Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Severely Conservative Or A Progressive Budget

Last week, the House passed the Wisconsin Republican's $3.5 trillion budget plan, complete with measures to switch Medicare to a private system, slash more than $700 billion from Medicaid, and cut programs such as food stamps.

In a Budget Committee Hearing on Tuesday, July 12, 2011, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz asked Judy Feder of Georgetown University whether the Ryan/Republican Medicare plan to convert Medicare into a voucher program would cover the costs of seniors' health care. The answer was no.
Republican candidates at both the state and federal government levels, including Republican Presidential Nominee George Romney, say they will convert Medicare into a private insurance voucher program.

That voucher program would end Medicare as we know it. The real benefit of a voucher program? It would drive profits for insurance companies by forcing seniors to purchase private insurance, paying whatever costs a voucher wouldn't cover out of their own limited budgets.

Medicare has opened doors to necessary care for generations for seniors and individuals with permanent disabilities. The Ryan budget, adopted by the House of Representatives, would end five decades of Medicare's guaranteed access to modern medicine and give millionaires a staggering $265,000 apiece in a new tax cut.

The GOP intends to cast its budget plan as proof that Republicans are willing to make the tough choices to get the federal deficit under control. Democrats will argue that the GOP only wants to make tough choices for the elderly and poor.

Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Plan

"The Republican members of Congress who lined up to vote for the Ryan-Romney budget are calling themselves 'courageous' –- they're admiring each other for the 'tough,' 'serious,' 'bold,' 'fiscally responsible' decisions they’ve made for the 'good of the country,'" said Tom McMahon, the head of Americans United. "But can anyone tell me what is 'courageous' about forcing seniors in nursing homes on Medicaid to find somewhere else to go or taking away health care from sick kids, but continuing to hand over $40 billion worth of subsidies to the big oil companies?"

Don't like the Ryan Budget? The Congressional Progressive Caucus has a "Budget for All" that:
"puts Americans back to work, charts a path to responsible deficit reduction, enhances our economic competitiveness, rebuilds the middle class and invests in our future." This budget "makes no cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefits, and asks those who have benefited most from our economy to pay a sensible share."
Budget of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Fiscal Year 2012

The People’s Budget eliminates the deficit in 10 years, puts Americans back to work and restores our economic competitiveness. The People’s Budget recognizes that in order to compete, our nation needs every American to be productive, and in order to be productive we need to raise our skills to meet modern needs.

Our Budget Eliminates the Deficit and Raises a $31 Billion Surplus In 10 Years
Our budget protects Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and responsibly eliminates the deficit by targeting its main drivers: the Bush Tax Cuts, the wars overseas, and the causes and effects of the recent recession.

Our Budget Puts America Back to Work & Restores America’s Competitiveness

  • Trains teachers and restores schools; rebuilds roads and bridges and ensures that users help pay for them
  • Invests in job creation, clean energy and broadband infrastructure, housing and R&D programs

Our Budget Creates a Fairer Tax System

  • Ends the recently passed upper-income tax cuts and lets Bush-era tax cuts expire at the end of 2012
  • Extends tax credits for the middle class, families, and students
  • Creates new tax brackets that range from 45% starting at $1 million to 49% for $1 billion or more
  • Implements a progressive estate tax
  • Eliminates corporate welfare for oil, gas, and coal companies; closes loopholes for multinational corporations
  • Enacts a financial crisis responsibility fee and a financial speculation tax on derivatives and foreign exchange

Our Budget Protects Health

  • Enacts a health care public option and negotiates prescription payments with pharmaceutical companies
  • Prevents any cuts to Medicare physician payments for a decade

Our Budget Safeguards Social Security for the Next 75 Years

  • Eliminates the individual Social Security payroll cap to make sure upper income earners pay their fair share
  • Increases benefits based on higher contributions on the employee side
Our Budget Brings Our Troops Home
  • Responsibly ends our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to leave America more secure both home and abroad
  • Cuts defense spending by reducing conventional forces, procurement, and costly R&D programs
Our Budget’s Bottom Line
  • Deficit reduction of $5.6 trillion
  • Spending cuts of $1.7 trillion
  • Revenue increase of $3.9 trillion
  • Public investment $1.7 trillion
Complete Details
Martin Sheen in a new video from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee asking Americans to stand against plans to "end Medicare." Sheen, perhaps best known for his role as President Josiah Bartlet on "The West Wing," talked of his American ideals in the video.
"It's time to speak out, tell Republicans in Congress that Americans work their whole lives and kept their commitments. We expect Republicans to do the same," Sheen said. "Tell them to keep their hands off Medicare and tell them in our America, the cynics and fear mongers, the ones who break a sacred promise simply to reward the wealthy don't get the final word. No, no, you do."

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