Paul Ryan-- The Voice Of Right Wing Destructiveness
Although the headline was that Ryan is open to being Romney's running mate-- he must be seeing the same polling that shows he could lose his Wisconsin House seat that we are-- the reason Ryan went on CBS's Face the Nation yesterday was to continue distorting the realities of his horrific budgetary proposal. And although the leadership of the DCCC-- corrupt conservatives Steve Israel (NY) and Joe Crowley (NY) particularly-- continues long-standing DCCC policy of a hands-off approach to elections in WI-1 and adamantly refuse to assist Rob Zerban financially, the DCCC staffers did a bang-up job on debunking Ryan's lies yesterday. They zoomed in on the 4 most blatant lies:
(1) “We’re putting the budget on a path to balance and to pay the debt off”
(2) “We’re not proposing tax cuts”
(3) Republicans would “clear out all the special interest loopholes
(4) the budget would “create jobs and economic growth”
In reality, the Republican budget would increase the deficit, give tax cuts to the ultra wealthy, creates special interest tax loopholes encouraging companies to ship American jobs overseas, and destroy American jobs. The Republican budget would force the middle class and seniors to sacrifice in order to protect the ultra wealthy and special interests.
RAISES THE DEFICIT
Ryan’s Plan Adds $3.1 Trillion to the Deficit; Adds More to the Deficit than Under Current Law. “Ryan’s blueprint, ‘The Path to Prosperity,’ would add $3.127 trillion to the deficit during the decade spanning 2013 to 2022, according to a table on page 88 of the plan. The Congressional Budget Office estimated in its March 2012 projections that if “current laws generally remain unchanged,” the federal government would incur deficits totaling $2.887 trillion from 2013 to 2022. In other words, Congress would save more money over the next decade if it allowed current law to continue than if it adopted Ryan’s budget.” [The Hill, 3/20/12]
Tax Expert Called Ryan’s Budget Plan Phony. “He’s a phony,” Robert McIntyre, the director of Citizens for Tax Justice said of Rep. Ryan. “But he’s always been a phony […] This is all smoke mirrors and no deficit reduction,” McIntyre concludes. “Have you seen the cover? It’s beautiful. That’s the best part. But he is proposing to increase the budget deficit over the long term.” [Citizens for Tax Justice, 3/20/12]
GIVES TAX CUTS TO THE WEALTHY
Ryan’s Plan Includes Tax Cuts for the Wealthy. “Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, is returning to center stage as the GOP doubles down on his conservative budget priorities-- including tax cuts for the wealthy and a new version of his plan for major changes in Medicare.” [Los Angeles Times, 3/16/12]
$150,000 Tax Break to Millionaires. Ryan’s Plan specifies more than $1 trillion in tax cuts for families making more than $250,000. This equates to an average tax cut of at least $150,000 per millionaire. [White House Analysis of House Republican Budget, 3/21/12]
$3 Trillion in Tax Cuts for People Earning Over $200,000. Ryan’s Plan calls for cut taxes by roughly $3 trillion, with most of the tax cuts going to people earning more than $200,000. [Economic Policy Institute, 3/20/12]
New York Times Editorial: Ryan’s Plan Would Mean the Rich Pay Less in Taxes. Ryan’s plan “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.” [New York Times Editorial, 3/20/12]
PROTECTS SPECIAL INTEREST LOOPHOLES
Ryan’s Plan Also Encourages Companies to Ship Jobs Overseas. Currently, U.S. companies pay the tax rate of the country where the outpost is located and then, if they bring those profits home, often pay some U.S. taxes as well. Under the Ryan’s proposal, companies essentially would pay just the tax rate of the country where the profits are earned. According to the Tax Policy Center, exempting these offshore earning from U.S. tax liability “might encourage some domestic companies to move more of their operations-- and shift both jobs and more reported income-- to low tax countries.” Similarly, Citizens for Tax Justice concluded that adopting this type of system would increase the incentives for job offshoring. [National Journal, 3/20/12; Wall Street Journal, 3/19/12; Tax Policy Center, 2/28/12; Citizens for Tax Justice, 10/19/11]
Ryan’s Promise to Close Tax Loopholes is an Empty Promise. “Mr. Ryan became well known last year as the face of the most extreme budget plan passed by a house of Congress in modern times. His new budget is, if anything, worse, full of bigger, emptier promises. […] It vows to balance tax cuts for corporations and the rich by closing loopholes, but never lists the loopholes.” [New York Times Editorial, 3/20/12]
The Baltimore Sun Called Ryan’s Plan a “Con Game.” “[Paul Ryan] believes the nation can drastically lower tax rates-- he would have just two income tax brackets of 10 percent and 25 percent-- while slicing the deficit by $400 billion in the first year alone. How? Chiefly by closing some unstated tax loopholes and cutting heavily into spending in a way that he claims would juice the economy like some kind of experimental rocket fuel. Sorry, but most Americans aren't buying into that con game.” [Baltimore Sun Editorial, 3/20/12]
DESTROYS AMERICAN JOBS AND HURT ECONOMY
Ryan Plan Destroys 1.3 Million Jobs in 2013. “Paul Ryan’s latest budget doesn’t just fail to address job creation, it aggressively slows job growth. Against a current policy baseline, the budget cuts discretionary programs by about $120 billion over the next two years and mandatory programs by $284 billion, sucking demand out of the economy when it most needs it and leading to job loss. Using a standard macroeconomic model that is consistent with that used by private- and public-sector forecasters, the shock to aggregate demand from near-term spending cuts would result in roughly 1.3 million jobs lost in 2013 and 2.8 million jobs lost in 2014, or 4.1 million jobs through 2014.” [Economic Policy Institute, 3/21/12]
Ryan’s Plan Would Impede the Nation’s Economic Recovery. “These extreme cuts and changes would greatly impede the nation’s economic recovery, and hurt those on the middle and lower economic rungs who suffered most from the recession.” [New York Times Editorial, 3/20/12]
And Ryan's slash-and-burn approach to the middle class certainly doesn't spare his already hard-pressed own district, something the DCCC isn't emphasizing... but should. There is ONLY ONE WAY to defeat Ryan and that's by electing Rob Zerban to replace him, something the DCCC gives superficial support to-- but no real support. Israel has even told wealthy donors to not contribute to Zerban's campaign. If Ryan is going to be defeated-- if his horrific ideas are going to wind up, at least temporarily, on the trash heap of history-- it's going to be up to grassroots Americans, not insidious and corrupt insiders who take bribes from the same corporate interests that Ryan gets his bribes from and who dictate the DC policy agenda. You can help Zerban beat Ryan here. In Janesville, where Ryan supposedly lives, his budget is as hated by working families as it is everywhere in America.
