes to continue making the rich richer and the rest of us pay for it:
House Speaker John Boehner’s new budget proposal would essentially require, as the price of raising the debt ceiling again early next year, a choice between deep cuts in the years immediately ahead in Social Security and Medicare benefits for current retirees, 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. Both the mathematics and the politics are clear.
  • The Boehner plan calls for large cuts in discretionary programs of $1.2 trillion over the next ten years, and it then requires additional cuts that are large enough to produce another $1.8 trillion in savings to be enacted by the end of the year as a condition for raising the debt ceiling again at that time.
  • The Boehner plan envisions no tax increases, with its entire $1.8 trillion in additional deficit reduction coming from budget cuts. Speaker Boehner gave documents to House Republican caucus members stating that the $1.8 trillion would come from “entitlement reforms and savings” and that the plan “includes no tax hikes.” In addition, Speaker Boehner told radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh that Republicans appointed to the special committee that will craft the $1.8 trillion in savings won’t support tax increases and, in the unlikely event that that committee proposed a plan with tax increases, House Republicans would vote it down anyway.[1] A House GOP aide toldNational Review more bluntly: “We appoint members to the committee, and we’re not appointing any Republicans who will vote for tax hikes.” [2]
  • You can read the full report on the CBPP website...and we highly recommend you do.  Following is the letter we at the National Committee sent to Congress last night:
    July 26, 2011  United States House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515  Dear Representative:  On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I urge you to raise our nation’s debt limit while protecting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – three programs essential to the health and financial well-being of America’s elderly and most vulnerable citizens.   Social Security has not contributed to the federal deficit, and in fact cannot contribute to the deficit by law – it therefore has no place in a deficit discussion.  Medicare and Medicaid are health insurance programs and are subject to the same inflationary pressures that have made health insurance increasingly unaffordable for workers and their employers.  Cutting the federal health programs without reducing health care costs system-wide will result in access limitations for seniors.   The proposal submitted by Speaker Boehner represents a ‘stealth attack’ on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, while protecting the wealthiest Americans from making even the smallest contribution toward reducing our mountain of debt by excluding any increase in revenue on their part.  Shared sacrifice cannot be limited to the poor and middle-class, as the Boehner proposal suggests.  We certainly agree that it would be the height of irresponsibility not to increase the public debt ceiling.  However, by conditioning that increase in the nation’s debt limit on passage of legislation reducing the deficit by $1.8 trillion, Speaker Boehner’s substitute holds the nation’s economic future hostage in order to force deep cuts in the programs our seniors depend on. Although Speaker Boehner’s proposal does not cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid directly, deep cuts in these programs are the inevitable result of the legislative process his amendment creates.  We at the National Committee will make sure our millions of members and supporters are fully informed about the consequences of this proposal, and consider a vote for Speaker Boehner’s substitute to S. 627 the same as a vote to impose deep cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  We urge you to vote against Speaker Boehner’s debt limit proposal. Sincerely,  Max Richtman Executive Vice  President and Acting CEO