Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rep. Ryan's Plan Just Plain Wrong

Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, who represents Wisconsin, has proposed a budget plan that puts reducing the federal deficit on the backs of poor and elderly people.

And continues to keep it off the backs of the wealthy and the military.

Somehow, Ryan, who is chair of the House Budget Committee, thinks the federal government can somehow cut spending WHILE cutting taxes, primarily for wealthy individuals and corporations.

Medicaid, the federal program that aids poor and severely disabled people, would be cut and poor people would lose their right to Medicaid assistance. Medicare, the program that helps seniors with their insurance needs, would also be cut.

Granted, the federal government needs to reign in spending on both those programs. The two make up a big portion of the federal budget, and if we need to make cuts, those programs need to accept some cuts.

But Ryan's plan to cap the maximum tax rate at 25 percent for EVERYONE is ridiculous. In times of need - as we are in now - we all need to sacrifice. Reducing the percentage of tax the wealthiest of Americans pay reduces the percentage of their sacrifice.

That's called a regressive tax. The poor and elderly shoulder a larger percentage of the cuts in relation to their total earning capacity.

But that's Ryan's plan, apparently. If the rich have more money to spend, they'll spend it to stimulate the economy. That is the trickle-down theory made famous by former President Reagan back in the 80s. That didn't work so well for a majority of Americans.

What that tax decrease means is this, according to 2010 tax law:
  • Anyone making over $82,000 a year will now pay 25 percent of their income.
  • People making $171,000 to $373,000, who previously paid 33 percent of their income as tax, will also pay 25 percent.
  • And people making OVER $373,000 will ALSO play only 25 percent. 
What's even more ridiculous that while the poor and elderly shoulder a greater share of the cuts, the military shoulders nothing.


Once again, the elephant in the room is military spending, which account for over 50 percent of the federal budget. Military contractors have conveniently put factories providing jobs in all 50 states so that Representatives and Senators will not have the will to eliminate these jobs.

And no one is talking about how we might restructure that military spending into green spending on the environment, or, god forbid, education spending to produce a more educated and flexible work force.

Rep. Ryan is just plain wrong. I hate to think he's mean-spirited or callous. But if actions speak louder than words, that's my conclusion.

1 comment: