Republicans have already alienated younger voters with their reactionary social policies, including anti-LGBT policies demanded by the Christofascists who make up Der Trumpenführer remaining loyal base. Now, with the House budget bill they seem about to alienate older Americans so as to benefit large financial institution and a wasteful Defense Department. On the chopping block are Medicare and Social Security, often seen as the third rail in national politics, but targets of the GOP unrestrained reverse Robin Hood, despite the seeming collapse of the latest Trumpcare bill that lost two more Republican senators late yesterday due to the horrific impact the bill would have on millions of Americans. And despite promises by Der Trumpenführer that he would never countenance cuts to Medicare or Social Security. Of course, we learned quickly that Trump's promises are worthless. A piece in the Washington Post looks at the draconian House proposal that would accelerate the GOP's push to bring back the worse aspects of the Gilded Age. Here are excerpts:
House Republicans unveiled a 2018 budget plan Tuesday that would pave the way for ambitious tax reform legislation — but only alongside a package of politically sensitive spending cuts that threaten to derail the tax rewrite before it begins.
The instructions in the draft budget, however, go well beyond tax policy and set the stage for a potential $203 billion rollback of financial industry regulations, federal employee benefits, welfare spending and more.
Like the spending blueprint released this year by President Trump, the House plan envisions major cuts to federal spending over the coming decade, bringing the budget into balance by relying on accelerated economic growth to boost revenue. Under the House plan, defense spending would steadily increase over 10 years while nondefense discretionary spending would decline to $424 billion — 23 percent below the $554 billion the federal government is spending in that category this year.
Unlike Trump’s budget, the House proposal cuts into Medicare and Social Security — entitlement programs that the president has pledged to preserve. The House plan also makes a less-rosy economic growth assumption of 2.6 percent versus the 3 percent eyed by the Trump administration. Both, however, exceed the 1.9 percent figure eyed by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office in its most recent economic estimates.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and the panel’s chairman, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), have said they intend to pursue a deficit-neutral reform bill, meaning the savings would have to be found in other programs under the committee’s jurisdiction — such as Medicare, disability aid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and unemployment compensation.
The Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has explored cuts to the federal workforce and to federal employee benefits, would be required to find $32 billion in deficit savings.
Members of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus have been pushing for more aggressive long-term spending cuts in reconciliation. The group’s leader, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), told reporters last week that the numbers in the draft budget could not pass the House, calling the proposed $203 billion in mandatory spending cuts over the coming decade a relative pittance in a federal budget that already approaches $4 trillion in yearly spending.
Moderates, meanwhile, are staging a revolt of their own. Twenty members of the centrist Tuesday Group signed a letter last month objecting to even $200 billion in mandatory spending cuts, arguing they are “not practical” and would “make enacting tax reform even more difficult than it already will be.”
Average Americans need to (i) hope this bill fails, and (ii) wake up to the reality that to the GOP they are little more than disposable trash. Senior citizens who have been duped by the GOP's calls to racism and religious based bigotry could pay a high price if this bill and any version of Trumpcare pass. Meanwhile, those with aging parents best grapple with the reality that they may end up housing the sick and frail parents or have to bear the high cost of their care in nursing homes. The GOP message to the elderly? Do us a favor and die. As for federal employees in Northern Virginia, I hope they punish the GOP by voting a straight Democratic ticket in Virginia's November elections.