Oh Shit, Merica's Out Of Money! Paul Ryan BE BEST Slash Medicare Now!
House Republicans, apparently trying to remind America that they're capable of bad decisions on so many more issues than just immigration, have offered a bold new plan to balance the federal budget in just nine years, eschewing the usual 10-year timeline more typical of such rightwing wet dreams to prove they're serious this time. And what an exciting name the thing has: It's called "A Brighter American Future," and it offers such fresh new Republican ideas as massive cuts to Medicare, also privatizing Medicare, chopping Medicaid into little bits, and then stomping on the bits -- all assuming that they've, once again, repealed Obamacare.
Oh yes, and in a truly novel move, it also involves unrealistically optimistic assumptions about economic growth. So basically, it's Paul Ryan's "Path to Prosperity" budget from 2011 with a new cover sheet and some updated numbers. Hooray!
So what's in this dog's breakfast of a plan that will make for all sorts of terrific campaign ads this fall? It would slash over half a trillion dollars -- $573 billion -- from Medicare over 10 years, but that's fine, because it would also encourage seniors to sign up for private insurance that would more efficiently transfer tax dollars to stockholders in the medical-industrial complex than just plain covering doctor visits does.
It would also -- just like the failed attempts to kill off Obamacare, which this bill assumes will get kilt permanently -- convert Medicaid into a block-grant program so states could screw over poor people with the sort of local control they've dreamed of. And in what's supposedly a budget bill, it would add national work requirements for Medicaid, which would actually cost money to administer, but would supposedly save money by reducing the amount spent on actual services. It also, like we said, assumes Obamacare would finally be eliminated, bringing the total "savings" from health cuts to 1.5 trillion bucks over a decade. (Not savings. Not savings. Not savings. But you knew that.)
Along with being framed as a reconciliation bill -- which will allow them to repeal the ACA, again, with only 50 votes instead of 60 -- it also fucks your children, notably with $230 billion slashed from student loans, Pell grants, and other education spending, because education just turns people into Godless liberals anyway.
Oh, and also there's the bit in the budget-balancing magic where they plagiarize the old Sidney Harris cartoon where the guy writes "Then a miracle occurs" in the middle of his equation:
The budget also relies on rosy economic-growth projections and proposes using a budgetary mechanism to require other congressional committees to come up with a combined $302 billion in unspecified deficit reduction.
Sounds like they're on top of it, all right! And they say we really, really have to do this because after all, some irresponsible jokers went and cut a trillion and a half dollars in revenue by giving the richest Americans a big fat tax cut. Boy, if they find those guys, they're gonna be MAD:
Republicans on the Budget Committee said they felt a responsibility to put the nation on a sounder fiscal trajectory. "
The time is now for our Congress to step up and confront the biggest challenge to our society," said House Budget Chairman Steve Womack (R-Ark.). "There is not a bigger enemy on the domestic side than the debt and deficits."
Say, what about the defense budget? Ha-ha, we are just joshing you. It is impossible to save money there. This is a known known.
And what are the prospects for this completely innovative plan to repackage shit that went nowhere when Paul Ryan was still a "Young Gun"? Maybe not so great! The House Budget Committee is bent on passing it sometime this week, so they can be on the record as Fiscal Hawks, but WaPo adds,
It is not clear that GOP leaders will put the document on the House floor for a vote, and even if it were to pass the House, the budget would have little impact on actual spending levels.
So, more of a rightwing wish list and fodder for red-state campaign ads about being willing to make the tough choices and stick it to the lazy poors.
Fine, assholes -- it'll make for exactly the kinds of Democratic ads that helped sink Ryan and that guy who ran with him for president in 2012, whoever that was.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.