Experts, Ed. Boards Call House Republican Budget “Dangerously Wrong”

The House Republican budget introduced yesterday only saw the light of day for a few hours before observers skewered it as “dangerously wrong” and “intentionally vague”.

Congressman Dennis Rehberg will have to vote on the bill.  GOP congressional candidate Steve Daines won’t say where he stands on any version of Paul Ryan’s controversial plan to gut Medicare to pay for tax breaks for the rich.

The formula behind this bill is simple:  Make huge cuts to Medicare, pay for those cuts by giving tax breaks to the rich, ignore a serious strategy to bring down the deficit. 

The House Republican budget would change Medicare beyond recognition:

  • The plan still includes a controversial private voucher system that would replace traditional Medicare [Politico, 3/20/12].
  • It would increase costs Medicare costs on seniors by shifting the burden to consumers [CBPP 3/19/12].
  • “The Ryan-Wyden plan is similar to Newt Gingrich’s 1995 proposal that, according to Gingrich, would have caused traditional Medicare to ‘wither on the vine’“  [CBPP 3/19/12].

The House Republican budget pays for Medicare cuts by giving huge tax breaks to the wealthy and corporate special interests:

  • The plan gives the richest Americans a 10% tax cut and “virtually eliminates” taxes on overseas corporate profits [Washington Post 3/20/12].

The House Republican budget is not a serious way to tackle the debt:

  • Experts say the plan is “smoke and mirrors” that would increase the deficit [Washington Post, 3/20/12].
  • The plan “relies on some unrealistic assumptions” to project the deficit. [Washington Post 3/20/12].

That's why editorial boards and observers are slamming the House Republican budget:

Washington Post: “Moreover, no matter what deductions are curtailed, the benefit of the lower rates would flow overwhelmingly to the wealthiest Americans, while Mr. Ryan would take a machete to programs that help the least fortunate.”

New York Times: The House Republican budget, “is one where the rich pay less in taxes than the unfairly low rates they pay now, while programs for the poor — including Medicaid and food stamps — are slashed and thrown to the whims of individual states.”

Dana Milbank, Washington Post: “How very kind: To protect poor Americans from being demeaned, Ryan is cutting their anti-poverty programs and using the proceeds to give the wealthiest Americans a six-figure tax cut.”

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