OK. So maybe I’m an alarmist. But here is what the GOP ranking member on the House Budget Committee, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), has in store for us.
The Roadmap for America’s Future, which Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) — the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee — released in late January, calls for radical policy changes that would result in a massive transfer of resources from the broad majority of Americans to the nation’s wealthiest individuals.
The Roadmap would give the most affluent households a new round of very large, costly tax cuts by reducing income tax rates on high-income households; eliminating income taxes on capital gains, dividends, and interest; and abolishing the corporate income tax, the estate tax, and the alternative minimum tax. At the same time, the Ryan plan would raise taxes for most middle-income families, privatize a substantial portion of Social Security, eliminate the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance, end traditional Medicare and most of Medicaid, and terminate the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The plan would replace these health programs with a system of vouchers whose value would erode over time and thus would purchase health insurance that would cover fewer health care services as the years went by.
The tax cuts for those at the very top would be of historic proportions. A new analysis by the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center (TPC) finds:
■The Ryan plan would cut in half the taxes of the richest 1 percent of Americans — those with incomes exceeding $633,000 (in 2009 dollars) in 2014.
■The higher one goes up the income scale, the more massive the tax cuts would be. Households with incomes of more than $1 million would receive an average annual tax cut of $502,000.
■The richest one-tenth of 1 percent of Americans — those whose incomes exceed $2.9 million a year — would receive an average tax cut of $1.7 million a year. These tax cuts would be on top of those that high-income households would get from making the Bush tax cuts, which are due to expire at the end of 2010, permanent.
To offset some of the cost of these massive tax cuts, the Ryan plan would place a new consumption tax on most goods and services, a measure that would increase taxes on most low- and middle-income families. TPC finds that:
■About three-quarters of Americans — those with incomes between $20,000 and $200,000 — would face tax increases. For example, households with incomes between $50,000 and $75,000 would face an average tax increase of $900. (These estimated changes in taxes are relative to the taxes that would be paid under a continuation of current policy — i.e., what tax liabilities would be if the President and Congress make permanent the expiring 2001 and 2003 tax cuts and relief from the alternative minimum tax.)
■The plan would shift tax burdens so substantially from the wealthy to the middle class that people with incomes over $1 million would face much lower effective tax rates than middle-income families would. That is, they would pay much smaller percentages of their income in federal taxes.
This lays out a plan to privatize as much as possible social programs like Medicare and Social Security and gives huge tax cuts for the rich. There is little mention in this new congress about doing a thing with runaway defense spending. This is insane.
Entitlement programs and retirement benefits for public employees, federal and state, are all under the gun. This is due mostly because of shrinking tax revenues. Why have they shrunk? Because congress shrunk them. And this new congress wants to shrink taxes even more. For the wealthy and for corporations.
When these reductions are having an impact on the overall budget, what is occurring? The tax cuts are remaining and even being increased and entitlement programs are going to be cut!!! Wall Street is going to be the recipient of a huge windfall if the GOP gets its way. Bet on it.
Could this be a greater rip off? Short of holding us up, as in armed robbery, probably not. Cut, cut, and cut taxes is all that is on the minds of these whack jobs and hand the bill to the middle class.
Will any of this pass as it stands? Of course not. But whatever congress does pass it will contain some elements of what is being considered. It’ll be skewed against the middle class, AGAIN, no matter how it shakes out. We’ll still be going the wrong dam way no matter what. The transfer of wealth up the economic ladder is going to continue just as has been going on for decades already. Of that you can be certain. Unless of course, people make a really big fuss. Starting NOW