As Ryan's proposal to slash taxes and spending started to move through Congress last week, local officials in this humble Rust Belt city scrambled to recover from last year's cutbacks.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development had clawed back $344,000 from the city's affordable-housing fund, so the Janesville Community Development Authority voted to drain its reserves to keep its 525 families in the program.
The city won't have to put anybody out on the street, probably. But there is no cushion left.
Ryan has called for belt-tightening to head off fiscal disaster in the years to come, but Janesville is already familiar with austerity.
There's less money for job training, health clinics and the food bank; higher property taxes and higher car fees; larger school class sizes, crumbling roads, fewer firefighters.
"It's like being in a fight against five or six people. Every time you turn around you're getting punched from a different direction," said City Council President Russ Steeber.
..."When people sent Paul Ryan to Washington, D.C., they certainly didn't send him there to end Medicare," said Democrat Rob Zerban, who hopes to unseat Ryan in the fall.
Ryan's district, which encompasses struggling cities as well as affluent lake resorts and blue-collar Milwaukee suburbs, has grown more Democratic in recent years.
...Under Ryan's plan, the government would spend $3 trillion less than Obama over the coming 10 years on domestic programs. That's one-third less for Medicaid, the health plan for the poor; one-quarter less for transportation, and one-third less for education. Tax breaks and food and housing assistance for the poor would shrink by 16 percent.
His budget, like the rival vision outlined by Obama in February, has no chance of becoming law as long as Democrats and Republicans split power. But no matter who controls Washington after the November elections, continued austerity is likely to be the rule under a 10-year, $1 trillion deficit-reduction plan passed last year.
Even relatively modest reductions hit hard in Janesville, which is still digging out from the closure of a General Motors plant four years ago that left 4,000 people out of work.
Businesses are pushing to widen Interstate 90, an effort that would rely on federal money. Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport also is counting on federal dollars in the next 10 years to cover 90 percent of a planned $5 million runway upgrade.
Federal job training grants helped many of the laid-off GM workers learn new skills at Blackhawk Technical College, and one in five students there currently rely on federal student loans or grants, according to a school official.
Ryan's proposed Medicaid cuts would strain local hospitals, which already lose money on every patient they see under the program.
"Our mission is to provide health services to the communities where we have a presence," said Rich Gruber, a vice president at Mercy Health System. "If I don't have a financial margin, I'm never going to be able to accomplish that mission."
Janesville was hammered by the 2008-2009 recession. The GM plant closure sent shock waves through the ecosystem of parts suppliers and other employers that depended on the massive facility for business.
Food banks and other local charities struggled to keep up as demand swelled and private donations plummeted. The city's rental-assistance program, funded by federal money, stopped accepting new applicants two years ago.
Even Fox News has noticed that working families back in Wisconsin are starting to get restive as they watch Ryan's merciless war against their well-being. Fox reported from Kenosha and it helps explain why polls show Ryan in trouble in his own district-- especially when it comes to health care, although Zerban feels the health care bill Ryan wants to see destroyed should be even stronger.
“Well I think some of the provisions should’ve been enacted sooner instead of waiting until 2014 because a lot of these things are cost-saving measures that would help us correct the situation we’re faced with,” Zerban said.
...The issue is affecting other Wisconsin races. Former governor and current Senate hopeful Tommy Thompson also released a statement slamming the act, which opponents call “Obamacare.”
“Obamacare is driving up the costs of healthcare, stifling job creation and adding more than a quarter of a trillion dollars in government spending,” Thompson’s statement read.
Zerban acknowledged the cost of healthcare in the federal budget. But he said Obama’s plan will eventually reduce spending by allowing people with pre-existing conditions to buy private health insurance.
“I don’t think anyone disputes the fact we need to deal with our debt but we just vary greatly on how we want to address it,” he said.